Thursday, September 30, 2010

Feelin' the Thunder

September 21-28...the entire week was spent in western South Dakota doing a press trip in conjunction with the 45th Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park. Friday night we arrived at the Custer State Park Game Lodge with our 20ish journalists to join the rest of the 175ish guests that were invited in by the Governor to enjoy festivities and tours surrounding the Roundup.

The Roundup first and foremost is a herd management tool that the park has been doing for 45 years. Each fall the park staff needs to roundup the buffalo to sort, vaccinate, sell off some of the herd and check for pregnancies. However, the event just happens to be one GREAT event for people from across the world to enjoy. The Governor also uses the weekend as an economic development tool - to show people what a beautiful state South Dakota is to live, do business, play, and visit.

This post will show off a couple photos of the Buffalo Roundup itself...a later post will highlight the rest of the week out in western South Dakota. Now, keep in mind...this has become a HUGE event. Over 14,000 people poured into the park for this event - the general public sees the herd coming up and over the hills and into the corrals for about 20ish minutes...not very long. Cars line up for hours to get into the park. I had the priviledge of being able to ride in one of the chase vehicles...there are about 30 vehicles and 60 cowboys/girls used to round up 1,300 buffalo. And I was in one of those vehicles. It's a seriously bouncy ride, but seriously an experience of a lifetime.

Riding in a chase vehicle allows our journalists a great opportunity to snap some photos close up to the herd. Also, luckily, the Governor's guests who do not ride in a chase vehicle are invited up to Governor's Hill...away from the other 14,000 people viewing the event.

Here are where the majority of the herd are resting. The trucks and horses were split into three teams. Our team had to roundup about 4 dozen buffaloes into this herd before they pushed the entire group toward the corral.

Getting ready for the final push...

I also was able to catch some video...and hope that I can find a way to upload that in the near future. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oh, the little things!

I've been trying to jot down a few of those little statements and things that have happened's these little hilarious everyday things that I never want to forget about the phase that Grace is going through right now. The, "I think I'm 16 phase." Gotta love here. Here are a few things I'd love to share with you.

On the golf course on afternoon we were trying to keep Grace's voice and screaching to a minimum. I had to remind her she needed to be quiet...her little response:
Grace: "Mom, I'm just not thinking things through."

A few nights later, she was trying to get comfortable in her bed, and called me in to help her...
Mom: "What's wrong Grace?"
Grace: "I just cannot lay my head down properly!"

When we are driving on the highway, and she smells something she always asks
"What dat smell like?"
We smelled a skunk, and told her that's what it was. A few days later, she smelled that wonderful smell...
Grace: "That's a STUNK!"

When potty training hit in full force, I was trying to get her excited about wearing panties. We picked up dad on the first full day of potty training...
Mom: "Grace, tell daddy what you have on.."
Grace (in the most excited loud voice ever): "PAANNNTTTTIEEESS!!!"

When she is getting in trouble and is mad about getting in trouble and basically throwing a fit, she will suddenly realize that if she stops throwing her fit, most likely something good will in the midst of full on fit, she will stop and say
Grace: "I'm happy now!"

One day after Cody gets home from work:
Grace: "Hi dad, how are you, what are you going to do today? Did you have a nice day?"

I was out at the Buffalo Roundup for a week, and called my parents a few times because Grace was staying there for over a week without Cody and I. Mid conversation with Grace she says
Grace: "I'm done with you."

Last night, after a long week at the Round Up, Grace woke up at about 4:45, thanks mom and dad for creating that pattern btw, and I literally could not pull myself out of bed. I heard her wake up, and knew that I wasn't going to move, so this is the conversation we had back and forth from each others beds:
Mom: "Grace, you have GOT to go back to bed."
Grace: "By my eyes are open!"
Mom: "Grace, close them and go back to sleep."
Grace: "But I'm awake now!"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer Projects

So you were probably sick of my work posts - here are a couple cuties of Miss G.

On the list of summer projects was tree trimming. Check!
Here is my dad and I evaluating...we hauled out 5-6 trailer loads full of branches! It needed help...bad! Looks awesome now though!

G all in the branches on the trailer!

My mom and G....hard at work!

...Another Hosting!

This was a fun ... and interesting hosting. My manager and I met with the editor of a magazine on our media blitz in Wisconsin. The magazine was a high fashion magazine and they ended up wanting to come and do a photoshoot in SD. They actually stayed for an entire week doing a "Fashion Road Trip" through South Dakota. Cool, huh? It ended up being a really long HOT day, and we certainly have stories and memories from this trip.

Myself, my manager, and our summer intern!

Doing a photoshoot in the river!

Another shot of the crew workin' it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another Work Hosting

Check it out...sweet bike right? Ya, it is! Two location scouts, now also considered work friends, came to SD in search of some great film spots for a script they are working on. Just so happens, that the gal also had donated the first motorcycle to Crazy Horse, and helped fundraise some serious cash for the Memorial. Nice.
Here is a close up,...

And the whole thing...Actually, the winners of the bike decided to let the bike stay on display at Crazy Horse, which is pretty cool, and sounds like they might donate it back to Crazy Horse.

Her and her business partner in front of her bike.

Hanging in Deadwood!

Belgian Film Crew

If I'm ever challenged again - I will always look back at this trip. Maureen and I hosted a film crew from a Belgian Travel Show. Exciting right? Ya it was...except it was a s*** ton of work too. Maureen and I can look back now and laugh - sort of! Luckily we had each other along, I don't think either of us would have survived it alone!....or maybe the guys wouldn't have!
Here's Pascal - he was an amazing gentleman! What a charmer - so much fun to be around...we got acquainted with him the best.

Maureen and I up at Mt. Moriah in Deadwood. Gorgeous up there!

The guys devising their scripting plan up at Mt. Moriah.

The guys participating in a "Fast Draw Shootout" - they had a good time.

The crew

Filming some motorcyclists riding through Spearfish Canyon near Bridal Veil Falls.

Maureen and Pascal

Talking with the Wild Bill Hickock reinactor. The crew really enjoyed this part of the itinerary - they felt they got a great portrayal at what Wild Bill and the Wild West in Deadwood was like back during the Gold Rush.

Here is an example of some of the cool stuff they did with their camera. Here, they strapped it to the side of the car while we drove through Spearfish Canyon. I cannot wait to see what this looks like when the footage is all put together. In Rapid City, they attached the camera to the hood of the suburban and drove around Rapid with it pointing up at some of the cool buildings. Neat effects!
Another post about work...This one was quite interesting and fun for me to be a part of...

Jerry Ward is the current ranch owner of the ranch that was used for part of the filming of "Dances with Wolves." He has some beautiful property and is doing some great things with his ranch out there. He specializes in cutting horses...

Cutting is an event in western riding where a horse and the rider are judged based on their ability to separate an animal (usually cattle) away from a herd and keep it away for a period of time. Not just any horse can handle this task. Usually they are Quarter horses - very athletic, smart and willing to be trained. However, first and foremost the animal has to have an instinct for cutting - the best cutting horses come from a long family history of cutting - they should instinctively know how to keep a cow from returning to the herd. When the horse separates the animal the rider loosens the reins, and leaves the rest entirely to the horse.

Anyway, here is one of Jerry's trainers working with a cutting horse.

Here's our getaway vehicle...Where are we going? Check out the next picture.

Isn't it beautiful out here? Again, hmmm...dang I shoulda married a rancher. Why are we here? Check out the next picture.

Meet Herve. He visits sites where famous films were made. He researchs (TONS!) to find spots in the movie that he would like to re-create - to show what the spots look like present day. He creatively (and ever so smoothly) blends the video footage from the movie and his own present day filming to make videos that he puts up on a YouTube site.

Here's Herve and I - getting his steady cam all rigged up. You can see in this picture the research that Herve did prior to coming to South Dakota. He took still shots from the movie - places that he wanted to re-create. So when he gets out to the property, he figures out the exact spot the camera was in for the film, goes there, and wahla!

Basically what he is doing here, is he strapped his camera to himself, with a unit called a steady cam. He wanted to re-create the footage of what it looked like when Costner was riding on his horses toward the U.S. Military men.

(Previous two photos by tourism photographer Chad Coppess)

Chad and Herve working on getting the camera all lined up - I think Herve actually dropped something, and they were on the prowl for it!

Here is the ranch owner, and Bill Markley - who was an extra in "Dances." It was so great to have Bill along to help re-create the feeling of where things were (it's all just ranch land right now). Bill explained what it was like to be on the set of a major motion picture. Pretty cool!

Then we were off to the next location. Triple U ranch outside of Fort Pierre. Where the buffalo shots were done, and the fort shots.

We had a great guy from the ranch, Dave, take Herve and I around and show us the spots used for filming. He was super humorous - and luckily Herve has a sense of humor too. I told Dave that I wouldn't shut any gates, because I am under the belief that no rancher should ever let anyone shut their gates but themselves - only for the reason that there would be no one but themselves to blame if the animals got out. Dave didn't operate under that believe. So, he made Herve, who he called "Frenchie" (because indeed, Herve is from France) open the gate once...That didn't work out the, "Hey - 'Tourism'" (that was my name) - "Go help Frenchie!"

Of course, Dave wanted to show us a good time. So he let me drive up really close to the buffalo herd. "Frenchie" even go out, walked extremely close to the herd and did some filming. Next, to complete the experience, of course, we chased the buffalo so Herve could get some running shots.

While Herve thought it was pretty cool to be chasing buffalo...he was also a little nervous. So of course, Dave told him the story of the antelope...and while the cheetah is the fastest animal in the world, the antelope dominates the cheetah in distance. He explained that the antelope would pretty much just race us if we tried...And that it did. Herve was certainly holding on tight!

This is from the scene that most might remember very well from the film. The hill here, you can tell it goes slightly down the left side of the picture, is the one that all of the Native Americans were lined up on with Costner...all of the buffalo were on the other side of the hills. Gorgeous up here!

"Frenchie" and "Tourism"

Here is a couple links to his videos he made from our visit:
Part One
Part Two