Friday, September 12, 2014

The Big Move Road Trip - Day 15

Day 15 started with another early morning cave tour.  The road leading up to the Wind Cave National Park had major construction, so even though I got there early, it wasn't as early as I thought...but that was OK, because everyone else going there was behind me in traffic.  I get a great tour time, starting within 10 minutes of my arrival, had a group size of about 50 and a great tour guide.  Jewel cave and wind cave are fairly close together (and may even connect) but the insides were quite different, and a reassurance that seeing different caves is a good thing.  When my tour got out, the line to purchase tickets was so long...with tours in the late afternoon available, it was only about 10am.  Get there early!

I thought about going to Crazy Horse.  It was in my itinerary, but I decided not to.  It gives me a reason to go back to South Dakota another time - as there are other things I want to see...I don't need to do and see them all this trip.

Next up was the Mammoth Site.  Really quite incredible to see so many mammoths being uncovered here.  I thought it was wonderful they have children, student and adult volunteer opportunities.  The tour was fairly short, and afterwards you could walk around at your leisure.

Not too far away was the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.  I stopped her for my niece, she loves horses.  It wasn't quite what I was expecting, I pull in and you see a few horses eating.  Went into the gift shop/information area.  It was free, but I donated $10.  Then I realized that was kinda it.  They have tours there...but a tour was not in my budget, although I am sure it is a fun tour.  As I was leaving, my GPS wanted me to go a different way, so I follow it down this dirt road...and I saw so many wild horses.  It was great.  I continued and then the road had a sign that the road was closed. So I turn around and double back the way I came.

And then it was more driving.  I crossed into Nebraska and stopped at the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.  Many mammoth sites are in this area...but they are not uncovering them anymore.  They have two trails, one trail leading to the two mounds (University and Carnegie Hills), I started on this trail, made it about 3/4 of the way and turned around.  The flies were really bad, and I didn't have any bug spray or anything.  The sky was also getting really dark and I worried it was going to downpour when I was again, not prepared for the rain.  I hop in the car and go towards the entrance where there is another trail, the daemonelix trail that I completed and was rewarded by seeing a massive daemonelix.

This part of the state was pretty deserted, I continued driving because I was getting tired and needed to find a place to sleep for the night and ended up in Scotts Bluff where I spend the most amount of money on a hotel room...after I was lucky enough to snatch a room that someone vacated early after being told repeatedly that there were either no rooms left or they only had smoking rooms, which I can't handle. 

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