Post 1517: Black Hills adventure, part 1…

My Dutch friend Marianne and I first visited the Mammoth dig site in Hot Springs. There were restrictions on photography during the tour, then I forgot to take any photos after when the restrictions were off. Good grief! I’d be fired from my job if I were a reporter!

It was raining when we arrived thirty minutes before opening time, but the woman who turned out to be our excellent tour guide opened the door and let us in, where we could wait on a bench in the lobby till the official opening.

After the video, tour, and a little time to select agates and other small souvenirs, we drove to Custer State Park (photos above) where smoke from park fires earlier was cleansed from the air by the mist and rains of that morning. Everything was glistening, magical! 

A prairie dog town (photo with Marianne, above) provided a glimpse of the wildlife to come. The leaves on deciduous trees had begun to turn, turning the landscape into a festive one.

Apparently, these burros are seasonal at Custer State Park if I understood comments from a South Dakotan responding to our description of an “encounter” with this band of beggars! 


After a long drive through the Black Hills glistening in rain and light fog, we arrived at Mount Rushmore. Believe it or not, there is a carved mountain in this photo! It was pointless to pay the admissions fee to view more of this, so we turned south to see one last major sight and any wildlife we could view along the way.

[to be continued]



34 thoughts on “Post 1517: Black Hills adventure, part 1…

  1. Hello, Marianne! Sounds like your trip is off to a fun start, Doug! Love the donkeys!

    We got our first real good rain of the season today. Many passing storms came through, and it is raining again this evening.

    • The visit took a turn, of course, after the accident, but we enjoyed hours of catching up talk and listening to music CDs from my all-to-big (5000-6000 CD) collection. Glad to hear about the rain there. Hope it helps with the fires.

    • Actually, it was fresh and smelled of pine. The day before, there had been fires in the park that sent smoke down to where I live (two hours’ drive south), and the rain and mist (besides helping with the fir) cleared the smoke out of the air.

    • Staying at home and being good boys! They definitely miss me when I’m gone, but know I will be gone for long times occasionally. If they travelled well, I would take them with me.

    • Fortunately, there isn’t enough granite of carving quality to add any new presidents to the mountain. In fact, the original Thomas Jefferson would have been forward and more in line with George Washington, but a serious flaw in the granite forced Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who created Mount Rushmore, to dynamite the first attempt off the mountain!

      While I know you were joking, there periodically are serious efforts to put new presidents on the mountain. Reagan is the last one I remember.

    • They are persistent beggars when it comes to tourists who might have treats for them. I can’t imagine what they get fed by tourists, but it surely isn’t healthy! They are very appealing, though, and the white mother and child you see in some of the photos were especially pretty.

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