Monday, September 10, 2012

Of Mammoths and Presidents

Today is a busy day! We started out driving down to the Mammoth Site.

It is a cool site, a sinkhole opened up and filled with warm water drawing in mammoths for a dip. Sadly but to our benefit the walls were too steep and the mammoths couldn't escape.
Almost 60 Mammoths have been unearthed so far mostly Columbian Mammoths with a few Woolies.

The bones are actually bones not fossilized although because they are so old they are still considered fossils. And they are very weak, so as they are un-earthed they are re-enforced.

This pit was found when someone was about to build a big housing development.
Luckily they saw a tooth and the town got together enough money to start a non-profit to take care and develop/study the site.
There is a lot more to be excavated and actually you can come here and they will teach you how to do it and you get to help out. They do most of the excavating over the summer but the site is still open to the public.

You can see the phones on the railings in the pictures, that is how you take the tour so as not to disturb the workers.
My brother had mentioned something like this with dinosaurs which would also be cool to see.

I wish there were more Woolies!
The sink hole is completely contain inside this building a big sky crane crosses the building and can suspend people or things over the pit.
They also have a little museum and you can go downstairs to see the lab's where further work is done on the bones.

Pretty Cool!
After that we visited Jewel Cave National Monument. It is the 2nd longest cave with over 160 miles of explored tunnels.

We did the tour which was only about 1 mile of it.

After that on to Mount Rushmore.
Driving to Mount Rushmore we took a twisty road that was designed to be scenic and when was proposed road engineers said it was going to be impossible. Or rather it would take a lot of dynamite.

The results are cool including several tunnels through solid rock.
Some of the tunnels are designed to frame Mt Rushmore as you drive through them. Will has some pictures which I will post later.

Mt Rushmore itself is kind of cool but we missed the tour because it was too late and we frankly were exhausted!

The cost of Mt Rushmore was apparently only 1 million dollars which seems cheap, that only includes the mountain and now there is a bunch more development here like parking for a zillion people. The monument is free but the parking is 12$ but that gets your car in for an entire year!

It has been a long day and we are driving again tomorrow so we just relax at home for the rest of the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment