April 28, 2010

Center of the Nation, Belle Fourche, South Dakota

Down this dark old gravel highway, you will find the Center of the Nation.

This sign is located several miles northwest of Belle Fourche, South Dakota.

This spot became the Center of the Nation when Hawaii and Alaska were admitted to the United States in 1959.

Not much in the way of funding has been used to spruce up this remote location.
Heading back toward Belle Fourche...
The Tri State Museum, located in Belle Fourche, boasts the official "Center of the Nation" monument.
The monument lays flat on the ground and has a diameter of 21 feet. The disk in the middle represents the center of the 50 United States.
The center of the continental United States is located in Smith Center, Kansas.
According to this sign, the new center, as of 1959, is at Latitude 41 degrees 58 minutes North and Longitude 103 degrees 46 minutes West. Okay...
For more pictures, click here pictures 136-178.

To be continued...

Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming

Devils Tower National Monument was the first declared United States National Monument, established by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

It can be seen distinctly from many miles away.

The tower is located in northeastern Wyoming above the Belle Fourche River.

Devils Tower grew in popularity when it was used in the 1977 blockbuster "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".

Be on the lookout for abundant deer near the monument.

Tower Trail is a 1.3 mile paved trail which encircles the monument.

Walking Tower Trail...

The monument is wider than Doug's arm span.
Tower Trail has a few easy inclines and switchbacks.

Prayer cloths are tied to trees by members of American Indian tribes as part of their religious practices.

About 4,000 visitors each year choose to climb the face of Devils Tower.
The summit of the tower falls just short of one-mile above sea level.

Did you know that American prairie dogs currently occupy only 2% of the total area which they occupied 200 years ago?
Don't feed the prairie dogs.

The KOA at the entrance to Devils Tower boasts a large deer population.
As we leave, the sun starts to set on Devils Tower.
For more pictures, click here pictures 42-135.

To be continued...

Petrified Forest of the Black Hills & Sturgis, South Dakota

Our ultimate destination today was Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming.

Along the way, we detoured to The Petrified Forest of the Black Hills.

The tour is a self-guided walking tour through centuries-old trees.
Here are two old stumps. One weighs 9,000 pounds, while the other weighs 175 pounds. Can you guess which is which?

This log got broke.

Sitting on an old petrified log is not recommended for long periods of time.
This is the longest log in the forest. It also got broke.
This "Winter Wood Pile" contains over 900 pieces of petrified wood.
Next up was the location of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Sturgis is extremely quiet in late April.
The infamous Full Throttle Saloon waits for this year's rally.
Tru TV films daily during the 9 day celebration when 70,000 bikers converge on the city.
For more pictures, click here pictures 1-41.

To be continued...

April 26, 2010

Custer State Park, South Dakota

We made our way to Custer State Park, just a short distance from Mount Rushmore. It is South Dakota's largest and 1st state park and wildlife reserve, as well as the 2nd largest state park in the United States.

In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge named it his summer White House and popularity of the park grew. The park spans over 71,000 acres and boasts over 1,500 free-roaming bison.

As you can see, winter was not quite over.

Watch out for falling rock!!!!!!

Bambi greets you as you drive along.

Kind of a tight squeeze!!

Doug thinks I don't have eyes in the back of my head.

Is it safe to come out? Or are they going to take another picture?

Buffaloes Roam

You can see who has the right of way here.

I wonder when this grass is going to start growing.

We weren't sure what this animal was until we looked it up and discovered it was a pronghorn antelope.

Sometimes when you live in an RV, you find yourself a long way from the grocery store. You have to make the most of it when you are close to one.

This is how we finished our day. As you can see, never go to the store when you are hungry.

For more pictures, click here .

To be continued...