The end of June we left for 6 weeks for our annual USA trip. We took our grandson Quincy (10) with us. After staying the first week with my family-in-law in SC, we packed our camping gear in the car and headed west for a 4 weeks tent-camping trip. Our main destination was Rapid City. That had been on our list for a long time. Every month I receive the SD tourist office newsletter and there are so many things to see and do in that area, like the Badlands, Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore etc. So this year we drove the long 1600 miles (2576 km) to SD. (not to forget the way back!!) Half the way we took a weekend break with our friends Yvette, Michelle and Clarence in Champaign IL where their annual music festival was held that weekend.
Rumba Na Biso
A Little and a Big Buddy
We left Illinois behind us and headed to Rapid City where we tent camped two weeks at the famcamp of Ellsworth AFB. From here it was a short distance to all the atractions.
Prairie dogs at Roberts Prairie Dog Town.
South Dakota road side oddity: Skeleton man walking skeleton dinosaur near Murdo.
Quincy with poker Alice at the Wall Drug Store in Wall.
Quincy with Methuselah, the giant tortoise and South Dakota's oldest resident. He was born in 1881 in the Galapagos Islands and weighs 600 lb.
Not to forget the begging donkeys.
The Mammoth Site is a museum and paleontological site near Hot Springs, SD. It contains the remains of fauna and flora preserved by entrapment in a karst sinkhole during the Pleistocene era. Mammoth bones were found at the site in 1974, and a museum and building enclosing the site were established. The museum now contains an extensive collection of mammoth remains. Research and excavations at the site are ongoing.
It's the world’s largest mammoth research facility.
In the evening, on our way back to the campground, dark clouds were forming with still a bit of the blue sky peeping out.
Devils Tower in Wyoming
Also known as Bears Lodge, it is a sacred site for many American Indians.
The tower is popular by climbers from around the world.
The movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind was made here.
There are several American Indian legends about Devils Tower. This is one of them:
According to the Kiowa, seven little girls went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. In an effort to escape the bears, the girls climbed a top a rock, fell to their knees and prayed to Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock to rise from the ground towards the Heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. The bears, in an effort to climb the rock, left deep claw marks in the sides which had become too steep to climb. (Those are the marks which appear today on the sides of Devils Tower.) When the girls reached the sky, they were turned into the star constellation the Pleiades.
We walked all around the Tower and saw:
This beautiful bird, a robin, was posing for me.
June is a culturally significant time when many (not all) ceremonies traditionally occur. These bundles of cloth are prayer offerings
On our way back we stopped in Aladdin with a population of 15!
Bison art in the town of Custer, where we walked a 10k (6.2 miles) volksmarch.
After two weeks of tent camping at Elsworth AFB FamCamp it was time to leave and start our return trip.
Falls Park in Sioux Falls
Quincy having a quiet moment enjoying the falls.
In NC we stayed four nights at this family campground in Asheville. I can recommend this campground to anyone with kids. Quincy had a ball out there. http://www.zoolandfc.com/
The jumping pillow was his favorite.
A sand lice (or flea??)
Looking for shark teeth.
We had three more nights left and decided to drive to the NC oceanside and camped at Ft. Fisher AF recreation area. From here we could walk to the beach.
Back in SC with my greatgrandma.
On our way back to Holland.