North & South Dakota (and a tiny bit of Wyoming) Devil’s Tower, Wyoming Jan and I made a day trip with her sister Carolyn and her two grand daughters, Renae and Ziann to see Devil’s Tower, it’s not far across the border from South Dakota. They live in Belle Fourche. It was a bit misty and cloudy, but I think it made the tower pictures more interesting! This picture with the two rangers gives you a sense of the tower’s massive size! Renae is on the right and Ziann in on the left. A couple of days after our Devil’s Tower adventure Jan and I had lunch with Caroyn in Spearfish. Ta’Tanka Story of Bison Museum- Deadwood, South Dakota This museum was put together by Kevin Costner over many years. It is the story of the Lakota Indians who he got to know quite well while filming “Dances with Wolves”, and their relationship to the Bison. Ta’Tonka means bull bison. Ta’Tanka is the third largest bronze sculpture in the world! It consists of 17 individual pieces depicting the ingenious way the early Lakota Indians were able to kill so many large Bison with only bows and arrows riding horses bareback, it’s aptly named “the Bison jump”. I’m sure there were plenty of Indian and horse casualties as well in the process! They would herd them toward a cliff and drive them over the edge! It sounds cruel and inhumane to us, but it was a matter of survival for them at the time. If you’re interested you can learn more at storyofthebison.com . Theodore Roosevelt National Park- North Dakota This park is beautiful! The terrain is varied and there’s a multitude of colors in the rock set off by all the green of the prairie grass and trees! The views seem to go on forever! But the main attraction for us was the abundance of wildlife, including these Bison! This poor fellow didn’t make it. We saw him on one of our hikes. It’s obvious he didn’t die in vain though, the scavenger animals make sure of that! Just past the dead bison, we saw “evidence” that there were also live bison on this trail! And critters that make use of said evidence! The Dung Beetles! Our favorite though were the wild horses! So majestic! Don’t panic, the colt is not dead, he’s just napping! Some of the lesser in size wildlife, but still interesting! The fields were teaming with these prairie dogs! And of course ending with a purple flower! Enchanted Highway- North Dakota This was the brainchild of a local artist who thought that putting up a series of giant metal sculptures randomly alongside the byways of the North Dakota rolling plains would entice tourists to venture further into North Dakota. As is obvious by this post it has worked at least once! As you can see in this picture with our truck in the background, they are quite large! By this one of the deer, he also constructed this maze for people to enjoy! We saw one of the locals checking out the giant fish! These rolling hill plains seem to go on forever: it’s like a gigantic rolling lawn! As you can see, these are made from whatever scraps of various metals he could find. According to what we read, before he decided to do this he had never built or welded any thing in metal before! He was self-taught! This picture Jan took of me was the last picture my trusty Nikon D7000 took before it decided it was done. Not to worry, I’ve replaced it with the newer model D7500; I figured 10 years and 60,000+ pictures was pretty good for one camera!