22815
South Dakota/North Dakota

Best of the Dakotas

Watch for bison along winding roads in the Black Hills and take in moonscape views in the Badlands as you explore the history and heritage of the Dakotas from the Ice Age to today.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22815RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
2,199
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10 days
9 nights
21 meals
8 B 8 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Rapid City, South Dakota
D
Holiday Inn Rapid City-Rushmore Plaza

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Driving approx. 3 miles over a period of 1.5 hours, with stops. Walking about 1 mile on flat city sidewalks.

Afternoon: Program Registration. 4:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, meet us at 4:30p.m.in the assigned private reception room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. We'll gather with our Group Leaders in the hotel's designated meeting room and after a short introduction, we will board the motorcoach headed for downtown Rapid City, "The City of Presidents." On a walking field trip led by our Group Leaders, we will view and learn about some of the Presidential Statues located on the main streets of downtown Rapid City. Begun in 2000, the City of Presidents project was undertaken by the city and carried out by 6 artists to honor the legacy of the American presidency. Each of the bronze, life-size statues was privately funded and the artists whom were chosen extensively researched the lives of each president so that each statue would give insight into the personality and the presidency of its subject. Before returning to the hotel, we’ll also stop at the outdoor informational signage which provides insight into the two sections of the Berlin Wall that are set here.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a buffet dinner featuring an entrée, salad, vegetable, and dessert with beverage choices of water, decaf coffee, and ice tea. Additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Unless specified otherwise, transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach, which will require going up/down a few steps. We will walk between 2 and 4 miles each day depending on local circumstances. When transferring between hotels, participants will be responsible for transporting their own luggage from the hotel to the motorcoach and vice versa. On the Road programs are journeys by motorcoach that take participants to multiple study sites in a region with a number of overnight stays. Lectures, talks, discussions, field trips, and on-board commentary amplify the program theme. Some transfers involve great distances and may take hours, others are much shorter. Long or short, On the Road journeys are learning experiences that make the most of our time together. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead.

DAY
2
Mount Rushmore & evening lighting, Crazy Horse, Mammoth Site
Rapid City, South Dakota
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Rapid City-Rushmore Plaza

Activity note: Driving a total of approx. 65 miles throughout the day with stops. Walking about 2 miles throughout the day on easy, level sidewalks. Optional Mount Rushmore Presidential Trail walk is a ½ mile and includes 140 steps each way.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel in a private dining room. Buffet: Fruit, eggs, toast, pastries, breakfast meat, juice, hot tea, and coffee. Additional beverages for purchase are available.

Morning: "Rock Talk" lecture by a local Geologist, covering the areas in which we will travel on our Road Scholar adventure. Board the motorcoach and travel to Mount Rushmore National Memorial where 4 of the United States’ most iconic presidents are immortalized on the side of a mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Their 60-foot stone faces represent the democratic achievements of the USA holding fast with determination in a rugged environment. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt tower majestically above the Grandview Terrace, proud in American idealism and recognizable the world over. While here, you may wish to walk the optional self-led ½ mile Presidential Trail that loops along the base of the mountain that includes 140 steps each way. At the interpretive center, we’ll discover why these 4 presidents were selected, see how the mountain was carved by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, and learn about the workers who brought Mount Rushmore to life. Between 1927 and 1941, Gutzon Borglum and approximately 400 workers sculpted the 60-foot busts of the Presidents.

Lunch: At Mount Rushmore in the cafeteria, we’ll have a choice of entrée, side dish, and dessert plus one non-alcoholic drink. Additional beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Continuing by motorcoach, we’ll go to see the 5th granite face that has emerged in the Black Hills: the Crazy Horse Memorial. The colossal Crazy Horse mountain carving is now in progress and 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. In 1939, Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear invited sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve an Indian memorial in the Black Hills. Though Korczak died in 1982, the sculptor’s family continues the non-profit project. Enjoy an Expert- led tour with one of Crazy Horse's local guides! The guide will lead us around the complex and offer commentary before we have some time to have a look around on our own.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a buffet dinner featuring an entrée, salad, vegetable, and dessert with beverage choices of water, decaf coffee, and ice tea. Additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Enjoy leisure time on your own, take a swim in the hotel pool or soak in the hot tub or just relax and enjoy your evening! Another busy day tomorrow.

DAY
3
Stave Kirke Chapel, Custer State Park
Rapid City, South Dakota
B,L
Holiday Inn Rapid City-Rushmore Plaza

Activity note: Driving a total of approx. 69 miles throughout the day with multiple stops. Walk about 2 miles today on sidewalks and flat terrain.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel in a private dining room. Buffet: Fruit, eggs, toast, pastries, breakfast meat, juice, hot tea, and coffee. Additional beverages for purchase are available.

Morning: We’ll transfer from the hotel to the Chapel in the Hills in Rapid City, which is a replica of the Borgund Stavkirke of Laerdal, Norway. Built in 1969, the Chapel is an exact model of the famous 842 year-old Scandinavian church whose structure combines Norse Dragon Heads, Christian symbols, fancy roof shingles and a pegged-timber construction. There also is a grass-roofed Stabbur welcome center and Log Cabin Museum. Watch for deer and wild turkeys that roam the chapel grounds. The Chapel in the Hills staff will give a talk in the Chapel about the history of the Chapel, how it was built and why, and the significance of the Chapel today. Next, we’ll travel to Custer State Park visitors center. Upon arrival, we’ll watch a film about Custer State Park and, if there is time, we will enjoy some independent exploration to peruse the exhibits. Custer State park which 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 forests, meadows and prairies of its southeast corner, Custer State Park offers a splendid route featuring pigtail bridges, granite tunnels that frame the faces of Mount Rushmore, and curves that wind along a road experts said couldn't be built. Watch for bison as they may be part of one of the largest publicly owned bison herds in the country numbering between 1,000 to 1,200. Other wildlife includes pronghorn or antelope, mule and whitetail deer, burros, coyotes, wild turkeys, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and golden eagles. En route to the visitor center, our Group Leader will provide commentary on our surroundings. Upon arrival, we’ll watch a film about Custer State Park and, if there is time, we will enjoy some independent exploration to peruse the exhibits.

Lunch: Buffet lunch at historic Game Lodge in Custer State Park. Items may include: Buffalo stew, 2 entrées, salads, bread and assorted desserts. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: Continue to the Mammoth Site. Discover the Mammoths and experience America’s greatest Ice Age Treasure at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. The Mammoth site, with a 36,000 square foot visitor center, is an in-situ (bones left as found) Ice Age museum containing the largest concentration of Columbian and Woolly Mammoths found in their primary context in the world. Imagine walking the edges of a 26,000-year-old sinkhole where mammoths, short face bear, mountain lions, and wolves once walked. The Muller Exhibit Hall features fascinating exhibits: a full-sized Columbian mammoth replica, a walk-in bone shelter, and skeletons of now-extinct carnivores; the giant short-faced bear and the American lion. Get a glimpse of the scientific work conducted downstairs in the state of the art lab. The Mammoth Site has been featured on Discovery Channel, CBS and NBC Evening News, Today Show, BBC Television programs, and in many magazines, including National Geographic. The site has co-hosted international symposiums and conferences, as well as published scientific Quaternary research books. Continue exploring Custer State Park

Dinner: Enjoy the evening in downtown Rapid City and support local business' where you can choose from a variety of local restaurants and types of cuisine or enjoy dinner at the hotel and the evening at your leisure.

Evening: After dinner, people watch or take a stroll through historic downtown Rapid City.

DAY
4
Wall Drug, Badlands National Park, Minuteman Missile
Pierre, SD
B,L
ClubHouse Inn & Suites

Activity note: Driving a total of approx. 210 miles, about 6.5 hours drive time, with multiple stops. Walk about 2 miles on flat sidewalks and boardwalks. Participants are responsible for carrying their own luggage from the hotel to the coach.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel in a private dining room. Buffet: Fruit, eggs, toast, pastries, breakfast meat, juice, hot tea, and coffee. Additional beverages for purchase are available.

Morning: We’ll check out of the hotel and go from Rapid City to Pierre via Wall, SD and the vast open spaces of Badlands National Park. While in Wall, we’ll stop at Wall Drug Store and learn from our Group Leader all about the ingenious marketing campaign that started the multi-million dollar business. As a testament to their success, Wall Drug signs can now be found all over the world. Take a few minutes to enjoy the extensive Western Art collection with many originals displayed in the restaurant section and locate the actual brands of local ranchers embedded in the wood walls of the dining area. Continuing, we’ll enjoy the beautiful scenery as we drive through Badlands National Park with commentary provided by our Group Leader. The Lakota Indians knew the place as “mako sica” while early French trappers called the area “les mauvaises terres a traverser”; both mean "bad lands." A conservation writer, Freeman Tilden, described the region as "peaks and valleys of delicately banded colors-colors that shift in the sunshine....and a thousand tints that color charts do not show." Palaeontologist Thaddeus Culbertson had another reaction: "Fancy yourself on the hottest day in summer in the hottest spot of such a place without water--without an animal and scarce an insect astir--without a single flower to speak pleasant things to you and you will have some idea of the utter loneliness of the Bad Lands." This area is one of the richest in fossils in the world ranging from the massive rhinoceros, Metamynodon, to a small squirrel-like rodent called Ischromys. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright said this: "I've been about the world a lot, and pretty much over our own country, but I was totally unprepared for that revelation called the Dakota Bad Lands...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."

Lunch: Enjoy lunch in Badlands National Park.

Afternoon: Continue on to the Minuteman Missile Visitors Center where you will learn more about the Intercontinental Ballistics system and the role it played in the Cold War. Continue our travel across the wide open spaces of South Dakota, we’ll reach the capital city, Pierre where we will learn from our Group Leader about the Lewis & Clark Expedition. We'll arrive to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy dinner and the evening on your own. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to take a walk along the Missouri River just a couple of blocks from the hotel possibly envisioning meeting Lewis and Clark or just stay in and relax at the hotel enjoying its amenities.

DAY
5
South Dakota Capitol and Museum, Oahe Dam, Paddlewheel Boat
Pierre, SD
B,L,D
ClubHouse Inn & Suites

Activity note: Driving to locations within a 10 mile radius of the hotel; about 2 hours throughout the day. Walk about 2 miles on flat sidewalks and inside buildings; some stairs at the dam.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel hospitality room. Self-serve style: Oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, breakfast cereals, eggs, toast, pastries, juice, hot tea, and coffee. Additional beverages for purchase are not available.

Morning: We’ll embark on a field trip to South Dakota’s state capitol building where a local expert will lead us through the impressive Greek Ionic structure which was built in 1910, at a cost of just under $1,000,000. The elaborate interior includes marble wainscoting and columns, a terrazzo tile floor, Victorian leaded glass and glass door fixtures that create a grand and distinguished look. Adjacent to the grounds sits Capitol Lake, an artesian lake that serves as a resting place for thousands of migratory geese each fall. Nearby stand the WW II, Korean and Vietnam Memorials, and the flaming fountain that glows perpetually, as a memorial to all veterans. Take a walk past the Fighting Stallions Memorial, built as a lasting tribute to the eight South Dakotan's who lost their lives in a plane crash on April 19, 1993. As we walk by and pay our respects, our Group Leader will provide some deeper insight on these structures. Next, we’ll visit the South Dakota State Historical Museum and Cultural Heritage Center where we will learn about "Oyate Tawichoian" or "the ways of the people" of South Dakota. Museum staff will introduce us to the state-of-the-art exhibits which bring the American Indian and pioneer, as well as the political and military history of South Dakota, to life. We’ll then have some time for independent exploration.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy a tasty lunch buffet including dessert and choice of coffee, ice tea, soda, or water. Additional beverages are not available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll see, hear and witness the power of water at Oahe Dam, one of the largest earth-rolled dams in the world, which creates the fourth largest artificial reservoir in the United States. Its primary purpose is supplying hydro electric power to many Midwestern states as well as providing irrigation, recreation, conservation and flood control. Oahe Dam was dedicated on August 17, 1962 by President John F. Kennedy and the word “oahe,” although it was once the name of a Christian mission, is actually a Sioux Native American word meaning "a foundation," or " a place to stand on." Upon arrival at the visitor center, we’ll see a short introductory film and meet our local expert who will lead us through parts of the facility including the spillway, intake units, and the power generating area. Next, we will discover the significance of the Verendrye Plate with a visit to see the monument marking where it was unearthed. This artifact could have claimed the area for France if it was found at an earlier time and, if it was, the history of America could have been quite different. The lead plate was buried on the hillside in present day Fort Pierre around 1742 and was discovered in 1913. It is the first written record of white men visiting South Dakota. Afterwards, we will see the monument that stands at the actual site commemorating where the entire Lewis & Clark Journey could have ended: The Bad River in Fort Pierre, South Dakota. We will return to the hotel late afternoon.

Dinner: Savor the beauty and romance of Pierre's skyline aboard the last authentic Paddle-wheeler on the Missouri River while enjoying dinner.

Evening: Evening presentation relating to the Lewis and Clark Journey.

DAY
6
Standing Rock Reservation, Fort Lincoln
Bismarck, ND
B,L
Hampton Inn Bismarck

Activity note: Driving about 210 miles, approx. 7 hours, with stops. Walk about 2 miles on flat terrain; some stairs at Custer House. Getting on/ off a boat; the ride is up to 1.5 hours depending on the weather/wind; restrooms on board. Participants are responsible for carrying own luggage to and from the coach.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel hospitality room. Self-serve style: Oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, breakfast cereals, eggs, toast, pastries, juice, hot tea, and coffee. Additional beverages for purchase are not available.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll travel from Pierre, South Dakota to Bismarck, North Dakota, often alongside the Missouri River. En route, we’ll learn from our Group Leader about the land, agriculture, cattle and the people who live and work here. We’ll make a quick stop near Mobridge, SD at an Indian Casino before continuing our travel along the Missouri River and the shore of Lake Oahe within Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, which spans land on both sides of the border between South and North Dakota. Approximately 8,500 people, mainly members of the Dakota and Lakota nations, live on the reservation that was officially established on March 2, 1889. While at the granite commemorative site dedicated to Sitting Bull, a Hunkpapa Teton spiritual leader, we will hear his life story and engage in a discussion as to the significance of his final resting place.

Lunch: At the Prairie Knights Casino, owned and operated by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, we’ll have a delicious buffet lunch.

Afternoon: Continuing by motorcoach, we’ll explore the 75-acre Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park which contains reconstructions of General George Custer's home, infantry blockhouses, a commissary and an On-A-Slant Indian Village. Led by a local expert, we’ll find out about the peaceful Mandan Indians that originally inhabited the village between 1650 and 1750 and get to go through the on-site Indian Earth Lodges. In the early 1870s, infantry and cavalry posts were established here to protect frontier settlements and railroad surveyors. It was from Forth Lincoln on May 17, 1987, that General George Custer and the 7th Cavalry rode out on the ill-fated campaign against the Plains Indians at the battle of Little Bighorn. Furthermore, we’ll discover the real story of General and Mrs. Custer on the plains through the high-energy interpretive visit to a replica of Custer's House. We’ll then make our way to a dock on the Missouri River where we will board a riverboat.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy dinner and the evening on your own. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: Evening at leisure

DAY
7
State Capitol, Heritage Museum, Medora
Medora, ND
B,L,D
Rough Riders Hotel

Activity note: Todays driving distance, approx. 190 miles, 8 hours, with multiple stops throughout the day. Walk about 2 miles; several stops to stand and listen to interpretive speakers both indoor and outdoors.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel hospitality room. Self-serve style: Oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, breakfast cereals, eggs, toast, pastries, juice, hot tea, and coffee. Additional beverages for purchase are not available.

Morning: We’ll depart the hotel via motorcoach and learn from the on-site capitol interpreter why the capitol is considered the Skyscraper of the Prairies through comprehensive insight into the history, culture and political aspects of North Dakota. The 19-story capitol was built in the early 1930s for just $2 million and, as such, it ranks as one of the nation’s most practical and economically built state capitols. This art-deco structure is enhanced by a unique blend of raw materials, including Indian limestone, Montana Yellowstone, Belgian and Tennessee marble, Honduras mahogany, East Indian rosewood, laurel wood, English brown oak and Burma teak. The State Capitol grounds also offer a unique opportunity to view the statue of Sakakawea (local spelling) and her baby, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Next, we’ll walk across the parking lot to visit the North Dakota Heritage Center Museum where the Corridor of Time gallery depicts life during the Late Cretaceous and Early Paleocene periods along with paleontological exhibits. Museum staff will greet us and provide an overview of the museum before opening up the rest of the morning for independent exploration of the exhibits. A First People's section describes and answers who the first people in the area were and how they arrived here. Other galleries focus on the introduction of Euro-Americans to the area, agricultural methods, sociopolitical influences, Native American history and an impressive natural history exhibit.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the ND Hertiage museum. Additional beverages not available for purchase.

Afternoon: Enjoy the beauty and vastness of the croplands and prairie as we travel along the way, we’ll also get to see North Dakota's Enchanted Highway, 32 miles of soaring, metal sculptures that qualify as some of the largest in the world. As unusual as they are enjoyable, these monstrosities are unquestionably must-see Americana Road Art.

Dinner: At Pitchfork Steak Fondue, a renowned attraction, where the chefs literally put steaks on pitchforks and fondue them, Western-style. A “buffet only” option is available for those who prefer an alternative to steak. Meals come with a selection of side dishes including vegetables, fruit and desserts, plus lemonade, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. As we dine, look out over the Badlands while being serenaded by performers from the “Medora Musical.”

Evening: Attend the Greatest Show in the West! The Medora Musical is recognized as one of the Top 10 Events in North America by the American Bus Association. Enjoy family entertainment in the outdoor 2,852 seat Burning Hills Amphitheatre surrounded by the splendor of the North Dakota Badlands. This professionally produced, high energy, Western style musical is proudly dedicated to the legacy of America's 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt, and the time he spent in the North Dakota. The show pays tribute to American patriotism and the old-west way of life. Watch the breathtaking extravaganza of real horses, cowboys and an exciting array of song and dance routines performed by the Burning Hills Singers and accompanied by the on-stage band, the Coal Diggers. The musical also features nationally known comedy and variety acts. A wonderful way to end the day!

DAY
8
Theodore Roosevelt Park, Chateau deMores
Medora, ND
B,L
Rough Riders Hotel

Activity note: Driving approx 50 miles within a 2 hour window of time, with photo stops. Walk about a mile on level terrain, some gravel paths.

Breakfast: Enjoy a delicious hot buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Capture the spirit of the West during our expert-led field trip to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park Visitor's Center and TR’s ranch cabin located in the badlands of North Dakota. In 1884, after the death of both his wife and mother, future 26th President Theodore Roosevelt went out to his ranch in the badlands to rebuild his life. The wild lands were a catharsis to him; for about two years, he ranched in the area and noted his experiences in pieces published in eastern newspapers and magazines. Returning east and into politics, Roosevelt would forever associate himself through his extensive writings and memoirs with the vanishing frontier and the life of the cowboy and rancher. The Little Missouri Badlands were explored early in 1924 to determine possible park sites but it wasn't until 1947 that this area became the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park and finally a national park in 1978. The Maltese Cross Ranch cabin was originally located south of Medora. At Roosevelt's request, the one and a half story cabin, complete with a shingle roof and cellar, was built. Constructed of pine logs, the cabin was considered somewhat of a "mansion" in its day with wooden floors and three separate rooms (kitchen, living room and Roosevelt's bedroom). The steeply pitched roof, an oddity on the northern plains, created an upstairs sleeping loft for the ranch hands.

Lunch: At the Schafer Center in Medora. Buffet lunch includes hot entree, salad, side dish(s) and coffee, water and iced tea.

Afternoon: Visit the Château deMores which memorializes the life of the Marquis de Mores and his wife Medora who the town is named after. See many of the original furnishings and personal effects of the family in the two-story, 26-room Château built in 1883 and used only as a summer residence. Learn about the many enterprises of the Marquis and the history of the area at the visitor's center. This afternoon is "free time" for you to explore and enjoy the authentic, little, historic, western town of Medora.to explore Optional Activity: (cost included)Attend the excellent and educational portrayal of "A Teddy Roosevelt Salute to Medora." Learn about Theodore Roosevelt as President, husband, father, soldier, hunter and North Dakota Badlands rancher. The rest of the afternoon and evening is "free time" for you to explore and enjoy the authentic, little, historic, western town of Medora.

Dinner: Dinner is on your own this evening. Your group leader will point out several dining options within a few blocks of the hotel.

Evening: This evening is "free time" for you to explore and enjoy the authentic, little historic western town of Medora.

DAY
9
Center of the Nation, Devils Tower National Monument
Rapid City, South Dakota
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Rapid City-Rushmore Plaza

Activity note: Drive from Medora to Devils Tower is approx. 226 miles, about 4 hours with stops; drive from Devils Tower to Rapid City is approx. 106 miles, about 2 hours. Walking about 2 miles throughout the day, mostly on paved paths. The steepest part of the optional 1.3 mile hike up Devils Tower is the first ½ mile; the remainder is made up of gentle ups and downs. Participants are responsible for carrying own luggage to and from the coach.

Breakfast: Enjoy your breakfast buffet with coffee, tea, juice, milk and water.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll travel across western North and South Dakota. En route, we’ll learn from our Group Leader about the discovery of the Bakken Oil Field that has added another facet to the energy equation of our nation, as well as the Bakken Shale Formation, which occupies about 200,000 square miles of the subsurface of the Williston Basin mainly in parts of Montana, North Dakota, and Saskatchewan. We will get an in-depth lesson on how this enormous region influences the local economy, employment rates, and the environment with a focus on the differences between technical extraction methods and production.

Lunch: Enjoy your tasty sack lunch in the small town that is noted for being the "Center of the Nation."

Afternoon: Our next field trip will be to The Devils Tower National Monument, which is described by National Park Information Resources this way: “In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower the first national monument under 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... Over millions of years, erosion of the sedimentary rock exposed Devils Tower… 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.” This unique formation, revered by many Lakota tribes, was also featured in Steven Spielberg’s 1977 science fiction film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” If you wish to, enjoy the 1.3 mile Tower Walk independently on a paved path and look for various species of birds such as blue-birds, chickadees, jays, woodpeckers, robins, meadowlarks, vultures, hawks, Bald Eagles and wild turkeys. Other resident critters include white-tailed and mule deer, porcupines, chipmunks and rabbits. After our field trip, we’ll continue to Rapid City and arrive in the late afternoon to check into our hotel.

Dinner: In the meeting room at the hotel, our farewell dinner will feature a delicious buffet meal. Share your favorite experiences and memories of the program with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: Farewell "fun" night to follow dinner and wrap up the program. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
Rapid City, South Dakota

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon. For those who need it, contact the hotel front desk personnel to make your reservation back to the airport. The cost of the hotel shuttle to the airport is included. Driver tip is not included.

Breakfast: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to seeing you in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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