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September 25, 2023 – South Dakota-The Center

We leave Custer State Park to join our Road Scholar group. We stopped at the visitors center to see a film about the park narrated by Kevin Costner.

I loved listening to this babbling brook.
Β  We drove right by Kennedy, Reagan, and George W. Bush. This truly is the land of the Presidents … heads at least!!

There is a Presidents Heads Park outside of Williamsburg. We plan to go there next month. I read that there were three in South Dakota so I was thrilled when we happened to drive past.

The laundromat was hopping today and we joined in for some good clean fun.
Our home for the next week K Bar S Lodge. Wildlife wanders around the grounds but we have yet to see a yellow bellied marmot!!

We meet our group of 40 people from all over the USA. Our tour guide, Mike, gives us an introduction to South Dakota.

Geology is illustrated with six distinct layers from the river to the highest point at Black Elk Peak.

Belle Fourche, SD, is the center of the 50 states. South Dakota is truly the center of everything, the crossroads of everything.

B.C. means Before Custer. Everything seemed to change when he arrived on the scene.

Prior to 1880 it was called the American Serengeti. There are overlapping eco regions:

Mountains – the black Hills are the Eastern edge of the Rockies with the same geology and evergreen trees.

Deciduous Forest – Western part of Eastern deciduous forests with trees such as oak and ash.

Boreal Forest – Southwesternmost part of the boreal forests of spruce and birch.

Desert – Northeastern part of the desert which brings cactus.

Grasslands – mixed prairie grass which is rare.

A whistle from an 1880 steam engine brings us running. The sound of adventure. My mother always loved the sound of a train because it meant that someone was going somewhere.

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