Louisiana Part 4: Oak Alley Plantation

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Authors Note: Please know that I am aware that this a plantation where the terrible act of slavery took place. I do plan on doing a post solely dedicated to the scourge of slavery on a later date.

One of the most popular plantations to visit in Louisiana is Oak Alley. Sadly, they would not allow us to take photos inside the house. Oak Alley is one of the places where they filmed the hit movie Interview with the Vampire based on the popular Anne Rice novel.

They had just finished a preservation project a few months before inside. I wish I had the photos to show what they had. While taking the tour we learned of the Roman family who had built Oak Alley and what became of their family following the Civil War. Soon after the Stewart family took hold of the property and started working on the Oak Alley Foundation in order to preserve history. Stay safe and well!

Wyoming 2016 Part 2: Devils Tower

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As I said yesterday while in South Dakota, we decided to make our way to see Devils Tower in Wyoming. When we got there I was in awe of what I saw. Seeing this giant butte in person was amazing. So much that the photos do not do it justice. We took a walk around the site where we saw Native American tribal markings and people getting ready to climb. It was a nice and sunny day, so we were able to see many people starting to get ready to climb. As we left Devils Tower there was nothing more than admiration for this giant butte made of laccolithic rock. If you are ever out in Wyoming I do suggest going to see Devils Tower. It is truly a one of a kind experience. Stay safe and well!

South Dakota 2016 Part 11: The Chuck Wagon

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It sure wouldn’t be a trip to the Mid West without riding in on Chuck Wagon. My dad and I were given cowboy hats and set off inside. Along the way we got to see wild life and sang songs with Cowboy Keith. Cowboy Keith told us his love of South Dakota as he serenaded us to and from. All the way through dinner he sang and on the way back a few more songs. He even sang a song about James “Scotty” Phillip, a rancher, who had managed to save the buffalo population. Going on a chuck wagon was a true delight that is one I would recommend to anyone heading out to the Mid West. Stay safe and well!

South Dakota 2016 Part 10: Custer

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One of the final stops we made in South Dakota was Custer. When we were there we were able to visit a cabin set up just like the original owner had built it. Also, we were able to see inside an old courthouse that was turned into a museum. Upstairs we were able to see the inside of what a courthouse back in the 1880’s would look like. All the way up they had set ups of schools, bedrooms, and Native American artifacts. Before we left Custer we stopped to see the Gordon Stockade. There we were able to learn and see how the Gordon family protected themselves from attacks from outsiders who wished to do them harm. All in all there was a lot to see and do in Custer, South Dakota. I hope you stay well and safe!

South Dakota Part 9: South Dakota Air and Space Museum

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One of the things my dad and I have bonded over in the past and today is history. You might have guessed that by some of the past posts in this series. While we were in South Dakota we were able to learn more about military history at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum. When we were there, they had plane exhibits from World War II to today.

My dad had served on an aircraft carrier in the 1980’s, so he was able to show me some of the planes that he had helped land. We were able to sit inside an airplane seat from, I believe, World War II. There were people who are still alive in South Dakota talk about what it was like to work on the airplanes when they were being commissioned to fly out during World War II. I guess you can say I am a World War II buff, so hearing these stories were very interesting for me. I hope you enjoy these photos. Stay safe and well!

South Dakota Part 7: Lead

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Wanting to learn more about the mining industry my dad and I head out to Lead. There we were able to explore a museum where they explained how the industry worked. Inside the museum there were examples of what the miners did along time ago to today. There were machines that had been used that were kept to show how they mined or panned for gold. I hope you enjoy these photos! Stay safe and well!!

South Dakota Part 7: Deadwood and Mount Moriah Cemetery

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While out in South Dakota my dad and I got a peek into what life was like in the wild,wild, west. We were able to make a trip to Deadwood. The legendary town where Buffalo Bill was shot and killed. We were able to hear stories about Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock.

While in Deadwood we were able to visit a museum. We were pleased to see that the museum was filled with artifacts donated by people who still lived there. But, these weren’t just artifacts from Deadwood. No, there was a chest from the Mayflower and a chair Abraham Lincoln sat in once and around the world. There was much more to see and learn about in Deadwood than the west.

After spending time in Deadwood we flipped a coin to decide whether or not to go into Mount Moriah Cemetery. The final resting place of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are inside. The coin made the decision so we went in and got to see where some of the legendary wild, wild, west figures are.

South Dakota 2016 Part 6: Mount Rushmore

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The main reason why my dad and I set out to South Dakota was to see Mount Rushmore. As you can guess by the past posts and the name of this one we made it. We were in complete awe of the carvings and mountain itself. There was much to learn about the sculptor Gutzon Borglum and the reason behind the four presidents featured. There was so much more to see at Mount Rushmore than the mountain itself, so to say. There is so much to write about the awe that I was in, as usual the pictures don’t Mount Rushmore justice. Stay safe and well!!

South Dakota 2016 Part 5: Crazy Horse

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“My land is where my people lie buried”- Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse is truly a site to see! On our way to see Mount Rushmore my dad and I stopped. While there we learned about the Native American culture and photos of the finished project they hope to have done. While the monument can earn money from the U.S. government for completion, they, the Lakota tribe, choose to be independent.

IMG_1900While there we learned about how the monument came to be. It all started with the building of Mount Rushmore. The then chief of the Lakota tribe Henry Standing Bear contacted Polish sculpture artist Korcak Ziolkowski who was living in Connecticut. Henry Standing Bear said he wanted people to see the face of Native Americans to remind them they were there too. So, the construction on Crazy Horse began.

It wasn’t easy in the beginning. It started off being a one man job most of the time. But, they persisted and a few years ago revealed the face of Crazy Horse. It has been seventy-one years since construction began. They are moving along though. When we were there you could see the workers up at the site as they were adding more to the statue for the finished product. Stay safe and well!

South Dakota 2016 Part 4: Wind Cave National Park

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Along the way in South Dakota my dad and I got to explore a few caves. Wind Cave National Park was the perfect place to do this, as you can probably guess by the name. We got to hear wind coming out of the ground and go beneath to see the caverns.

We heard the stories that were told about Jesse McDonald who explored the cave all on his own with just a candle as a teenager. We were able to hear the stories the Native Americans told about staying below. We were able to see all of this boxwork inside. Unfortunately, we were unable to see some frostwork, as it was October. I hope you enjoy these photos. Stay safe and well!