Saturday, May 22, 2010

Vermillion, SD.

Wed, Thur & Fri - May 19th -21st
After spending the evening with friends in Dakota Dunes, we spent the next three nights at the free city campground in Vermillion. It is a very nice campground. Our neighbors there must have been on a tight campaign budget.
We did a little bike ride around town and on the bike path along the Vermillion River on the south edge of town. It's not a very long path, but very pleasant and scenic.

Just a block or so above the river is the Austin-Whittemore House Museum, built in 1882. It is open Monday thru Friday for free tours. We didn't get around to it, but we will check it out next time.

This is Old Main on USD campus, completed in 1899. It has just recently been refurbished and has an Oscar Howe gallery in it.

This is Spirit Mound, a sacred place to the Plains Indians, just a few miles north of town. We did the 3/4 mile hike to the top with little signs along the way describing the prairie plants. Lewis and Clark hiked 9 miles up here from the Missouri in 1804 and saw elk and bison (a herd of 800), the first bison they had seen on their journey. On a clear day the Big Sioux River can be seen to the southeast and the James River to the West.

There are a few boulders like this on the mound left behind by glaciers.

This is Mulberry Bend Overlook south of town with a view of the Newcastle-Vermillion Missouri River Bridge on the Nebraska border.

The National Music Museum on the USD campus is marvelous. This is a nickelodeon. It has a full orchestra inside of it. You put a nickel in and it plays a tune.

Along the right edge of this picture is a vertical drum from South Pacific. They have every kind of instrument from countries and cultures all over the world and back at least 500 years, maybe more.

There were several cases of very unusual harmonicas and one very large room with nothing but guitars in it.

This is a prop from the movie "Sargent Pepper's Heart Club Band". It is not actually a functioning horn.

They have every odd, corny or unusual instrument you could imagine and then some. They have some "one of a kinds" and several that are one of only two or three in the world.

There are ten different galleries, plus hallways. It is free with a sugggested donation of $7.00. Audio players are provided, so you can listen to the different instruments play as you tour thru. They also have concerts using the actual historic instruments.

We rode our bikes west to Clay County Park. We saw this sign at the end of a farm driveway about a mile west of town. Very funny! It was four miles to the park from the city campground. While we were there, we rode the gravel trails thru the woods for several miles.

After riding a mile thru the woods we came to this view of the "Big Muddy". That is Goat Island out in the middle of the Missouri, the continent's longest river (2,341 miles) from the Rockies to the Mississippi. There is a very nice campground with 25 sites here.
Back in Brookings this Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday.

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