Wednesday, June 30, 2010


South Dakota Badlands

That would be Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty MILES.  That's how many miles we drove, on our Ten Day trip, to the Dakotas.

Chimney Rock National Landmark, Nebraska

We had two of our Austin granddaughters with us.  We told them, when we left, that this was going to be a 'Rock Tour'

There were many other big rocks in the same area as Chimney Rock.  Chimney rock was a significant landmark, for pilgrims going west in wagon trains.  It's, it's eroding a little more, each year.
I'm always awed, by what people were willing to endure, to come across the country, in wagons or by foot.

Carhenge, Nebraska

There were, of course, other intersting sights, along the way.  Above is 'Carhenge'....a replica of Stonehenge, built with old cars.  This was more interesting to persons in the 13 and 10 age groups, than some old rock.

Mount Rushmore, SD

We met up with our daughter, and her family, in South Dakota.  Then we set out to see the big Rock Star....Mount Rushmore.

This is quite impressive.  It took them many years, and lots of hard work, to create this piece of art.
The museum there, gives an idea of just how difficult this was to computers, or today's technology.

Speaking of 'Rock Stars'....we had our own, right along with us.

Close by Rushmore, is the Crazy Horse Monument.  This has been in construction since 1948.  They still have a long way to go.  It's a monument to the Oglala Lakota people, whose leader was Crazy Horse.
It's HUGE.  Mount Rushmore, as big as it is, would fit in the upper part of the face of Crazy Horse.

It's a private endeavor, funded by donations, gate fees and the gift shop.  The children of the sculptor and his window, are carrying on his dream.

I don't think Mr. P and I will see it finished.  Maybe, our grandchildren will be able to.

The Black Hills of South Dakota, are quite pretty.

Lots of wildlife.

There are roses, growing wild along the roads.

And, the largest dandelions I've ever seen.  That seed 'poof' is about six inches aross.

And, we were lucky enough to see a double rainbow.  We could see the whole thing...but, I didn't get a good shot.  It was the brightest rainbow, we'd ever seen.

There is a Mammoth dig site, in the area.  It was very interesting.  They've found many whole skeletons of mammoths.  And, they're still digging.

On our way to North Dakota, and our daughter's home, we saw on the map 'The Center of the Nation' site.
It's a red letter point of interest, on the map.  And, the travel book we had, said that in Belle Fourche there is a large compass to mark the spot.  Only, that compass,  is 20 miles from the actual site.  We wanted the 'real thing'.

So, we drove until we saw a sign pointing the right direction....down a gravel road.  We drove down that road.  Out in the middle of a field, is an American flag.

But, up on the road, was this sign....painted with markers, on the back of an old road sign.  We thought it was a joke.

Our son-in-law went out to check.  Sure enough...this was the place.  The geographical center of the United States....that includes all 50 states.

I actually think we'll remember this more, than some piece of concrete twenty miles away, in town. 

We spent a few days at our daughter's home.  They've bought a house, built in 1902.  It has a lot of work that needs to be done.  But, I think it has potential. 

About fifty miles south of their house, in Minot, is The Scandinavian Heritage Village.  Most of North Dakota, was settled by people from Scandinavian countries....mostly Norway.

Finish store house

There are structures to represent the various Scandinavian countries.

Swedish horse

The centerpiece, is this exact replica of a Norse church.

Quite lovely, and the docent there gave us a great deal of information.

This was our first trip to North Dakota.  Because it's the home of our daughter and her family, we're interested in the surroundings.  It's mostly agricultural.  Somehow, that amazes me.  It is very cold, for very long.  There is a short growing season.

And yet, the fields are full and growing.  Above is one of many fields of Canola.  They are beautiful yellow fields.  Later in the year, there will be fields and fields of sunflowers.  The wheat and green peas are going strong.

I didn't get pictures of the lovely flowers of the neighbors.  There are gorgeous peonies in almost every yard.  Iris are still blooming and pansies and petunias are blooming everywhere.  We missed the lilacs, unfortunately.

We had a great visit, and saw lots of countryside.  We miss our daughter, our son-in-law, and those two preciouse grandchildren, already.

But, it's great to be back home.


  1. You got a picture of a double rainbow -- I think that's special somehow, lucky, perhaps? Anyhoo, sounds like a fun trip!

  2. What fun! I enjoyed seeing the highlights of your trip.

  3. I like your trip posts. This one looks like something I'd love to do.

    And I LOVED your double rainbow!

    Hope you'll get to see your daughter and family regularly, in spite of the distance.

  4. Rachael....Good luck is always welcome. It was an amazing bright neon.

    Pam and Kathleen...I'm glad you like the trip posts. I enjoy doing them.

    Thanks for visiting and leaving comments.

  5. It looks as though the sun shone down on a wonderful trip. We have never visited that part of the country but I think we have missed out. Your photos paint a beautiful picture. by the way, the dandelion seed head is probably the yellow salsify, goatsbeard. We see it all the time in Idaho. It was originally imported from Europe for its edible taproot. Out grand daughter had a wonderful time telling the time with them.

  6. I applaud the clarity with which you show your photos of the true geodetic center of the 50 states instead of the usual tourist marker 20 miles away. Thank you for the effort you and your family made to trek to the actual marker site. Any more photos of the site would be greatly appreciated! Happy travels, David.


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