Monday, August 19, 2013

The Black Hills, South Dakota

August 11, 2013, and we are driving our favorite direction....WEST!  First destination, the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Because we try to do no more than 300 miles in one day, the logical place to stop was Mitchell, home of the Corn Palace.  Of course we had to take pictures!  The exterior of the building changes (new corn, new design) every year, so even if you've been there before it is worth seeing.


Onward to Hot Springs, SD and three nights at the rustic Allen Ranch campground.  Fall River gurgled next to our site, about 20 feet from our door.

Lesson learned:  When the weather alert radio says possible tornado and ping-pong ball sized hail will be hitting Hot Springs within 15 minutes, grab the dog, the bag with valuables & meds, and a bottle of water.  Head to the safe place (concrete shower house) BEFORE the lightning and hail begin.  Fortunately, the hail was only dime sized and the beautiful little river did not flash flood.  No damage, and we did not get washed away.

Here is a "Must See"... Wind Cave National Park.  Three different tours are available to visitors, ranging from moderate to strenuous.  The Garden of Eden tour, while being listed as the least strenuous had more than enough stairs to tire us out.  But it was well worth every step, and we certainly would visit this park again....maybe even try the more difficult tour!

A "Must Do" on every trip to the Black Hills is the drive through Custer State Park.   Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play.....  and the prairie dogs chatter non-stop!

These two prairie dogs were having a boxing match right before I snapped the picture!

One of many pronghorn antelope.  Do you also see the prairie dogs in this photo?

This burro stepped out in front of us, continuing down the road at a very leisurely pace.  She left behind her Jerusalem donkey friends and numerous other burros.

Another "Must See" is the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs.  Thousands of years ago, a large number of mammoths and other animals were trapped in a sinkhole at this exact spot.  Wow, what a dig!

The Black Hills area has so much to explore!!  Coming next:  Custer City and Deadwood!

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