Monday, October 24, 2011

Roundup Press Trip

In conjunction with the Buffalo Roundup itself, our office holds a press trip hosting travel writers from across the globe to share the South Dakota story with them. There are several highlights of the trip each year, but thought that I'd pull out a couple images that stood out to me telling the story of our week long journey across western South Dakota. 

Reptile Garden's is a don't miss place in the Black Hills. It's not only super cool to learn about and experience those animals very close-up and personally, but they also have a fantastic botanical garden that looks great year round. Here's a shot that I loved...

Crow Peak Brewery in Spearfish was a neat experience. Here are a couple of our journalists getting to know a friendly face at the brewery.

Now, if you're up for something that you likely have never experienced before, and you're an artists...the Termesphere Gallery in Spearfish is worth checking out. His art gives a whole new perspective. The spheres are operated by a system that keeps them turning in the gallery. His art showcases a location that you feel like you're getting a 360 degree view. Or, it's art that just really makes your mind think.

And of course our trip this fall would not have been complete without a hike through Spearfish Canyon. We chose to check some of the major waterfalls.

Roughlock Falls...

Down by Little Spearfish Falls. Here are a few of the fantastic ladies that I get to work with. It's great being able to get out on the road with my fun co-workers.

Little Spearfish Falls...

For the actual Governor's Roundup Festivities we went to Crazy Horse, we were able to see a major blast!

Before going up on the arm of Crazy Horse. This view amazes me each time I'm up there. It's a HUGE mountain carving. When complete, it will be the largest in the world. MUCH MUCH larger than Mount Rushmore.

Here are all of my charming co-workers. We make up two great teams! We head up the domestic media, and the other team heads up the international folk.

The eyes really stand out to me as conveying a lot of emotion.

Like I said, that's just a peak at our adventures. We also went to places like Wall Drug (got my fill of maple covered donuts) the Badlands, through Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery, and toured Rapid City. A great, great trip with wonderful guests.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Buffalo Roundup 2011

This year was once again another great year for the Custer State Park Annual Buffalo Roundup. We were all up on Governor's Hill, waiting for the the Roundup to begin. Some excitement happened up there before they kicked off the event, a rattlesnake was in our territory. That problem was quickly resolved with a sharp rock and a quick toss over the edge of the hill.

Here's the horseback team preparing to head off the herd in case the decide to stampede in this direction.

Thousands and thousands of spectators and their vehicles for the event.

Here they come - in for the final push!

Overseeing the final push

In through the gate they come!

Whoo-hooo! Just what the crowd (not the cowboys) love to see - a section of the herd breaks off, it can be a bit difficult in this part of the park to get them back into the corral....The crowd is always cheering for the buffalo!

And in the rowdy crew finally goes (through a different gate)...

And the entire group, resting after all of the activity! It's hard work getting rounded up!

The Buffalo Roundup is held each year in September as primarily a park management tool. It's a necessity. They corral the herd and check each bison over. The vaccinate, check the females for pregnancy, and brand the calves from the spring. It also happens to be a great tourism event. As many as 15,000 people have came to the park to watch the event.

It was interesting that now I've been able to watch the Roundup from two different perspectives. Last year I was in a chase vehicle, one of those you saw working the herd in the above pictures. This year, I watching from up on Governor's Hill. I really like both perspectives - and cannot choose one over another.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More Veggie Love

If you have zucchini, I'm sure you've got more than you know what to do with. I posted a great recipe here, but have another to share - again from Cody's Grandma's kitchen.

First step, cut the zucchini into thick slices - at least an inch or two.  Mix up some eggs in one dish, a bread crumbs in a second dish. Cut up a couple tablespoons of butter, and put into a pan, stick into an oven heated to 400 degrees. Let the butter melt while you do the next step. Second step - Dip the zucchini in eggs first, then bread crumbs until they are covered on all sides. Remove pan with melted butter from oven, place zucchini in. Bake for about 10 minutes. THIRD STEP - Remove from pan, flip zucchini over (sometimes I pat more breadcrumbs on top if you like them crispy). Cover the zucchini pieces with BBQ sauce, then sprinkle cheese on top of BBQ sauce. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until desired brownness.


Pretty Toes

Cody went "fairy dog hunting" with my dad over Labor Day weekend, and my mom came to visit. While we got some hard work done that weekend, incuding recovering the chair, we also took some time to just be girls! The easiest way to kick back and relax together is to get a pedicure. Grace always loves to go and pick out polish.

Soaking our nasty tootsies before getting a pedicure.

My girl and I...

Grace of course picked a sparkly pink polish.

Of course, I didn't snap a picture of my mom and Grace - nor did I get one of our final paint job. But trust me, my feet felt and looked fantastic.