The Great American Road Trip {Day 3}

Stop #1 on Day 3 was Bear Country USA just outside of Rapid City. It's a drive thru park where you can see many species of North American animals, including the largest privately owned collection of American Black Bear. The animals are "free" {this is definitely not my definition of free, but I suppose somewhat better than a typical zoo setting} to roam free in the habitat.


Jeremy squealed like a schoolgirl seeing her crush on the playground when we saw this bad boy! It's a good thing we were driving slow and had just started, because I'm pretty sure had we seen this in the wild he would have drove us off the road!






Iron Mountain Road through Custer State Park was our next excursion. It had spectacular views and tunnels through the mountain that you had to drive through.



We ate lunch at Linz Bros. Pizza in Hermosa. GOOD stuff! Back in the car and it was off to Hot Springs to the Mammoth Site.

The Mammoth Site is "America's International Treasure. This National Natural Landmark is an internationally renowned indoor working paleontological site/museum. More than 59 Columbian & woolly mammoths have been unearthed, as well as over 85 other species of associated Ice Age fauna. Hands-on activities for children, an educational experience for the entire family. One of the top fossil interpretive sites in North America. Open year-round. Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota."


Mammoth Pelvis...WHAT?! That thing is GINORMOUS!!


We listened to our tour guide via these telephones. I heard Westynn talking to his friend Breckyn on the phone instead of listening!!


Mammoths were some big mammals!!


We learned that neanderthals used the mammoth bones and hides to make bone houses. Plus, this is great picture of Westynn wearing his new belt buckle...with the Up-Down {or W}!

We drove back through Custer State Park to Mount Rushmore!


While there we met a couple of former Presidents.


Thomas Jefferson...telling a tale from his presidency.

AND we got to meet Honest Abe! Highlight of the trip for me...FOR SURE!



He guessed all the kids ages correctly, but when I suggested he try my age, he said, "I am not even going to try!"


Since we were there on July 3rd, they were celebrating their Independence Day with a service honoring America. It included a flag folding ceremony...


It doesn't matter how many times I see this, I love it every time!


The Fallen Soldiers Table.


If you haven't heard or read this before, you can go here to read it. Normally it is a table set for one, but this night it was set with all the branches of the military as well as for a firefighter and police. It's an EXTREMELY solemn ceremony and one that touches your heart! I was overjoyed to see it in person!

There was more to the service, including a band, but our kids were tired and hungry! So, we had to bale. I missed the evening lighting ceremony which bummed me out! Our evening ended with a taco box from the Taco Bell across the street from our hotel and another trip to the hotel pool before bedtime, LOL! That's the honest truth!!

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Seems like Ole Abe was as WISE as he was HONEST!! I'll bet the military service was incredible. .and VERY memorable for your kids!!