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RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA

Digital Photography: Black Hills, Badlands, and Mount Rushmore Area

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Road Scholar
Program #13984RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Elevations range from 3, 400 feet in Rapid City to approximately 5,700 feet in the Black Hills.

Equipment Requirements
Items to bring with you: Digital camera, at least two memory chips for camera and a Tripod. You must bring the manual for your camera with you and it would be advantageous to you and the rest of the group to be quite familiar with your camera. Pack comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen.

Itinerary for Sep 24 — Sep 29, 2013

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: This 2002 Rapid City hotel is located six long blocks from downtown Rapid City with easy access off I-90, Exit 57, Exit 1C (from east or west) or from highway 79 and Mount Rushmore Road coming from the south.

Contact info:
950 North Street
Rapid City, SD 57701 USA
phone: 888-578-4657 xor6057374656
web: www.hojorapidcity.com

Room amenities: All rooms feature high-speed Internet access, voice mail, in-room coffee, hair dryers, iron/boards and expanded cable with HBO/Showtime.

Facility amenities: There is an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, exercise room, guest laundry and continental breakfast starting at 6:00 a.m. There is not a restaurant at the hotel, snacks are available to purchase or walk three blocks to the nearest restaurant/dining facility.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices vary from $85 to $139.
Contact hotel directly for pre and post room costs, call 888-578-4657 or 605-737-4656.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Tuesday, September 24 - Meet your Road Scholar Director; Photograph four ...
Meet your Road Scholar Director; Photograph four sections of the Berlin Wall and Rose Gardens then visit The Journey Museum ;Dinner and Orientation at the Journey.

Note: Go from the hotel to the Berlin Wall, Rose Gardens and Journey Museum, a distance of about 10 blocks. No hills, sidewalks.

Arrive To: Meet at 4:30 p.m. in the hotel's designated room for the Road Scholar Welcome Reception. At 4:45 p.m., go to The Journey Museum. If your arrival time to the hotel is between 4:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., ask the shuttle driver to take you directly to the museum. If your arrival time is after 6:45 p.m., go directly to the hotel.

Dinner: The Journey Museum takes you on an incredible trek through time, from the violent upheaval that formed the mystical Black Hills over 2.5 billion years ago to the continuing saga of the Western Frontier. The museum brings together four major prehistoric and historic collections to tell the complete story of the Western Great Plains - from the perspective of the Lakota people and the pioneers who shaped its past, to the scientists who now study it. Discover where dinosaurs lie buried beneath the prairie soil, learn why the Sioux called their sacred Black Hills the "Center of the Universe" and experience the hardships of the homesteaders as they settled the formidable wilderness. When your journey is complete, you will fully understand the legacy of the land and its people. You are welcome to take photos at the museum except for one area in the Sioux Indian section (signs will tell you which areas photos are not permitted). Walk back to the hotel with a short stop next to Memorial Pond and the Civic Center to view and take pictures of four sections of the Berlin Wall. Dinner, at the hotel, will be served at 7:00 P.M. A short welcome and orientation will follow dinner.

Lodging: Howard Johnson Express Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: This 2002 Rapid City hotel is located six long blocks from downtown Rapid City with easy access off I-90, Exit 57, Exit 1C (from east or west) or from highway 79 and Mount Rushmore Road coming from the south.

Contact info:
950 North Street
Rapid City, SD 57701 USA
phone: 888-578-4657 xor6057374656
web: www.hojorapidcity.com

Room amenities: All rooms feature high-speed Internet access, voice mail, in-room coffee, hair dryers, iron/boards and expanded cable with HBO/Showtime.

Facility amenities: There is an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, exercise room, guest laundry and continental breakfast starting at 6:00 a.m. There is not a restaurant at the hotel, snacks are available to purchase or walk three blocks to the nearest restaurant/dining facility.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices vary from $85 to $139.
Contact hotel directly for pre and post room costs, call 888-578-4657 or 605-737-4656.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Wednesday, September 25 - Chapel in the Hills Stavkirke; Wall Drug and Badl...
Note: Walking in the Badlands is on boardwalks, dirt paths and some uneven ground.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Visit Chapel in the Hills or Stavkirke Church. Built in 1969, the Chapel is a replica of the famous 841 year-old church built in Borgund, Norway. The structure combines Norse Dragon heads, Christian symbols, fancy roof shingles and pegged-timber construction make the church one of Rapid City’s most photographed landmarks. There also is a grass-roofed Stabbur welcome center and Log Cabin Museum. Time permitting: Walk and photograph some of the Presidents on the street corners in downtown Rapid City. The City of Presidents project began in 2000 to honor the legacy of the American presidency. Each year, four presidential sculptures are added in downtown Rapid City. Each of the sculptures is privately funded, and the pattern of placement was chosen to maintain a coherent structure and eliminate any sense of favoritism or political gain. The project will end in the fall of 2010. The present sculptures were created by five talented South Dakota artists: Edward Hlavka, Lee Leuning, John Lopez, James Michael Maher, and James Van Nuys.

Lunch: Enjoy a buffet lunch in Rapid City.

Afternoon: Travel on to Wall and Wall Drug. Photos are a must at the World Famous Wall Drug. Learn all about the ingenious marketing campaign that started the multi-million dollar business with Wall Drug signs now found all over the world. Take a few minutes to enjoy the multi-million dollar Western Art collection (many originals) displayed in the restaurant section. Continue on to Badlands National Park in the late afternoon to incorporate the optimal light just before sunset. Your photography instructor will give you tips as we travel to the Badlands. With camera in hand, capture the delicately banded colors from several locations. As you wait for the perfect shot, keep in mind how a conservation writer described the region (Badlands) as "peaks and valleys of delicately banded colors-colors that shift in the sunshine....and a thousand tints that color charts do not show" and a paleontologist states, "Fancy yourself on the hottest day in the summer without water, without an animal in sight, without a single flower to speak pleasant things to you and you will have some idea of the utter loneliness of the Badlands." Frank Lloyd Wright said this, "What I saw gave me an indescribable sense of mysterious elsewhere--a distant architecture, ethereal...., an endless supernatural world more spiritual than earth but created out of it." At the Badlands Visitor Center, you will discover how the Badlands formed, the geology, the history and the cultural landscape that made up the entire landscape of the park.

Dinner: Eat your box dinner while waiting for that "perfect lighting shot" of the Badlands.

Evening: Evening free to exchange ideas with others, swim in the pool, or go to bed early. Each evening is also a time to view and choose which pictures to keep and which ones to delete. Overnight at Howard Johnson Express Inn & Suites.

Lodging: Howard Johnson Express Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: This 2002 Rapid City hotel is located six long blocks from downtown Rapid City with easy access off I-90, Exit 57, Exit 1C (from east or west) or from highway 79 and Mount Rushmore Road coming from the south.

Contact info:
950 North Street
Rapid City, SD 57701 USA
phone: 888-578-4657 xor6057374656
web: www.hojorapidcity.com

Room amenities: All rooms feature high-speed Internet access, voice mail, in-room coffee, hair dryers, iron/boards and expanded cable with HBO/Showtime.

Facility amenities: There is an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, exercise room, guest laundry and continental breakfast starting at 6:00 a.m. There is not a restaurant at the hotel, snacks are available to purchase or walk three blocks to the nearest restaurant/dining facility.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices vary from $85 to $139.
Contact hotel directly for pre and post room costs, call 888-578-4657 or 605-737-4656.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Thursday, September 26 - Travel to photo shoot sites: Mount Rushmore, Craz...
Travel to photo shoot sites: Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Fall Foliage and 1880 Train Photos.

Note: Today's field trip photo shoot will require walking and standing boardwalks, sidewalks, wood deck viewing area ranging in elevations between 5,250 to 6,400 feet.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Your photo instructor will be traveling with you the entire week. He will be instructing, providing answer and question time, offering critiques if so desired, and working with each person as you travel and also when you are on location. Each day's lighting, camera settings, places going to and animals to watch for will be covered en route. This morning's photo shoot takes you to Mount Rushmore. The nation's "Shrine of Democracy's" massive granite sculpture that memorializes four American presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Discover why the four presidents were selected, see how the mountain was carved and learn about sculptor Gutzon Borglum and the workers who brought Mount Rushmore to life. Capture shots of these magnificent 60-foot heads from several locations including the terrace, the Presidential Trail or discover your own hidden spot. Be on the lookout for the elusive Mountain Goats that hang out at Mount Rushmore too. Every day while traveling to-and-from photo shoot sites, the on-board instructor will discuss the history, culture, environmental and geology of the areas you are passing through. When it is deemed safe to stop or pull over, unscheduled photo opportunities (different types of animals, seasonal flowers and foliage) will be incorporated.

Lunch: Enjoy your sack lunch along the way.

Afternoon: Travel to Hill City where you will hear the whistle of the 1880 train. Hill City is known for their small town Western Hospitality and a main-street with many fine art galleries and a most impressive dinosaur museum. The 1880 Train station and yard will provide you with a unique opportunity to capture part of the steam locomotive history. The Black Hills mining boom began in 1874 and the first steam engine was brought to the Black Hills in 1881. Continuing on through the Hills, you will have several photo ops along the route for fall colors and a shot of the 1880 Train coming down the tracks. Travel on to Crazy Horse Memorial: A fifth granite face has emerged in the Black Hills. Crazy Horse is the largest sculptural undertaking ever – on a scale with the Egyptian pyramids. When completed, it will tower 563 feet high, 641 feet long and be carved in the round. Watch history in the making as drilling and blasting continue on the rest of the sculpture. In 1939, Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear invited sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve an Indian memorial in the Black Hills. Through Korczak died in 1982, the sculptor’s wife and family continue the non-profit project. Feel the "spirituality of the mountain" as you focus your lens on Chief Crazy Horse.

Dinner: Dinner in Rapid City.

Evening: This evening you are free to exchange ideas with others, swim in the pool, or go to bed early. Each evening is also a time for you to view all those pictures and decide which ones to keep and which ones to delete. Overnight at Howard Johnson Express Inn & Suites.

Lodging: Howard Johnson Express Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: This 2002 Rapid City hotel is located six long blocks from downtown Rapid City with easy access off I-90, Exit 57, Exit 1C (from east or west) or from highway 79 and Mount Rushmore Road coming from the south.

Contact info:
950 North Street
Rapid City, SD 57701 USA
phone: 888-578-4657 xor6057374656
web: www.hojorapidcity.com

Room amenities: All rooms feature high-speed Internet access, voice mail, in-room coffee, hair dryers, iron/boards and expanded cable with HBO/Showtime.

Facility amenities: There is an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, exercise room, guest laundry and continental breakfast starting at 6:00 a.m. There is not a restaurant at the hotel, snacks are available to purchase or walk three blocks to the nearest restaurant/dining facility.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices vary from $85 to $139.
Contact hotel directly for pre and post room costs, call 888-578-4657 or 605-737-4656.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Friday, September 27 - Custer State Buffalo Roundup and The Mammoth Site...
Note: This is the morning you will be competing for the "perfect" place for today's photoshoot of the Roundup. You will be standing and/or sitting (folding sports chairs) out on the hillside. After lunch, observe and photograph the Custer State Park Staff as they brand, vaccinate, cull and check the health of the bison. All roundup activities are outside.

Breakfast: Pick up your continental breakfast at the hotel before departing for the Buffalo Roundup. We leave approximately 5:30 a.m.

Morning: Approximately 5:30 a.m. travel to Custer State Park. This is the morning you will be competing for the "perfect" place for today's photoshoot of the Roundup. You will be standing and/or sitting (folding sports chairs) out on the hillside. Custer State Park covers 71,000 acres, making it one of the largest state Parks in the nation. From its northern sector, in the shadow of 7,242-foot-high Harney Peak, to the forest, meadows and prairies of its southeast corner you can watch for bison, one of the largest publicly owned bison herds in the country numbering between 1,000 to 1,300; pronghorn or antelope; mule and whitetail deer; burros; coyotes; wild turkeys; elk; mountain goats; bighorn sheep and golden eagles. The Custer State Park Annual Buffalo Roundup event (last Monday of September) offers the public to watch the Buffalo passing by as park personnel and cowhands do their best to drive the Park's herd into the Buffalo Corrals. The annual roundup is the first step in preparing part of the herd for the November Buffalo Auction. The annual roundup is conducted to keep the bison population in check with the available grassland forage. The revenues from the sale (about 450 animals) help support the day-to-day operations of the Park. Some Bison facts: Largest land mammal in North America; can stand six feet at the shoulders and weigh over 2,000 pounds; clocked at speeds of 50 mph; bulls can easily push a one-ton opponent backwards; Tatanka, means big or large thing in Lakota; paw the ground and raise their tail as a warning when angry; meat is high in protein but low in cholesterol and calories; and face straight into the storm, whereas domestic livestock face away. Just getting a close up look at those Majestic Bison Bulls is worth the effort of getting up early to head to the park.

Lunch: Today's lunch is a BBQ Sandwich, chips, beans and cookies at the Buffalo Roundup Tent.

Afternoon: At 1:00 p.m. watch the Custer State Park Staff as they brand, vaccinate, cull and check the health of the bison. This is also the time when the Bison are either sent back into the Park or put into separate pens to be sold at the annual Buffalo Auction in November. Mid afternoon: Travel to Hot Springs. Capture one-of-a-kind photos at the world-class Mammoth Site. This is the only facility of its kind in North America and is designated as a National Natural Landmark. It is the world’s largest mammoth research facility. The animals found at the site are exactly where they died. According to Dr. Agenbroad, the Mammoth Site is truly a gift from nature-our inheritance held in trust for over 26,000 years. Once gigantic mammoths roamed freely on the High Plains of North America and their remains, along with those of other animals now extinct, lay undisturbed, entombed within the earth. Scientists estimate the remains of more than 100 mammoths are accumulated in this small area. The majority of fossils found at the Mammoth Site are from the North American Columbian mammoth (over 50). Evidence of three woolly mammoths have also been discovered, making it an “east meets west mammoth gathering” the first time both species have been found together. Other fossils discovered include the camel, llama, giant short-faced bear, wolf, coyote and prairie dog to name a few. The fossils, not petrified, are dry and fragile.

Dinner: Dinner back in Rapid City.

Evening: After the BIG day, it will be tough to decide which Buffalo shots to delete and which ones to keep. If you are on a mental photo overload, just enjoy the swimming pool, sauna or Jacuzzi before retiring after a long but wonderful day.

Lodging: Howard Johnson Express Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: This 2002 Rapid City hotel is located six long blocks from downtown Rapid City with easy access off I-90, Exit 57, Exit 1C (from east or west) or from highway 79 and Mount Rushmore Road coming from the south.

Contact info:
950 North Street
Rapid City, SD 57701 USA
phone: 888-578-4657 xor6057374656
web: www.hojorapidcity.com

Room amenities: All rooms feature high-speed Internet access, voice mail, in-room coffee, hair dryers, iron/boards and expanded cable with HBO/Showtime.

Facility amenities: There is an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, exercise room, guest laundry and continental breakfast starting at 6:00 a.m. There is not a restaurant at the hotel, snacks are available to purchase or walk three blocks to the nearest restaurant/dining facility.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Prices vary from $85 to $139.
Contact hotel directly for pre and post room costs, call 888-578-4657 or 605-737-4656.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Saturday, September 28 - Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway; Roughlock Falls St...
Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway; Roughlock Falls State Park; Devils Tower, WY.

Note: Walking today is mostly flat, some packed dirt trails at Roughlock Falls. Paved trail (uphill in beginning) 1.3 mile walk at Devils Tower.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Travel to Spearfish Canyon this morning for viewing the fall colors of yellow and orange. Spearfish Canyon's Highway 14A is designated as a National Scenic Byway. White limestone cliffs rise on every side. Ponderosa pine look as if they grow out of the rocks. There's a strip of blue sky overhead and rushing Spearfish Creek below. Bridal Veil and Spearfish falls are popular attractions. Roughlock Falls State Park is an idyllic setting in a side canyon to Spearfish Canyon and makes Roughlock Falls one of the most photographed beauty spots in the Black Hills. Little Spearfish Creek flows down a spectacular chasm, then tumbles off a 50-foot limestone ledge in a series of lacy cascades.

Lunch: Sack lunch along the way.

Afternoon: Devils Tower: The National Park Information best describes Devils Tower this way: “In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the new Antiquities Act. About 60 million years ago molten magma was forced into sedimentary rocks above it and cooled underground. As it cooled it contracted and fractured into columns. An earlier flow formed Little Missouri Buttes. Over millions of years, erosion of the sedimentary rock exposed Devils Tower and accentuated Little Missouri Buttes. The Tower rises 867 feet from the base and stands 1,267 feet above the river and 5, 112 feet above sea level. The area of its tear-drop shaped top is 1.5 acres and the diameter of its base is 1,000 feet.” At Devils Tower Visitor Center, you will learn about the geological story of the Tower, the Indian Legend, the human phase of the story, and about the different kinds of birds, animals, trees and plants that thrive in the area. You will have a chance to walk the paved Tower Trail (1.3 miles) around the base of the Tower (walk is optional). Seeing the Tower up close, you may be reminded of Steven Spielberg’s 1977 science fiction movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and Devils Tower.

Dinner: Catered dinner at the hotel. Overnight Howard Johnson Express Inn and Suites.

Evening: Farewell Gathering: After dinner, gather in the hotel meeting room for a short farewell. Share your favorite photos of the week and say "goodbye" to new friends and staff. Then, collapse into bed after re-packing your suitcase that has gotten smaller since you arrived due to the "stuff" that you've accumulated this week. Program concludes with this event and overnight stay.

Lodging: Howard Johnson Express Inn & Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Sunday, September 29 - Continental breakfast. Independent departures.
Breakfast: Continental breakfast available starting at 6:00 AM. Independent departures from hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Rapid City, SD
South DakotaThis is a very busy itinerary, very limited free time during program. Contact program director for pre and post-free time information tailored to individual needs. Transportation by private or rental vehicle pre and post program.
For additional information, visit: www.travelsd.com www.MickelsonTrail.com www.custerstatepark.info www.mammothsite.com

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:
Sep 24 — Sep 29, 2013 waitlist only  

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
10 Field trips
10 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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