Monday, September 26, 2011

Custer State Park Buffalo Round-up 2011

We ended our stay in Custer State Park by attending the annual Buffalo Round-Up.  After talking to lots of park rangers, we decided to view the round-up from the south viewing area.  We got up around 4 and got in line for the south viewing area at 5:38.  They began parking at 6:20 and we were finally parked by 7.  They had a pancake and sausage breakfast that we enjoyed.  About 9:30 the cowboys began pushing the buffalo towards the corrals.  Our viewing area allowed us to see the buffalo as they came across the top of the hill.  There were some wild burros in the valley that had to run to get out of the way of the stampeding buffalo.  The elk were watching from the top of a hill.  The cowboys say that they drive the buffalo where the buffalo want to go.  The buffalo did not go the way the cowboys wanted them to go at first, so the cowboys stopped pushing the buffalo for a few minutes, changed their locations, and began pushing the buffalo again.  Once the buffalo were in the corrals, we were able to go down for a buffalo bar-b-que.  Sure was good.  At 1:00, they began to work about 150 buffalo through the shutes.  There they would weigh, vaccinate,  and, if it was a cow, check for pregnancy.  (sure wouldn’t want that job)  They would also separate the young ones born last year and brand them.  They sell about 200 or so of the buffalo to various buyers.  Great day.!!!!




wild burros running away



When the buffalo got to this area, they were very unhappy.  They would move their heads up and down and side-ways trying to escape.  The cowboy would reach out and touch the buffalo on the nose or head and they would calm down.  He would then read the number off the tag so they would know what buffalo they were dealing with.  As soon as his hand left the buffalo, the buffalo began moving it’s head wildly.


free at last

Thursday, September 22, 2011

South Dakota Air & Space Museum

This is a small air and space museum.  Most of the planes are located outside.  The museum is free, however, we took a tour of the minute man missile training sites at Ellsworth Air Force Base.  That required payment.  We really did enjoy the tour though.  We though the museum was worth our time.





Wednesday, September 21, 2011

National Presidential Wax Museum, Keystone, SD

This museum has wax figures of all the Presidents and other famous people.  We were given an audio device where we entered the number that went with the exhibit.  We learned lots of things about some of the presidents that we had not heard before. 


George Washington, Martha, and Betsy Ross




Married while in the white house





Grant and Lee


George Bush

Mammoth Site, Hot Springs, SD

Had a great day visiting the Mammoth Site.  The site is enclosed and is an on-going dig site.  They dig only 7 weeks a year and spend the rest of the year sifting through what they find.  Many years ago a sink hole filled with water that had year round temps of 96.  This meant that grass grew below the edge of the sink hole.  Mammoths would try to get to the grass and fall into the sink hole.  They could not get out and died.  Eventually, the sink hole was covered with soil and the mammoths were buried.  Mammoth bones were uncovered when a developer was having the ground bull dozed for a housing development.  He recognized the importance of the discovery and sold the land so the Mammoth site could be preserved.  So far, 59 mammoths have been discovered along with a short-faced bear. 



whole mammoth




Saturday, September 17, 2011

Badlands National Park 2011

We spent 2 wonderful days touring Badlands National Park.  We were able to see mountain sheep, buffalo, antelope, deer, rabbit, chipmunk, and prairie dogs.  Such a beautiful national park.









Wounded Knee

On Dec 29, 1890, the army attacked the indians at wounded knee.  300 Indians were killed while only 30 soldiers were killed.  There are not any markers at the place where the attack took place.  Now local Indians set up their stands and sell their craft.  They also tell the story of the battle. 


the soldiers set up a big gun on top of this hill to fire upon the Indians.



Indian chiefs killed in the battle were buried here.


Only bathroom available at Wounded knee.  No door provided.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pioneer Auto Museum, Murdo, SD

Left Mitchell and headed towards the badlands.  All along the side of the road were billboards advertising the Pioneer Auto Museum.  Well, Gary and I, being lovers of auto museums, just couldn’t pass this one up.  Great museum, lots of cars and other items.  Our only problem was that it was cold (47), windy, and raining and the museum was not heated.  The cars were in many buildings which allowed the wind to blow in.



the real General Lee


cute little car where people could scoot around town


car that belonged to Tom Mix


Harley that belonged to Elvis.


Corn Palace

We arrived in Mitchell with enough time to visit the Corn Palace.  Every year the outside of the palace is decorated with corn.  The corn cobs are sliced in half and glued to the walls to make the different pictures.  This usually costs $130,000 each year.




Thursday, September 01, 2011

Spam Museum, Austin, Mn

How many of you can remember eating spam?  I can remember mom frying it.  That was the best.  When we first met,  Gary made a spam pie for dinner one night.  I did not realize that there are many flavors of spam or so many products that were made by Hormel.  The museum was free.  Didn’t take us very long to tour the museum.  Lots of 2-3 minute films to watch.  We enjoyed the one with the Hormel girls chorus and drum and bugle core.  We went in the theater to watch the movie "Spam A Love Story" and Gary wanted to know where the popcorn was.  I told him that they would serve spam not popcorn.  After that comment a lady walked in with bacon flavored spam.  Later she brought us cheese spam.

spam fed a lot of soldiers during the war.