Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2010 Winnipeg 6 (Wall to Minneapolis 7/20/2010)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Up early, because of another long day, plus we lose an hour going back into the Central Time Zone today!
Headed directly into Badlands National Park, passing through the surrounding Buffalo Gap National Grassland, a mixed-grass prairie.
Oligocene fossil beds yield evidence of creatures from 23 to 35 million years ago. Once under the sea, this area shifted and rose above water in the time the Rocky Mountains were rising. As the water drained away, it led to erosion and shaping of the badlands.
Some views from the Pinnacles Overlook at the canyons, peaks, ridges, gullies, buttes:
The Yellow Mounds Overlook:
Layered deposits of sediments:
Conata Basin Overlook:
Homestead Overlook:
Prairie dogs are everywhere!  
Burns Basin Overlook:
Prairie Wind Overlook:
Panorama Overlook: 
White River Valley Overlook, to the north: 
White River Valley Overlook, to the south:  
Fossil Exhibit Trailhead Overlook:
Pickup truck with a big antenna:
Prairie Homestead and white prairie dogs: 
Large Longhorn: 
Large Prairie Dog: 
Next stop: Mitchell, SD: 
Home of the "Corn Palace," known as the World's Largest Bird Feeder.  The 1892 Moorish building has minarets and turrets,
and murals made out of ears of corn, local grasses, wild oats, grain and straw. 
We had lunch in Mitchell at a Ruby Tuesday, then headed to the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD. The zoo pass gave us free admission, saving $7 each.
A Ring-tailed Lemur hugs his tail:
A King Vulture: 
Waiting to be fed: 
Learning to milk a cow: 
Asian Cat Exhibit: 
Scarlet Ibis and chick: 
Friendly turkey: 
Stopped in Belle Prairie, MN for dinner at Emma Krumbees Restaurant & Bakery.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
We return the rental car and fly home to Jacksonville from Terminal 1 - Charles Lindbergh Terminal in Minneapolis.

Monday, July 19, 2010

2010 Winnipeg 5 (Bismarck to Wall 7/19/2010)

Monday, July 19, 2010
Another long day planned. A three-hour drive to Pierre, SD. Saw pheasants and hawks, and "amber waves of grain":
In Pierre, SD, we parked in front of the Soldiers and Sailors World War Memorial (1930, Architects Wilford F. Blatherwick & John C. Hugill, Neo-classical).
The South Dakota State Capitol was built in 1910, and is celebrating its centennial.  Designed by C. E. Bell and M. S. Detwiler, it is a modified Greek Ionic structure with a solid copper dome.
We had lunch at La Minestra, an Italian restaurant located in a former mortuary turned beer parlor.
Heading west, we were surprised to find we had crossed into the Mountain Time Zone! Yea! An extra hour!
Made a pit stop in New Underwood, SD, home of the World's Smallest Biker Bar:
Ooooh! Big thunderheads!
Mount Rushmore National Memorial - Brynne was expecting bigger heads! The faces are 60-feet tall. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began the memorial in 1927, and planned on carving the figures down to the waist. Borglum died in 1941, and his son Lincoln Borglum took over until the money ran out, in a matter of months.
There is now an Avenue of Flags, displaying each of the 50 state flags.
George, Thomas, Theodore, and Abraham still face us in remarkable detail, as they are made of granite.
Brynne & Kent:
Tamiko & Brynne
Tamiko, Brynne & Kent:
Aiming to pick George's nose:
A pine grows from a rock:
The Sculptor's Studio:
Model of Lincoln's head:
Model of the planned memorial:
A sling seat from which one of the 400 workers hung as they chiseled away at the mountain:
Brynne standing in the studio fireplace:
A profile view:
Because we had the extra hour, we took the winding road through the Black Hills to the Crazy Horse Memorial. We could see lightning and hear the thunder of an approaching storm as we entered the Welcome Center.
We viewed the beginnings of the memorial in the distance. The white bunny-looking markings are where the horse's head will be carved.
A model shows what is planned:
The Lakota chiefs requested that sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski (who had done some work at Mount Rushmore) make a mountain carving of one of their heroes, Crazy Horse. He began in 1948, then died in 1982. His wife and ten children have continued the project, and the face was completed in 1998. 
It began to rain when we were on the viewing veranda,
so we explored the huge Visitors Center (to get our $27 per car worth) which included the Indian Museum of North America, and the Sculptor's Log Studio Home: 
The Sculptor's Workshop held models of other works by Ziolkowski.
We drove through Custer State Park, which is home to the largest free-roaming bison herd (about 1,500) in America. Cars stopped as the bison crossed the road.
Lots of bison and many babies:  
We headed an hour back east to Wall, SD, known for the Wall Drug Store:
Downtown Wall, SD (Our dinner restaurant was across the street and the motel was two blocks further!):
Dinner at the Cactus Cafe:
After checking into the motel, we explored the Wall Drug Store, a major tourist trap.  As a marketing ploy to get tourists to stop in Wall, Ted & Dorothy Hustead, owners of the pharmacy, offered free ice water starting in 1936. They advertised on billboards along the highway until the 1965 Highway Beautification Act. Now smaller signs line the highway as you approach Wall.
A mechanical band plays as the hen lays eggs and the dog scratches himself.
Local varmints: A Jackalope:
A Flying Jackalope:
Next: 6. Wall to Minneapolis.