Good Times in the Badlands

We arrived in the Black Hills of South Dakota ready to celebrate the 4th of July holiday with fireworks at Mount Rushmore and boy did we get more than we bargained for… black skies and tornado warnings.  Having lived in the desert for so long I’m not used to weather.  It’s either hot, cold or windy.  Not a whole lot in between.  Luckily the huge thunderstorms went all around us with no direct hits.  The worry being that a hail storm could total out the silver bubble in just a few minutes.

© 2011 Richard Broadwell

The next day we drove to the Badlands, what a crazy landscape. The theory that rapid dinosaur extinction followed a gigantic meteor impact was confirmed by the discovery of the 65 million year old Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, the layer of the earth which formed after the asteroid hit the planet.  If the dinosaurs died during the massive impact, why hadn’t paleontologists found any bones in the zone right below the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary?  Well just this week they did!  Yale researchers found a triceratops horn just five inches below the boundary in the Hell Creek formation in Montana.  This same formation lies uncovered in the Badlands.

© 2011 Richard Broadwell

The next day it was off to Custer State Park for the sighting of my first buffalo.  Man that thing was huge and hairy!  It made me cray cray.  I also saw lots of antelope, some elk and deer and even some crazy burros who accosted us in the car looking for handouts.  Hey guys, all scraps go to me!

© 2011 Richard Broadwell

© 2011 Richard Broadwell

 

 

 

 

Custer State Park was where “critter patrol” officially began.

On July 4thwe visited Mount Rushmore along with the mass of humanity.  I guess a few other people had the same idea.  But it was still great, and everybody was dressed in red, white and blue.  No fireworks though because of the fire danger from bark beetle disease.  It was the second year the famed show couldn’t go on.  Oh well, we had more lightning and thunder to look forward to anyway.

© 2011 Richard Broadwell

Can you imagine the thrill when I first looked up at Mount Rushmore and saw my own likeness alongside the Presidents!  What an unexpected honor!  I mean I knew I was an internet star and everything and that my blog was getting thousands of hits a day (I’d gone viral you know).  Hell, I even broke the record of reaching 10 million followers on twitter in the shortest period of time.  Only 1 more million and watch out Bieber!  But I didn’t really expect this honor and I blushed and hemmed and hawed.  The crowd was yelling speech, speech!  And then I woke up… my human was shaking me, something about my snoring.  Hard to believe it was all just a dream…

© 2011 Richard Broadwell

On our way out of South Dakota we drove through the town of Deadwood, it didn’t look anything like the TV show.  But then it was off to Devils Tower just over the Wyoming border.  Now that did look just like the movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”!

I caught a whiff of something and thought it was possible there might actually be aliens inside the tower so I insisted we climb it ourselves to check it out but for some inexplicable reason only humans are allowed to venture close.

© 2011 Richard Broadwell

© 2011 Richard Broadwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

It must be because the superior power of the canine species is so well known and the government knew I would be able to detect their lies so I’m not allowed near.  Hmmm, I think I’ve just uncovered a huge conspiracy!

Coming up next:  Running With The Buffaloes!

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