FUN-travel: Badlands National Park & Hot Springs, SD

August 11, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Badlands National Park – rolling prairies & grasslands…

…make up the scenery on the two-hour drive via Hwy 44.

  • The Loop Road winds through 25 miles…

…of multi colored layered rock formations…

…steep canyons, towering spires & parched basins…

…that preserve the world’s greatest fossil beds…

…of animals from the Oligocene Epoch…

…that’s like 34 million years ago!

  • Today bison, bighorn sheep, & prairie dogs inhabit the sprawling grasslands.

Not so FF – They list Hwy 44 as a scenic route and in my opinion it didn’t live up to it! It took twice as long as I-90.

…contains the greatest concentration…

…of mammoth remains in the world.

  • Bones were found in 1974…

…when the site was being developed for a housing subdivision…

…which turned out to be a…

…26,000 year old sinkhole.

FUN-fact – As of 2016, the remains of 61 mammoths, including 58 North American Columbian and 3 woolly mammoths had been recovered. And the first time both species have ever been found together.

FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Crazy Horse Monument & Hill City

August 10, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

FUN-fact – South Dakota’s unique landscapes spawned one of the most unusual and complex railroad histories in our nation.

…the world’s largest mountain carving…

…& memorial for all Native American tribes.

  • Rising over 563 feet high…

…Crazy Horse Memorial dwarfs…

…the carved portraits of Mount Rushmore…

…by nearly 10 times.

The Black Hills are alive…

…with the sounds…

…of motorcycles…

…& mostly Harley’s.

Today’s Treat – A Yellow Bellied Marmot! And ever so delightful as he stood and posed for us appearing to love all the attention.

FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Needles Highway

August 9, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway – 3rd leg – Needles Highway

  • Yet another windy road…

…weaves through Custer State Park…

…deemed “impossible” to construct by its critics…

…was completed in 1922…

…& includes 14 miles of sharp turns…

…low tunnels…

…impressive tall granite peaks & spires…

…aka needles…

…which makes for lots of crazy rock formations…

…& epic landscapes…

…incredibly spectacular…

…& my #1 favorite drive on this trip!

  • The most famous part of the drive…

…the Needle Eye Tunnel…

…is one-way tunnel only  8′ 4″ wide by 12′ high.

FUN-fact – The roadway was carefully planned by former South Dakota Governor Peter Norbeck, who marked the entire course on foot and by horseback.

 

FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Custer State Park

August 8, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway – 2nd  leg – Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park

  • One of the largest state parks and famous for its bison herd…

…a variety of wildlife, scenic drives…& historic sites…

Where the Buffalo Roam!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…encompassing 18 miles of open grasslands and pine-speckled hills.

FUN-fact – This was President Coolidge’s 1927 “Summer White House.”

More FF – Custer is South Dakota’s largest and first state park, named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

 

FUN-travel: Black Hills, SD – Mt Rushmore & Loop Drive

August 6, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

  • Mt Rushmore – iconic 60-foot sculpted granite featuring faces…

…of presidents Abraham Lincoln, George Washington…

…Thomas Jefferson & Theodore Roosevelt…

…symbolizes the ideals of freedom, democracy & the American dream.

…17 miles long from Mt Rushmore to Custer State Park…

…includes tight hairpin curves, spiral “pigtail” bridges…

…3 single lane tunnels & redefined what a road could be.

FUN-fact – South Dakota conservationist, Governor and U.S. Senator Peter Norbeck wanted to share the unspoiled beauty of the Black Hills with others. But it was of utmost importance to him to do it responsibly. The result is a 68-mile series of twisting roads that carefully tiptoe through the Harney Range of the central Black Hills, leaving very little impact on the surrounding environment.

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