Wednesday Journal

Journal Crew: Kassidi Peterson, Heather Moske, Courtney Ruckheim, Cortney Wiersma, Eloise Warren, Katherine Wippler, Tamara Schmidt, Gaven Schmidt



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We woke up to an ice-cold frost on our tents.  Then we got ready for the day and had a breakfast of hot pancakes, and hot apple cider.


We drove for a few hours until we entered the Black Hills and Wyoming. It started raining on the way. There we got our first sight of Devil’s Tower.  Unfortunately it was STILL raining!  Those of us who didn’t have rain gear wore fashionable trash bags.  (This resulted in a very, very, very sad joke by Gaven about being “Pon Chovi”) (Did we mention it was a very sad joke?)  Oh my gosh!  It was HUGE! The top of it was as big as a football field.  The trail was mostly up and not down.  It was a long, but beautiful walk.  There was much more talus than Pipestone.  The rocks closer to the tower seemed smaller than the ones farther away.  The tower was made of smaller, jointed columns.  The tower of igneous rock formed from a magma chamber under the ground.  We found evidence in the large crystals in the talus rock on the ground.  After it formed, it slowly cooled and the sides of it eroded by water until it looked like what we saw today.  The evidence that this happened was that there is still a river in the valley and the rocks are sedimentary.  We left and it was STILL raining!


We drove back through Spearfish Canyon, which had tan-colored rock which took our breath away.  We saw lots of wildlife and a beautiful waterfall.  (There were NO jackalopes – despite what Courtney R. says!)  The canyon was formed by the river, which is at the very bottom of the valley, flowing east.  We saw snow and you will never believe it, but we saw a frozen waterfall!  The rock in the valley was sedimentary.  We know this because there were layers and it looked softer.


We stopped at the Homestake Gold Mine.  It was STILL raining!  We observed the open pit mine where they used to mine gold.  They found one ounce of gold for every ton of waste back when the mine was open.  The rock was a very dark brown and it was metamorphic.


We drove to Mount Rushmore.  The rain had stopped, but it made the Presidents look like they were crying.  We did lots of observations on the rocks. We found out they were igneous rocks because of the crystals and no layering.  Some of the rock was metamorphic.  We took pictures and went to the gift shops.  We ventured back to the bus and headed for our camp site.


When we got to the campground, the rain started to fall AGAIN!  Because it was so wet outside, we got to stay in dry and warm cabins, after we ate a meal of hot dogs, carrots, chips and caramel apples.


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