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Old 08-04-2011, 09:43 PM   #31
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Now you may ask yourself, "Self, why would one want to stop to see the Buffalo Gap National Grassland after driving 200 miles through un-claimed grasslands?"
Let’s see… a good break after several hours of driving… a chance to photograph gorgeous scenery, and beautiful girls at the same time… topped off with an impromptu geology lesson…

Yep… that’s a good reason to stop.



I really like this image. I don’t get to see vistas like that very often around where I dwell.





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Up next.... Mt. Rushmore and when 7 o'clock doesn't mean 7 o'clock.
Cool! Something else I don’t generally get to see around where I dwell.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:41 AM   #32
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Now you may ask yourself, "Self, why would one want to stop to see the Buffalo Gap National Grassland after driving 200 miles through un-claimed grasslands?"
Or you may ask yourself, "Why not?" That's what road trips are for!

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(is it wrong that I like to use the word grassland")
It may not be wrong, but I'm not sure that it's right.

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The badlands of South Dakota are very cool and unfortunately my pictures can't do it justice.
Yes, they are cool, and your pictures really are great. But you're right, they don't do it justice.

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What's amazing is that as you drive up to this outlook, it looks just like the prairie just goes on until you realize, whoops, there's a cliff there.
I just about learned that lesson the hard way riding a dirtbike on a ranch in South Dakota about 15 years ago... I had to bail off... fortunately it was only about a 25 foot drop and not straight down. Once we bent the handlebars back it was good to go.

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Of course if you've met our girls, you'd know that this just wasn't nearly up close and personal enough, so as we continued through the badlands scenic drive, we found a good opportunity to get personal with the badlands.
No point in going there if you don't intend to get up close and personal with the scenery!
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:54 AM   #33
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Now you may ask yourself, "Self, why would one want to stop to see the Buffalo Gap National Grassland after driving 200 miles through un-claimed grasslands?" You may ask yourself that, unless you know that the Buffalo Gap National Grassland is an extra special grassland.

(is it wrong that I like to use the word grassland")
Just grassland as grassland long as grassland you grassland don't overuse grassland "grassland".

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The badlands of South Dakota are very cool and unfortunately my pictures can't do it justice. What's amazing is that as you drive up to this outlook, it looks just like the prairie just goes on until you realize, whoops, there's a cliff there.
Cool! I'm always amazed and fascinated by the scenery out west.

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Of course if you've met our girls, you'd know that this just wasn't nearly up close and personal enough, so as we continued through the badlands scenic drive, we found a good opportunity to get personal with the badlands.
Did they get some soil samples? Do any geology tests? Carbon dating?

Great pictures, keep 'em coming!
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:17 AM   #34
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So, having our fill of the Corn Palace and all that Mitchell, SD had to offer, we all packed up and drove a quick 200 miles west to the Buffalo Gap National Grassland.
Is the Corn Palace all Mitchel, SD has to offer? Or is there a gas station or something too?

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(is it wrong that I like to use the word grassland")
Maybe it's like the word "Smurf". You just stick it in anywhere you want and means something totally different.

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The way the badlands are created is a combination of weak stone structure and wind / water erosion. As the stone gets worn by the elements there are parts of the badlands that change by as much as a few inches each year.
Noted. I expect pictures from these same spots next year as evidence.

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Megan: I love daddy.
Shannon: I love Lemonade.

Brian: cut the middle one out of the will.


The pictures are really awesome. And since I've never been there, I will assume that they do it justice. But now I have to go there and check out these amazing views for myself. Really cool!
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:15 AM   #35
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Megan: I love daddy.
Shannon: I love Lemonade.

Brian: cut the middle one out of the will.


I think Mary had to go to the bathroom in this picture.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:23 PM   #36
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Well, since Barry and Mark crack me up, I figured since they met you for dinner, you had to be just like them....so I'm joining in.

Now, I have to run to a meeting, but I will catch up later.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:09 PM   #37
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Well, since Barry and Mark crack me up, I figured since they met you for dinner, you had to be just like them....so I'm joining in.

Now, I have to run to a meeting, but I will catch up later.
Yay! I stole a reader from my nemesis' trip report!!!


Welcome Kathy to our little trip.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:26 PM   #38
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Yay! I stole a reader from my nemesis' trip report!!!


Welcome Kathy to our little trip.
Brian, thank you for the welcome--especially to a mostly "men's thread". You have three beautiful daughters and I look forward to following along.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:09 PM   #39
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Mount Rushmore and when 7 o'clock is NOT 7 o'clock.

So, we finished up the scenic drive through the Badlands and headed over to Wall Drug for lunch.

Now if anyone has been through the western half of South Dakota you know, you HAVE TO stop at Wall Drug. They have FREE ICE WATER!!!! Who can pass that up? So we pulled in to Wall, SD and sidled up to the counter to order some lunch.

After getting our food and sitting down, Megan, who had been fighting a cold for a couple of days already, was starting to act unusually ornery. So I quickly finished up and she and I headed back to the van, where she promptly passed out. Erika and the older 2 girls stayed and finished their lunch and then checked out what Wall Drug had to offer. Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures, but I highly recommend checking out Wall Drug the next time you're in Wall, SD.

So after the girls got back to the van we loaded up and headed west toward the Black Hills and a certain place where the hills have eyes. Of course, as we were driving, the skies started to look a little ominous and about 30 minutes into the drive the skies opened on us. Now I mean buckets... literally buckets hit the van. (OK, not literally, but you get the picture, it was wet.)

We turned off of I-90 at Rapid City and all of a sudden the skies began to clear. The timing of the rain was perfect as worked our way up the hill there were a few showers here and there, but as we pulled into the parking lot, the rain stopped.

We all jumped out of the car and rushed to.... the bathroom. OK, now that's taken care of we walked up to see....

MT. Rushmore.


As you walk up to the viewing area, there is an awesome display of all 50 state flags setup like a corridor to the main viewpoint for the mountain.



Of course, as you can see my viewpoint wasn't completely focused on the flags. The sight of Mt. Rushmore is just plain cool.

This gives some perspective on the viewpoint.


and with the proper zoom.


As we made our way back to the van, we had to get a picture of our home state, the Great State of Illinois from the flag standards.



And the plaque on the column.


As we looked back for one final vantage before we moved onto Jewel Cave.


So once again we packed up in the van and made our way through the Black Hills to Jewel Cave National Monument.

{aside}
Do you know why the Black Hills are called the Black Hills? No? Well, let me tell you. So you might think that they have a dark stone or mineral or something along those lines, but no.... the name came from the Sioux name for the hills because the way the trees look from the distance on the hills they look dark, or black. (Educational component of the TR entry complete)
{/aside}

So we made our way around to Jewel Cave and I was thinking to myself...self, you rock. I know that the Jewel Cave doesn't close until 7 PM because I looked it up online before we left, the clock in the van says 5:55 PM and we should be able to check this out and head to the hotel after. Self you rock!

We head on into the Visitor Center and I walk up to the information desk and I ask, so can we head into see the cave? "Sorry sir, but the last tour left at 5:40." Ummmm..... 5:40..... Beverly!

So, we gently mention to Shannon that we won't be able to see Jewel Cave because we missed the last tour by 15 minutes. She took it relatively well.... considering that this is our Drama Queen.... she only broke down into tears and accused me of not loving her or something to that effect.

We did check out the visitor center a bit and I happened to inquire at the desk about tickets for the first tour in the next morning. "Sorry sir, the ticket sellers have left for the day, but I'm sure there will be space on the 9:30 tour tomorrow."

So we pulled out of the Jewel Cave parking lot and headed to the hotel that we had booked (and missed the cancellation window by about 15 minutes) for the night to contemplate what to do the next day. Do we continue along our pre-determined schedule including the hotel rooms booked etc.... or .... do we re-route our trip to allow us to return the next morning to see Jewel Cave....

Stay tuned and find out what will the middlepat clan do? Will the cave (for you Barry) into the desires of a 7 year old or will the "Greater Good" prevail and keep the current plans in place?

I think you know what we are going to do don't you...
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:19 PM   #40
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Brian, thank you for the welcome--especially to a mostly "men's thread". You have three beautiful daughters and I look forward to following along.
Of course, this may be the "Men's Den" on these boards, but we are a welcoming group. Besides, your less than 20 miles from here and you could hunt me down.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:21 PM   #41
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Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures, but I highly recommend checking out Wall Drug the next time you're in Wall, SD.
Actually I think you meant Erika didn't get any pictures which was kind of intentional because I'm still trying to figure out what was so exciting about the place....
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:24 PM   #42
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So we pulled out of the Jewel Cave parking lot and headed to the hotel that we had booked (and missed the cancellation window by about 15 minutes) for the night to contemplate what to do the next day. Do we continue along our pre-determined schedule including the hotel rooms booked etc.... or .... do we re-route our trip to allow us to return the next morning to see Jewel Cave....
You failed to mention that the hotel was 1.5 hours away from the Cave which meant it was 1.5 hours further into our drive and 1.5 hours closer to our final destination.
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:29 AM   #43
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Now if anyone has been through the western half of South Dakota you know, you HAVE TO stop at Wall Drug.
Are the Wall Drug billboards (that I’m sure stretch back across the entire state) as entertaining as the ones for “South of the Boarder”, or do the folks in South Dakota show a bit more restraint then the folks in South Carolina?

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After getting our food and sitting down, Megan, who had been fighting a cold for a couple of days already, was starting to act unusually ornery.
Hope she got to feeling better. Ornery can quickly put a crimp in your whole day


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…a certain place where the hills have eyes


Quote:
Originally Posted by middlepat View Post
We all jumped out of the car and rushed to.... the bathroom.
Often this is the highlight of a long drive

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Originally Posted by middlepat View Post
MT. Rushmore.



Nice pictures! I really would like to see this for myself some day


And... I didn’t know about the Flags memorial part of the site or the origin of “Black Hills”.
You learn something new every day if you aren’t careful.

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"Sorry sir, but the last tour left at 5:40." Ummmm..... 5:40..... Beverly!
They should have added that detail to the website as well.


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Stay tuned and find out what will the middlepat clan do? Will the cave (for you Barry) into the desires of a 7 year old or will the "Greater Good" prevail and keep the current plans in place?

I think you know what we are going to do don't you...
Hummmm… "Greater Good"… “desires of a 7 year old”… That’s a tough one.

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You failed to mention that the hotel was 1.5 hours away from the Cave which meant it was 1.5 hours further into our drive and 1.5 hours closer to our final destination.
Well that adds a new wrinkle to the conundrum.

Lets see… "Greater Good"… “desires of a 7 year old and… three-plus hours added to the drive”.
Hummmmm… Nope, that’s still a tough one.
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:47 AM   #44
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Well, since Barry and Mark crack me up, I figured since they met you for dinner, you had to be just like them....
I'm still trying to figure out if that is meant as a compliment or an insult.

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but as we pulled into the parking lot, the rain stopped.
Excellent timing!

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We all jumped out of the car and rushed to.... the bathroom.
A trip report that actually tells it the way it really happened.

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"Sorry sir, but the last tour left at 5:40." Ummmm..... 5:40..... Beverly!
Not so excellent timing.
Always fun when you make the effort to do the research and plan it out just so the plan can be blown to pieces.

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she only broke down into tears and accused me of not loving her or something to that effect.
Well, look at it this way. At least she was still talking to you.

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(and missed the cancellation window by about 15 minutes)
That 15 minutes thing is kind of becoming a running theme.

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I think you know what we are going to do don't you...


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You failed to mention that the hotel was 1.5 hours away from the Cave which meant it was 1.5 hours further into our drive and 1.5 hours closer to our final destination.
It isn't an official DIS Dad trip report until his wife has to come in and correct an omission.
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:57 AM   #45
Captain_Oblivious
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Well, since Barry and Mark crack me up, I figured since they met you for dinner, you had to be just like them....so I'm joining in.
Brian is a lot like Barry and me, only more evil-er.

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Now if anyone has been through the western half of South Dakota you know, you HAVE TO stop at Wall Drug. They have FREE ICE WATER!!!! Who can pass that up?
Not me! Wall Drug: the South of the Border of the West.

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Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures, but I highly recommend checking out Wall Drug the next time you're in Wall, SD.
Because we're in Wall so often, right?

These might help with pictures:
http://walldrug.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_Drug

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Of course, as we were driving, the skies started to look a little ominous and about 30 minutes into the drive the skies opened on us. Now I mean buckets... literally buckets hit the van. (OK, not literally, but you get the picture, it was wet.)
Darn. Actual buckets would have been interesting to see.

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We all jumped out of the car and rushed to.... the bathroom.
Gotta have priorities.

OK, now that's taken care of we walked up to see....

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Originally Posted by middlepat View Post
As you walk up to the viewing area, there is an awesome display of all 50 state flags setup like a corridor to the main viewpoint for the mountain.

I see Delaware's flag! We're #1! We're #1!

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Great shot!

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And the plaque on the column.
Below that it says, "...Bribed first public official: 1819."

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We head on into the Visitor Center and I walk up to the information desk and I ask, so can we head into see the cave? "Sorry sir, but the last tour left at 5:40." Ummmm..... 5:40..... Beverly!


Did they have a big talking moose in front of the visitor center that you could punch out?

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So, we gently mention to Shannon that we won't be able to see Jewel Cave because we missed the last tour by 15 minutes. She took it relatively well.... considering that this is our Drama Queen.... she only broke down into tears and accused me of not loving her or something to that effect.
"Oh, I know you're emotionall devastated, but don't worry honey. Tomorrow, if you're good, I'll buy you a popsicle."

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Stay tuned and find out what will the middlepat clan do? Will the cave (for you Barry) into the desires of a 7 year old or will the "Greater Good" prevail and keep the current plans in place?

I think you know what we are going to do don't you...
Drop Shannon off and pick her up on the way back?

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Actually I think you meant Erika didn't get any pictures which was kind of intentional because I'm still trying to figure out what was so exciting about the place....
It's sort of like watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. Sometimes it's fun to wallow in the truly craptacular. Hopefully you got to see some jackalopes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Are the Wall Drug billboards (that I’m sure stretch back across the entire state) as entertaining as the ones for “South of the Boarder”, or do the folks in South Dakota show a bit more restraint then the folks in South Carolina?
I think they're more restrained than the SotB billboards. They save the main event for the store itself.

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You failed to mention that the hotel was 1.5 hours away from the Cave which meant it was 1.5 hours further into our drive and 1.5 hours closer to our final destination.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Well that adds a new wrinkle to the conundrum.

Lets see… "Greater Good"… “desires of a 7 year old and… three-plus hours added to the drive”.
Hummmmm… Nope, that’s still a tough one.
That does make it a much tougher call. Especially with gas at $17.39 a gallon or whatever it is.
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