Up in Door travel blog

This is western Nebraska

Oglala National Grasslands

Oglala National Grasslands has its own beauty

We figured we must be on the same road the pioneers took...

People out here are hardy

Cat tails strting to fuzz

We stopped at Agate Fossil Beds to learn about bones

Look at all those bones!

Devil's Corkscrew

Cool bridge in South Dakota

Cute little prarie dogs

This bison started heading toward us so we left

Wonderful roads!

Family of deer

Framed view of Mount Rushmore

Beautiful reflection

Graceful pronghorn antelope

Colorful bathroom in our motel tonight


Hill City, SD We headed north through Oglala National Grasslands and followed a gravel road for miles. It was totally treeless and quite pretty. Our destination was Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. Many animals died here after getting stuck in the mud at a water hole 21-19 million years ago. Bones found here are from an entire herd of two-horned rhinoceros. There are also bones of Moropus (7' at the shoulders with a horselike head), and a pig-like creature with bone-crushing teeth called Dinohyus. It is surmised that during a drought, the animals stayed near the diminishing pools of water and ate all the vegetation nearby. They then starved to death as they were too weak to forage farther. We also saw Devil’s Corkscrews - exposed, corkscrew-shaped formations a little bigger than the size of your arm. After some years of debate, scientists figured out that these corkscrews are the fossilized burrows of Paleocastor, a forerunner of modern beavers that lived in colonies like modern prairie dogs. We continued on through Wind Cave National Park and the Custer State Park checking out wild life. It was a big day! We came across 14 antelope, 15 turkeys, 17 deer and 305 bison. Yes, Jim counts them all!

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