Monday, June 8, 2015

All In The Name of Science

Back on the road, a lone bison ventured onto the highway, as hundreds more bison and their young grazed on the grassy hills nearby. Wind Cave National Park is home to one of the four remaining genetically pure, free-range bison herds in North America. We watched two bulls wrestle for dominance, and young calves trail along behind their mothers, before piling back into the truck en route to Mount Rushmore.

Jeff had wanted to see Mount Rushmore since he was a boy, so we headed to South Dakota as a very lengthy side trip on our way to Yellowstone to start the CDT. With less than 24 hours to spend in South Dakota, we tried to cram in as much as possible, stopping at the Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore, and the Museum of Geology (and paleontology) at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (What can I say: my daughter really likes rocks!)

But we left with so much left unexplored: Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, the Mammoth Site (an active paleontological site  and museum where the remains of more than 60 mammoths have been recovered), Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, and many more. Not to mention a fun looking climbing area near Mount Rushmore National Memorial. 

Back on the road to Yellowstone, we stopped to check out the Ice Cream Cafe in Gillette so we could compare it to the best ice cream ever at the Big Dipper in Laramie. A sort of scientific experiment for ice cream aficionados.

The scent of freshly baked waffle cones greeted us when we pulled open the door. We sampled several interesting flavors before making our selections. Sierra deemed the freshly baked waffle cone even better than the cones at the Big Dipper, but we both agreed that the homemade ice cream at the Ice Cream Cafe, although sweet, creamy, and delicious, was not quite up to the incredibly high bar set by the Big Dipper's perfect scoops. 

We enjoyed our ice cream anyway, even as we planned the next step in our scientific search for the perfect scoop. Oh, the sacrifices we make in the name of science!!

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