When we arrived at our hotel in Hot Springs, SD, we saw this next door. I had never heard of The Mammoth Site, but I picked up the brochure in the hotel lobby and it looked worth a visit in the morning.
We did have some excitement in the hotel that night though. Turns out a can of dr. pepper will explode in the freezer section of a little dorm fridge even if there's no door on the freezer section. It takes longer than in a regular freezer though, so it didn't happen until around 3am. It sounded like a gun shot and actually blew the door of the fridge open. The kids slept right through it, but I had enough adrenalin to keep me up for another hour!
But back to the mammoth site. Apparently, this is a place where mammoth bones were discovered and they just built a building around/on top of the dig site and you can go in and see it.
In the gift shop area, the kids were most excited about the Children's Room, where there was this sandbox and they could pretend to dig for fossils
Josh is always joking about "bear bait", so I had to take a picture of this for him:
We signed up for a tour of the site, but I can't say too much about it because Secora got fussy and I missed out on most of it
I did still walk around and take pictures of everything though. Here is a diagram of one of the mammoths
And the actual fossils the diagram is pointing out
Here's another pretty complete mammoth fossil
Once you leave the dig site, there is a museum type thing. I thought the mammoth bone hut was really cool, but the girls were fairly terrified those wax figures were going to come to life!
Since the girls wouldn't go inside it, I did. I thought it was really cool how it was all put together
There was a small kid's section with casts the kids could pick up and play with. This first picture is a mammoth tooth
This one was a chance for them to play archeologist and try to piece bones together
Overall it was pretty neat. If you're in the area, it's worth stopping at.
Once we got on the road again, we made it into Nebraska
When we got to Alliance, NE, we made a short detour and stopped to visit Carhenge. I wasn't feeling so great, so I just stayed at the car and took a few pictures, then my friend took the big girls around to look at everything. It's a neat 10 minute stop if you're driving by.
After this point, everyone decided they were just ready to be done, so we didn't do any more fun stops after carhenge.
Overall it was a good trip! I'm glad we took a different route so we could see some new things this time around!