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Wilson’s Blog

Today near the Badlands in South Dakota my brother Ditch and I explored a lot. After seeing the faces in Mt. Rushmore and the prairie dogs in the Badlands, we drove our van to go a place that is dark and where bats fly around.

It rhymes with brave! It’s CAVE.

Ditch and I went to Black Hills Cave. It has two different parts – the Jewel Cave and the Wind Cave. The Jewel Cave has very sparkly jewels hanging from the ceilings. Jewels called crystals.

Then we went to other part of cave, the Wind Cave. All Ditch said was “Where is the wind? I see the cave but where is the wind?” Inside the cave – it’s very big – it was windy. Ditch finally stopped asking.

By the ways, the Wind Cave is 4th largest cave in all the world!

Have you ever seen over one thousand animals running around all together? We did today.

Over one thousand bisons – big strong bisons – were running and making the ground shake. It felt like little earthquake but was a bison-quake.

Cowboys and cowgirls try to get all the bison to stop running and get in a big group together in one area. Ditch and I ate popcorn when we watched the stomping bisons.

You can’t believe what kind of building we went to! It’s called the Corn Palace. True fact! It’s in South Dakota.

Since 1921 this big building has had its outside walls covered with art murals made of pieces of corn! Ditch wanted to eat the corn. The Corn Palace guards stopped him and told him where he could buy a good hamburger.

Apple Pie Picks

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of America’s most famous monuments. The faces of four great American Presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, are carved in the solid granite mountainside in the Black Hills of Keystone, South Dakota. Visit the museum inside the memorial, watch a 13-minute show that tells the story of the making of Mount Rushmore, go to the Grandview Terrace for the best views of the Memorial, or take a hike along the Presidential Trail to get up close and personal to the Fab Four.

Badlands National Park

Although originally named “mako shika” meaning, “the land that is bad,” by The Lakota Indians, the beauty of this place is anything but “bad.” It is awesome! This 244,000-acre park is home to some of the world’s oldest and best mammal fossil beds. Enjoy the buttes, pinnacles, gulches, ridges and spires in the scenery, all left behind from millions of years of water erosion. The park also contains over 100,000 acres of grassy prairie land, a tipi village, scenic drives, hiking trails, and the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Animals you may encounter in the park include; bison, bighorn sheep, ferrets, antelope, badgers, grouse, rattlesnakes, foxes and plenty of birds to watch. If you want to see inhabitants “barking” at each other and protecting their underground tunnel “town,” then visit Robert’s Prairie Dog Town where you can see black-tailed prairie dogs in action.

Crazy Horse Memorial

The Lakota Indians began working on this huge monument to American Indian Chief Crazy Horse in 1948 as a tribute to their chief. Although it is still a work in progress, when it is finished it will be the world’s largest sculpture carved in the round at 563 feet high and 641 feet long. At the bottom of the mountain, is the Indian Museum of North America, where you can learn about Native American culture.

Presidents Walk

Located in downtown Rapid City, The Presidents Walk is a collection of city blocks with life-size bronze statues of many of our past Presidents. The walk is 17 blocks long, with a different President on each corner. Each President is represented in a unique way; some are shown with their children or dogs, some sitting and one even wearing a cowboy hat. Find your favorite presidents along the tree-lined streets.

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Local Chow

Native American Frybread

Frybread is a Native American food found throughout the United States. Frybread was named the official "state bread" of South Dakota in 2005. Frybread is a flat dough, deep-fried in oil, shortening, or lard, and topped with powdered sugar or honey for a sweet treat. Frybread can also be served with other toppings such as meat for a meal. Frybread can be found at state fairs, in American Indian homes and at annual powwows held throughout the Heartland of America.

"I'm going to put beans on my fry bread."

"I'm going to put fry bread on my fry bread and then top it with fry bread."

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Digging History


French explorers visit the area and claim the region for France.


The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France.


The Treaty of Fort Laramie, an agreement between the United States and the Lakota nation, Yanktonai Sioux, Santee Sioux, and Arapaho is signed.


The Custer Expedition travels to South Dakota and finds gold in the Black Hills.


Originally known as “Hay Camp,” the city of Rapid City is founded.


The U.S. government takes back the Black Hills from the Lakota people, breaking the Laramie Treaty.


The first railroad steam locomotive train comes to the Black Hills.


The city of Rapid City is incorporated.


South Dakota is admitted to the Union.


Scultptor, Gutzon Borglum, begins work on Mount Rushmore.


Washington's face on Mount Rushmore is completed and officially dedicated.


Thomas Jefferson’s face on Mount Rushmore is dedicated.


Abraham Lincoln’s face on Mount Rushmore is dedicated.


Theodore Roosevelt’s face on Mount Rushmore is dedicated.


Mount Rushmore is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The Supreme Court of the United States rules the government of the United States illegally stole the Black Hills from the Sioux people when they took back the Black Hills that belonged to the Sioux.

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