Thursday, October 20, 2022

Interesting Places to Visit In and Near Rapid City, S.D.

We went to Bear World, which is sort of a private zoo.  But more Lion Country Safari in that many of the animals are roaming free around your car as you drive through.  Many are not terribly rare to those of us in Idaho, such as deer.  I suspect international visitors to Mt. Rushmore think differently.


Others are a bit rarer such as this wolf:

Of course, bison, we saw a lot more a couple days later when we discovered that eve if you cannot rollerskate through a buffalo herd, you can certainly drive through one.

Black bear munching sweet potatoes (they are omnivores):

They have some more dangerous critters in cages, such as mountain lion:

Wolf feeding time. Remember: Fifi has wolves in her family tree:

Tourists go to New England for fall colors, but South Dakota does pretty well too.

No pictures but the Journey Museum in Rapid City is better than I expected.  It has dinosaurs, and a bit of history.

The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs is a collection of in situ mammoth fossils among others who fell into a sinkhole.  There is a layer of shale that when wet reverts to slippery mud.  If you get to close for a drink of water, you slide in.  It is also not so easy to climb back out.

This is an active paleontological dig.  

There is an interesting story to it.  A developer was building a subdivision and his bulldozer unearthed a mammoth bone.  After receiving uninterested responses from several university paleontology departments, he stopped development and set up a foundation to do the work needed.  It is gratifying to see people in the business of making money decide to work for the public interest.

It was not expensive ($14 for an adult), especially when you consider it has no governmental funding.

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