Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

Badlands & Black Hills – video slideshow and gallery

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Here is the video slideshow from our trip to South Dakota.  I played around a bit with taking video from a camera mounted on the dash of the vette.  It didn’t turn out exactly like I hoped but it was a good frist attempt.  Next time I’m going to get the suction cup car mount for the gopro I have and mount it different parts of the car for some unique perspectives (if my dad ever lets me borrow it again:)

and a gallery of some of the best pics from the trip…


Rushmore Cave – the adventure tour

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

One of the coolest (and scariest) adventures we had when visiting the Black Hills of South Dakota was an adventure cave tour in the Rushmore Cave.  This wasn’t your normal cave tour with handrails and carved out passages.  You had to pass a squeeze test before you could take the tour.  They had a little box in the lobby that replicated the smallest opening on the tour which was 10 inches.  Miki had no problem of course and I also made it but had to do some wiggling to get through.

They tour did start with their normal tour that most of the tourists takes.  They tell you about the cave.  Show you the big caverns, etc.  All of it is pretty cool and worth visiting even if you don’t do the extreme tour.  After the normal tour then the real fun begins.

Our guide showing us the techinque to get in and out of tight spaces.

I did it with no problem.  However, a little bit later he showed us a much smaller hole.  The “practice hole” we went through before was pretty big compared to what was in store for us.  Our guide showed us this hole.  He said, this hole is where you start the tour.  We had to leave our cameras behind because the space was so small.  There was barely enough to fit me through some of the holes so a camera was out of the question.  One of the holes was so small I had to exhale to collapse my chest and slowly slide through the dirt to get through.  About half way through the very small squeeze I tired to take a breath but couldn’t.  The hole was so small that I couldn’t even take a full breath.  After I freaked out a little I managed to compose myself and wriggle myself to safety.

Start of the Rushmore adventure cave tour

Would I do it again?  Yep.  In a heart beat.  One of the coolest things I’ve even done.  Plus it’s always fun to get a little dirty.






Road Trip to the Badlands and Black Hills… in my Dad’s Corvette

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

I’ve been on several road trips before but have never had a ride like this.  Having a car that can do 0-60 in under 4 seconds and can handle speeds in excess of 100 mph with ease was a real treat.  Having a great ride is only one part of a great road trip.  The destination, the Black Hlls and Bad Lands of south dakota, in our case made the trip even better.  We have travelled to the ends of the earth and back and yet were pleasantly surprised on the amazing landscapes, wildlife, monuments, hiking, and other adventures that South Dakota had to offer.  Who knew that a speculator destination was so close to home.  We only had a week to travel around but it’s on our list of places we’d like to return to.

Our first stop was the Badlands.  The weather on the day we drove through was pretty bad but the dark, gloomy sky made for some dramatic photos.

Badlands South Dakota

After our short detour to the Bad Lands we continued to the Black Hills.  The first day we explored Custer State Park and did a few short hikes with some high speed driving through the switch back curves between trailheads.  Sylvan Lake, the most photogenic spot was also the most accessible.  It’s only a short hike around the lake but highly recommended.  There are a lot of hiking trails in the area and the few we did were great.  We were there just after memorial day weekend so a lot of the trails were pretty busy but once you got a little distance away from the trailhead you would only occasionally run into another hiker.

Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park

The most popular attraction in the area is Mount Rushmore so you have to go see it.  I didn’t have high expectations and frankly thought it was going to be a waste of time.  I wanted to get the most time as possible taking the Vette on the many scenic drives.  However, we were surprised once again.  The pictures of Mount Rushmore don’t do it justice.  It is HUGE.  But beyond the scale of the monument the history behind it was also very fascinating.

Mount Rushmore

More after the break…