05 October 2007

South Dakota, Day 2

When we last saw Kathy she was stuck in the rear seat of a 12 passenger van hurtling through southwestern South Dakota.

And really, that's pretty much where I spent a lot of my time during our vacation. On the second day we went to see...

Mount Rushmore. "Sculpted" by Gutzon Gorglum & crew from 1927 till 1941. I find it funny that they call it sculpting when they used dynamite to do 90% of the work.

The Reptile Gardens where we saw an alligator/crocodile show, a snake show, and toured the world's largest collection of reptile species.

Bear Country USA which is a drive through game preserve. It's like Jurassic Park, only with bears and reindeer rather than T-Rexes and Triceratops. There's also an area with smaller animals in smaller enclosures. A couple of days before we got there a fox had managed to get into the otter enclosure and we got to watch several minutes of the otters chasing the fox away from their food.

Then back to Mt. Rushmore in the evening. They gave a presentation about the end of the Indian Wars, focusing on Wounded Knee. A very sad story with bad decisions all around. Then they lit up the mountain and asked all the veterans in the audience to come down and help retire the flag for the evening.

There were a lot of them. They took a microphone around and each person said their name and what part of the military they were from. Anna thought it was pretty cool that grandpa got to go up. I'm not sure she even knew that a long time ago he was in the Navy. They all got a standing ovation at the end of course.

So if you're keeping track, that was 4 major attractions/events in one day. The only saving grace was that Father-In-Law likes to read plaques and informational signs, so it was possible for Daughter and I to get ahead and get to the gift shop for our trinkets before being loaded up for the next agenda item.

When next we meet I think I can squeeze in a couple of day's worth of events as we reduced the number of things to do in a day after this.

p.s. clicking on any of those pictures will make them really big. I was shooting album quality rather than my usual blog quality photos.


MadMad said...

What a neat trip - I love that the veterans got to stand up (I'm a little horrified at how many there were! Wow! Well, maybe horrified isn't the best word. Surprised? Shocked? Saddened? I don't know.) Anyway, very cool. (Even if fast...)

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

That was quite the day. Still it seemed to be somewhat rushed. Sitting in the back of a 12 seat passenger van would really take the vaction out of the whole trip.