Mammoths, Mammoths, Everywhere!

This was supposed to be the day of seeing new things. Well at least for some of us. Our friends, Steve and Nancy, had told us about this really cool place called Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Since we were kind of going to be in the area because we were going to Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse we thought we could squeeze it in too.

Well if you have been following along you would have noticed that things don’t seem to always go as planned for us.

First off we got up to snow.

We went across the street to gas up first, then pulled over to the side to wait. Dan and Heather pull up to the pump next. As we watch we see Linda trying to drive up a small hill in the van that is not the exit. She gets stuck. Then Jim tries to fix it but no help. I radio The Diaper Pail Kids, Heather and Dan, to tell them that Linda is stuck already. Then Heather noticed that her phone is missing. I wonder which one of my sweet little girls got their hands on it? We drive back across the street. I run in and explain we are missing a phone. I get a key for the room and find the phone under the blankets on one of the beds. Yeah, the phone is found. We finally get everyone on the road heading to Mammoth Hot Springs.

Gas was $2.59 a gallon. We only needed 4.3 gallons which cost us $11.13. We are not getting the gas mileage we got on our Texas trip but we are loaded.

We stopped at 10:30 at Moorcroft where we took Highway 16 for 130 miles to Mammoth Hot Springs.

It snowed just enough to make a slushy mess. Every time a vehicle passed us, which happened a lot cause we were going 55 in an 80, we got slush all over our windshield.

At 12:30 we stopped for gas again. We all grabbed some sandwiches to eat on the road. Gas here was $2.49 a gallon. We needed 10.73 gallons this time with a price of $26.81.

We finally arrived at the Mammoth Site.

This place is amazing. I always thought that there just only one kind of Mammoth but I found out that there is the Columbian, which is much bigger than the Wooly Mammoth. The Wooly Mammoth was actually smaller than an African Elephant. Then there was the Pigmy Mammoth.

I just kept seeing more and more amazing things. I just was snapping photos everywhere.

This is a working site. I think it would be amazing to get to work on this site with a small trowel, toothbrush and a paint brush.

It was first discovered by a heavy equipment operator in June of 1974. They have slowly been unburying this site. They discovered that there had been a hot springs here. The sides of the spring were slick but because of the heat there was nice grass growing along the edges. It is believed that the Columbian Mammoth would try to reach the grass then slipping on the side would fall into the hot springs. This is believed because they have found complete bodies without heads. The mammoth tried to get out but couldn’t get a grip. It would finally die with its head out of the water. Then either other animals or just nature had made the head disappear. It was also funny because they were all male mammoths. I believe as of today they have found 62.

Heather and the girls got to ride the elevator.

We went into another room after the tour where there was different types of bison displayed.

You can even go down to the lab and see what is going on but we didn’t have time because we still wanted to get to Mt Rushmore. We were there from 2:30 to 3:15. We could have spent a lot more time there.

Even the Flat Ole Hippies enjoyed their visit to Mammoth Site Hot Springs.

We take this back road to Mt Rushmore. It starts to snow then everyone stops ahead of us. We sit as we figure out why we are stopped. Dan gets out of his rig. Then his dad Jim gets out of his. We sit and watch all this. Next thing we know Linda is out of her van and Dan is turning it around.

I on the other hand sit in our car and take photos.

Then a fireman stops behind us. Of course, we are blocking traffic so there are a couple cars behind us. He tells Dan that he is turning around to drive up the worse hill. He says we should keep going the way we are. Dan then turns the van with the bug around to head back in the direction we were going. We are off again.

I was expecting some huge hill but it was only a small one. I am not sure what the problem was there.

Then we went through the coolest tunnel.

By now it was 4:30 and Mt Rushmore closed at 5. We headed straight to Deadwood. It was late once again, so we unloaded and went to eat dinner. Then back to the hotel and to bed.

Thanks for stopping by!

Author: olehippies

I am a freelance travel writer and photographer. I love to travel with my loving husband. I like to see how the locals live better than going on tours. I love reading and will be reviewing books for everyone.

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