Still in the Black Hills

Sun 30 Jul 2017 15:13

Our fourth and last day in the Black Hills, although Caroline loves our campsite and does not really want to leave.

Hot Springs provided an outdoor natural swimming pool with just a small waterfall to negotiate in and out. We followed this up with a visit to an archaeological site.
But this is an amazing archaeological site, literally taking us back to the ice age. 26,000 years ago a sinkhole formed with steep slippery edges. Combined with grass growing in the warm spring water, woolly and Columbian mammoths were lured in and trapped. A camel, wolves and a giant short faced bear joined them in a watery grave. Once drowned they slipped into the sediment and over time further layers built up, preserving the bones until someone tried to build a housing estate. 122 tusks have been found so far indicating around 61 mammoths and they are still digging. One skeleton found was missing the head, so named Marie Antoinette, until they checked the pelvis and discovered it was male (like all the others) and renamed it Murray. (Presumably all large powerful animals beginning with M are named Murray? - Murray)