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  • J.F. Rowan

Crazy Like A Horse

Our spot for a few days in Hot Springs, SD. Cottonwood Recreation Area.

Leaving Wyoming and moving on into the magical state of South Dakota. Yvette found us a great little spot where we could sit still for a spell and with some great attractions for us to explore in the surrounding area. Cottonwood Lake Recreational Area, another Army Corps of Engineers “Ooops” dam. (“Ooops", because the dam historically holds back faaarrrr less water than it was designed.) Located just outside of Hot Springs, South Dakota, this little gem provided us with everything we needed. A nice quiet spot with plenty of hiking and local activities within a short…okay, relatively short….driving distance.

Cottonwood Lake Recreational Area.

Crazy Horse National Monument-With non-federal money, or influence, this was by far one of the nicest points of interest we’ve seen so far. The history and artifacts within the visitors center alone were worth many times more than the small sum we paid to enter. It was yet another great example of one person's vision and quest to accomplish a goal, no matter how difficult. If you’re within 500 miles of this place, be sure to put it on your list of things to see, even more so than Mt. Rushmore.

Crazy Horse National Monument and Museum

The Mammoth Site is another must-see. Probably the single most densely populated mammoth site in the country, if not the world. This particular site is still actively being studied inside a controlled environment of the building that now encloses it. And, we learned that contrary to all you see whenever the word “Mammoth” is mentioned, there are a few different species other than just the “Woolly” type. The “Colombian Mammoth” seems to be the star attraction here, being almost 1/3 larger than it’s a "Woolly" cousin.

The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD.

We took one of our days and drove into Rapid City to visit the Museum Of Geology at The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. This was probably one of the finest museums of it's kind that we've witnessed thus far. They had it all. We spent about 3 hours there and admittedly, we should have...could have spent much longer. They not only had a very extensive collection of rocks and minerals, but there bone and fossil collections were top notch as well.

Museum Of Geology at The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

Without getting too long in the tooth, it was a great visit. Except when we went into town for a Pizza. Fake cheese. That's all I'm going to say about that. And where to next? A pretty little boon docking spot, that's where.

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