Day Fifty-Three...

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North America » United States » South Dakota » Custer
August 12th 2015
Published: August 19th 2015
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…was a short drive day as far as distance went, but longer because we drove through and stopped several times in Badlands National Park to take pictures.

Wow. It looked like a miniature version of the Grand Canyon. Parts of it also reminded me of eastern Washington. It was super RV friendly. The pull-outs along the windy, twisty road were long enough to accommodate even really long RVs. The parking lots at the scenic overlooks had parking along the curb designed for extra-long vehicles. The main road looping through was nicely paved…no potholes, cracks, crevices or frost heave bumps. There are a few dirt side roads, but they recommend not taking RVs through there as rain may make them impassable. There was plenty to see on the loop road so you didn’t feel like you were missing anything by not exploring the dirt roads.

It was only a couple hours from the Badlands to our campground for the next couple days.

We pulled into the campground and Mike went in to register and pay. Another lesson learned…before you agree to stay there, verify the rates on the website are current. Our site…well, almost all the sites, were down the hill behind the office and pool. Another campground with terraced sites, except this one’s sites weren’t as nice and easy to get into as the other one (the campground with the turkeys). They also weren’t numbered very clearly. The woman on duty gave us site number 501 and showed Mike on a map where it was. We drove to where we thought it was, but there was already someone in it…or maybe they were in site number 642 supposedly around the corner-ish from 501, but the site seemed to be marked with both numbers…very confusing. So we drove further up the lane and backed into one of the many vacant spots and told her what we’d done. One difference between this campground and the other that had terraced sites was the sewer hookup in this campground was actually just inside the site downhill making it super easy to empty the holding tanks. The sewer hookup at the other campground was actually a little UPhill so we had to do the Slinky thing when we emptied them.

It’s a quiet campground with lots of trees. There are even cabins to rent if you don’t have a trailer or tent.
Oreodont FossilOreodont FossilOreodont Fossil

Oreodont fossils are common in Badlands National Park, but it is rare to find a nearly complete specimen like this one. Oreodonts, now extinct, resembled sheep or pigs, but are unrelated.

We arrived early enough in the day we were able to get set up and relax a bit before we met up with my nephew, James. He’s a hydraulics mechanic in the Air Force. We picked him up at the entrance to the Base and took him out to dinner. He chose his favorite sushi/teriyaki place. When he was stationed in Japan last year he really enjoyed authentic sushi. The dish he ordered had a variety of sushi. It was called the Love Boat. Mike and I both ordered teriyaki dishes. When the Love Boat arrived it really was in a shallow wooden boat. I think there were 24 pieces of sushi in it. It looked more like something designed to be shared by everyone at the table. In fact, when the waitress brought it she started to set it in the middle of the table until I told her it was for James. He’s young…a boy…in his twenties…he devoured the Love Boat…ate everything except the shaved ginger, wasabi and the lettuce along the edges of the boat.

While we ate, James talked about his job. Like I said earlier he’s a hydraulics mechanic so he had stories
James and the Love BoatJames and the Love BoatJames and the Love Boat

40 pieces of sushi. FORTY!! He claims the Air Force does feed him.
of “taking hydraulics baths.” Apparently getting sprayed with hydraulic fluid is inevitable because the hoses are under pressure and there’s no way to release the pressure before disconnecting the hoses…and they’re good-sized hoses…with lots of fluid in them. I don’t think it’s so much a bath as it is a shower by the sounds of it.

The older he gets, the more he looks like his dad.

Additional photos below
Photos: 40, Displayed: 24


Nimravid FossilNimravid Fossil
Nimravid Fossil

Nimravids resembled large saber-tooth cats, but they are from a different family, now extinct.
Hesperocyon FossilHesperocyon Fossil
Hesperocyon Fossil

Hesperocyon was one of the earliest members of the dog family, but it looked more like a weasel or mongoose.
Mesohippus FossilMesohippus Fossil
Mesohippus Fossil

Mesohippus, a three-toed horse, lived in open woodlands here 30 to 37 million years ago.
Alligator FossilAlligator Fossil
Alligator Fossil

Alligators were common in this area and throughout North America. As the climate changed, alligators moved to the warm, wet environments of the southeast.
Titanothere FossilTitanothere Fossil
Titanothere Fossil

These huge herbivores resemble modern rhinoceroses but were from a different family. All titanotheres became extinct around 34 million years ago. Many titanothere fossils have been found in this area.
Ammonite FossilAmmonite Fossil
Ammonite Fossil

As the sea receded, ammonites could no longer survive in this area. Ammonites are relatives of octopuses and squid, but with a coiled shell over their bodies. All ammonites went extinct about 65.5 million years ago.

25th August 2015

Hydraulic hoses do have a way of depressurizing... it's just a matter of whether or not you want to take the time to use the pressure relief valve on the reservoir! Sometimes it's just faster if you lose a little fluid and hold a rag over the joint while you loosen it! You just have to be a little smarter than the hydraulic hose to not get wet!!!
27th August 2015

Military...nuff said.

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