Friday, July 14, 2006

Hot Springs, South Dakota

Today we drove 30 miles to Hot Springs. Amazing the difference in the countryside in so short a distance. Custer is about 5300 altitude and Hot Springs is about 3400. Custer is rolling hills with lots of pine trees - Hot Springs is grassy, rolling hills with no trees and hotter than Custer. Hot Springs is a pretty little town with most of its old buildings made out of a reddish sandstone.

We went to the Mammoth site - really interesting. They’ve discovered about 55 fossil mammoths so far as well as other animals. The entire site is inside a building so the photos didn’t come out too great - too dark. It was originally a sinkhole that animals got stuck in because the sides were too steep and rocky to climb out of. The one photo above is a replica of the sinkhold. The fossil photo is a prehistoric bear that was 15' high when standing upright.

We drove back to Hot Springs for lunch then walked across the street and down a pathway along side a small creek and by a small waterfall. At the end of the path is the Kidney Springs Gazebo. The mineral spring has been running for ages and the Indians used it as a gathering place.


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