Monday we drove south to Hot Springs, SD. It turned out to be a town of much greater size than the others we have visited in this area. Our destination was the Mammoth Site, a 35 year old archeological dig that is the largest find of mammoth fossils in North America. But first we were greeted by this lovely waterfall that empties into a small meandering river in the center of town.
As time passed, the stream dried up and layers upon layers of dirt accumulated until a hill was formed. In 1974 a developer started to level this hill and the initial bones were found. He sold the property to the organization that runs the site for the amount he had paid for it and work has been ongoing since then.
They have constructed a building entirely around the dig area. Work is done by paleontologists for six weeks in the summer and this gives the archeologists enough to work with for identification, study and research for the remainder of the year.
They have a sense of humor in naming their finds. One skeleton complete except for its skull was named Marie Antoinette. When they later learned it was a male, the name was changed to Murray Antoinette. One skeleton was fused together completely and they realized they would never be able to take the bones apart individually. This fossil is named Napoleon (Bonaparte).
The lighting wasn't great for photography but I took a few anyway. I have to find out who is the Brand Manager for Tide at P&G and send the picture of the girl using the empty Tide bottle as a scoop for her sweepings. It was a very interesting afternoon.
On the way home we drove through the Wind Cave National Park which was no more than a loop taking you to the Visitors Center to buy tickets for a cave tour. That led us right into Custer State Park where we saw another herd of buffalo. We stopped at the second highest lookout point to take a few pictures. We could see the Badlands in the distance which was about 100 miles. The valley below was very green and pretty too.
Today is being spent getting ready to move on. I did laundry last night and today I have a turkey breast in the crockpot, I made a cherry pie with the last of the cherries. I also made a cranberry jello salad. There is a free concert in town tonight and if we're still up to it afterward, we'll drive to the Crazy Horse Memorial to see the laser light show.
I never know how good my wifi is going to be so bear with me as we travel the next four days, northwest through the SE corner of Wyoming, then west before turning south to the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park.