A Travellerspoint blog

Bear Country USA

8 miles from Rapid City, on 250 acres in the black hills, is the world's largest collection of privately owned black bears and also 20 species of North American mammals. They also have an area around a 1/4 mile walkway, called "Babyland" where you can stroll through and get a close-up view of baby Cubs. I stayed there watching them for so long I hardly had the time to see some of the other baby animals! They were so active, wrestling and climbing trees, so cute and so much energy! The bear cubs are born in early January while the mothers are still in hibernation. The Cubs stay with their mothers for 8 weeks, then in early March, Bear Country handlers remove the Cubs from their dens and staff members bottle feed the babies for another 6-8 weeks. There are three reasons for this, survival rate, manageability and marketability. In the wild 0nly 40% of cubs see the end of their first year. At bear Country, it's 90% - By human imprinting at 2 months, they are easier to handle.

Bear Country U.S.A.

Bear Country U.S.A.


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Babyland

Babyland


Cubs are great tree climbers

Cubs are great tree climbers


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Four at a time


Bear cubs up a tree

Bear cubs up a tree


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Love the colors!

Love the colors!


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Bear has right-of-way

Bear has right-of-way


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Red Fox

Red Fox


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Two Red Fox


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Observation Tower

Observation Tower


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Buffalo


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Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Mount Rushmore

America's Shrine of Democracy - Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face Rushmore Mountain near Keystone, South Dakota. It has 60 foot sculptures of the heads of four Presidents of the United States. George Washington (1732-1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). They don't charge an entrance fee, but they charge for parking your vehicle. We were dropped off in front of the entra...nce, not too crowded, except for inside the gift shop and visitor's center.

The Welcome Entrance, the walk of the flags, has 56 U.S. state and territories flags displayed on the way to the Grand View Terrace. We walked the President's walking Trail, about .6 mile, lots of stairs ( 422 steps) but a great view of the sculptures from a different view from below. There's a look-out area where you get a great view of Washington's profile. That led to the Sculptor's Studio, the doorway was crowded and we didn't wait to go in. This studio is where Gutzon Borglum worked from 1939 to 1941, refining his scale model of Mount Rushmore. The model is displayed inside the studio. There is an elevator to go down under the Grand View Terrace, this area has two theaters, a museum and a bookstore. The film "Mount Rushmore, The Shine" is shown every 20 minutes in each theater. The museum exhibits were very interesting, about the story of Gutzon Borglum, the creator of Mount Rushmore and the workers who helped.

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Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Custer State Park

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Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Blackland National Park

blacklansds

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Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Wall Drug

Wall Drug is in a small town in Wall, South Dakota. It started as a pharmacy in 1931, when the town's population was only 231. This was during the Great Depression and business was almost non-existent. The store owner's wife had an idea, there was all those tourist driving toward Mount Rushmore, why not offer travelers free ice water! I would guess they didn't have bottled water in those days! It was a great idea, they now get 20,000 people a day, during the summer , stop in, for the free water, the 5 cent coffee, and free bumper stickers. They have billboards everywhere, all over South Dakota, and surrounding states. They give out signs and people take them back with them all over the world.

It is the biggest tourist trap I have ever seen! An hour there is about right to look around, have some lunch and get out there and NEVER return, ever!

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Posted by 2seniortraveler 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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