Monday, August 21, 2006

Black Hills - Part II

On Thursday, we stayed in the Rapid City area. The orignial itinerary consisted of Storybook Island, Old MacDonald's Farm, The Black Hills Maze, and Dinosaur Park. However, we also had time to visit Bear Country USA and Thunderhead Underground Falls which were originally planned for Sunday. But what are we going to do on Sunday now???

Storybook Island is a free children's park which includes 142 fairytale sets, a children's theatre, train ride and is situated on 6.75 acres. Some characters include Dr Suess, Winne the Pooh, Cinderella, and The Gingerbread Man. It's similar to Wylie Park in Aberdeen.

Then we were on our way to Old MacDonald's Farm. I had never been there so I didn't know what to expect. It was a great place. The kids and I especially had fun! Basicially it's a petting zoo. There's cows, pigs, horses, sheep, donkeys, goats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and more. The kids went on a pony ride and bottle-fed a calf. There are pig races which include five pigs. Some of their names were Sausagawega, Not A Hotdog, and Jimmy Dean. Their treat for finishing the race is cherry kool-aid. It's their favorite. You should see them afterwards. They were all red! The baby goats are allowed to roam free so you get to really interact with them. The kids and I just loved the baby goats!! You can also go into some of the cages of the animals.

Then we were onto The Black Hills Maze. Why I decided we should go here is beyond me because I actually hate mazes. It doesn't take long before I'm lost and feel helpless!! It was very hot that day so that made it that much worse. They said it generally takes one hour and we got through it in 58 minutes. You have to get to each of the four flag towers to get a stamp and then find your way out. There's over 1.2 miles of maze! Then we played Bankshot Basketball. It's a combination of miniature golf, basketball and billiards. The basketball bankboards were all oddly shaped. We also did Water Wars, Tanner and I against Hayley and Dean. We each had 10 water balloons to launch at each other. The rule of the game is that you're not supposed to avoid getting hit. You're supposed to stand there with clenched fists and gritted teeth and take it! Yeah, right! Not me!

Bear Country USA, here we come! This is a drive-through wildlife park. We had some close encounters with some of the animals, mainly the bears. We were about 10 minutes too fast. Had we been slower we would have been able to see feeding time for the bears up close. However, we got to see it from afar which is maybe better! :) At the end, you get to walk around the Babyland loop. We got to see baby bears, foxes, otters, and more.

Then we headed over to Thunderhead Underground Falls. There is a vertical waterfall 600 feet inside a mountain. I was disappointed by this attraction but the surrounding area made up for it. I got some really great pictures. The water gushes at 8 cubic feet per second. It is very loud in there!

Our last stop of the day was Dinosaur Park. It's a free attraction located on Skyline Drive high above Rapid City. We were there at night and it was beautiful to look down over the city. The park includes seven life size replicas of dinosaurs.

FYI - I'm trying to add more pictures but it won't upload them. I will try later.

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