Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 7....Lots more driving!!!

We got a late start leaving Devils Tower to make our way to Bonny Lake State Park in Colorado.  The drive is long but you get to see the eastern side of Wyomind and the North East corner of Colorado.  We got in late.  In fact we were late enough that we set up tents and hit the sack!  The next leg of the trip takes up home! We leave Bonny Lake and drive our way across Kansas back to PHS.

Day 6...Devils Tower

After taking down camp at the Rushmore KOA we drove back through Rapid City to make a Wal Mart stop and then on to Devils Tower.  The sight is awesome!  We hiked around the base and learned about its history at the visitor center.

Day 5...Museums, Rushmore and Crazyhorse

Today we toured the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Geology Museum.  There are lots of fossils, rocks, minerals and natural history of the world.  From there we visited the Journey Museum which is dedicated to the history of the Black Hills.  The next leg of the trip took us to Crazy Horse where we learned about Native American History.  After setting up camp at the Rushmore KOA, we took in the night presentation at Mount Rushmore.  It was a very full day but well worth the time. ~Perez

Good day, really tiring, but I'm so glad I experienced it. The most memorable part of the day was probably the flag ceremony at Mt. Rushmore. They had veterans assist the park ranger in taking down the flag at closing time. Each one got to be recognized and it just made for a really patriotic experience. #Winning ~Jake Letner

All in all, this trip was probably one of the best experiences of my life. We made a lot of good memories and had some great experiences. It's something I will definitely miss.-Derek Scholes

This trip was really fun! Lots of memories, good food, and lots of pictures. It was a good thing that we got to work together before the trip. It helped us learn to work together.  ~Chelsea Baker

Ok so the museums were alright but I was very zoned out. Mount Rushmore was small, yet impressive. The showers at that campsite were freezing!! Crazy horse was massive, but unfinished. Devil's Tower amazed me because it was so big and a natural wonder! I loved being able to see it from our campsite. We had fun filming a lip-singing version of Bohemian Rhapsody. The rest of the trip we just drove alot and got stressed, annoyed, and bored out of our minds. The campsite in Colorado was pretty bad but we didn't care much since we got there late and left very early. It's very nice to be back home now. The trip was fun, and I hope to make a similar one in the future. The scenery was just incredible and unbelievable and I love that I got to see it all. All in all, it was an amazing experience. ~Ashley Willis

Thursday we went to the geology museum and looked at all the fossils and rocks. I loved that, the rocks were all different shapes and many many colors. That night we went to Mount Rushmore and looked at the new museum they had. There were some very cool things, they had a TV set up with seven buttons and when you pushed one it demonstrated the blast they used to help carve the mountain. Friday we went to crazy horse and the was really neat. You can take a rock from crazy horse where they are carving the mountain. I really like how it is a privately funded monument, not from the government. Friday afternoon we went to Devil's Tower and i liked that a lot. It was the first national monument so that was awesome and being silly and lip syncing Bohemian Rrhapsody that night. The last two days were mainly driving home. I am really glad i went, i had a ton of fun and made some close friends.~Emilee Jo

Day 5 was a very busy day for us. The best part about Crazy Horse was that you could actually see people working on the mountain. Mount Rushmore was very cool too. I expected it to be bigger, but it was still amazing to see. The next day we drove to Devils Tour and hiked a small trail around the base of it - Very beautiful scenery. I've never considered myself much of an outdoorsman - I'd never even camped in a tent before this trip. But overall, I'm very glad that I went. I had an amazing experience and made great memories. ~ Heidi L. Warlop

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 4: Badlands and More...

Today we visited the Minute Man Missile Site - Delta 1 lanunce facility.  We learned a little bit about Cold War weapons and what was involved with running the facility.  From there we drove in to Wall, South Dakota and had a blast looking around Wall Drug.  We left Wall and drove down to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and learned about the Lakota and their regional history. ~Mr. Perez

As the trip progresses, the learning experiences we encounter become better and better. The beauty and history that surrounds this part of the country is simply mind boggling. There are no words to describe it, except that it far outreaches anything Kansas has to offer. I absolutely love it. -Derek Scholes

My favorite part of the day was the journey to the Lakota reservation. Their history is one all too forgotten. It's a tragic tale set here in the Badlands involving characters transcending our history as a nation. I encourage anyone reading to probe into the story of the Lakota tribe and find what I regard as one of the most commonly overlooked American tragedies. #Good_Times ~Jake Letner

Today we had to wake up early to go to a missile site which i thought was the coolest part of the day because i like learning about new things and that was definately a new thing! they talked about how America was scared of the Russians bombing us so we had big nuclear missiles ready to take off at any moment if needed.  We got to see where they would send the message to shoot it off and also where the actual missile was. after that we went to Wall Drug was just a huge block full of shopping stores with the most random stuff ever! then we went to eat lunch then went to the indian reservation which was really cool. i liked hearing about what all they used buffalo parts for to make. Like, they used the bladder of the bison for a water bottle/canteen.  after that we went to the college then on a hike which i thought was really fun. Now off to mount rushmore tomorrow! -Lizzy Willis! <3

So today we were quite busy. We were out all day. For breakfast we had cereal due to the fact we had to be out of camp by 8:15. The missile site was really interesting, I learned a lot of new stuff. It's really scary to put yourself back in that time, and think about what they lived through everyday. The missile we saw was absolutely uge, I never knew it could be that big. After that we made our trip to Wall Drug and did my favorite thing ever, SHOPPED!! It had a vey nice feel to the whole place. I bought many items. The indian reservation was very intriguing as well as saddening. I learned a lot about the Lakota people and how they live now. My favorite part of the whole day was the hiking. I could probably hike through the badlands everyday. I even found a fossil. Everytime we head out to the badlands and explore someone finds something new. There are so many amazing things here, I wish we stayed here all week. Well time for laundry then bed! Wish me luck to survive the week!! <3 Andie Casper

Today, we went to the missile sillo, wall drug, and hike. The wall drug was pretty cool. I like how some things were actually cheap.  The hike was my favorite.  We hiked toward the end of the day, so the sun was setting. We  found fossils, and we weren't even looking for them. Today, was fun, but tomorrow will even better.  ~ Chelsea Baker

Not much to say tonight. I'm tired and ready for bed. I learned what the laundry room looks like. I had a busy day and did what everybody else did except the hike. I came back to camp, showered, cooked, and went to sleep.  think i might be getting sick with because of how much I have been sleeping. I know I'm starting to get homesick. I love and miss you all! I hope to see you soon. *~ Robyn Capps ~*

Busy day today! I'm sure everyone else has already told you what we've done. I would pick a favorite part, but I simply loved it all! Wall Drug was really interesting. I don't know much of the history behind that cute place (and I'd like to!), but I enjoyed looking at all the old fashioned things/shopping. The evening hike was also amazing.. So relaxing and surreal to be our in nature like that. The sun was setting at the end of our hike, which was a picture perfect end to our day. ~ Heidi L. Warlop

Sunset hike, never hiked in the early evening.  It was beautiful! A bit of history and culture today.  A  bit of van time, but fun.  We have a "Strange Magic" or chemistry that really works.  ~ Mary Packard

Today tested the knowledge of my history, seeing as we talked both about the Cold War and the massacre at Wounded Knee. I loved getting to see some of the attractions around this area. Wall Drug was very fun and interesting, it reminded me of the stores and shops at Silver Dollar City. The hike was my favorite part, because this land is absolutely unbelievable. I wanted to stop every 5 seconds and just look around and take in the scenery! It's so amazing and beautiful and intriguing out here. Towards the end of the hike I ended up stealing Packard's camera and took some sweet pictures of the landscape and the sun setting. I still find it hard to believe that I am in such a place like this. I don't ever want to leave, but it's the next step in our journey. I hope that Mt. Rushmore is just as exciting and awesome. ~Ashley Willis

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 3: Badlands

This morning was filled with....sleeping in and cooking an excellent breakfast.  Our adventures took us to the Ben Riffel Visitor Center, seeing the sights and some free-range hiking.

If you are looking for a link to post a comment, it is at the bottom of each blog.  Just click on "comments".

"After waking up to a picture perfect campfire breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns and bacon, we were ready to begin day 3 of the trip. After experiencing the beauty of the Badlands for the first time yesterday, I was thoroughly excited to explore the park. We trekked throughout the park looking for fossils and wildlife for a couple hours and then returned home to a dinner of sloppy joes. All in all, it was another great day and I cannot wait for what tomorrow holds." -Derek Scholes

Tent City
"Hanging out under the South Dakotan sky with some of my best friends and sponsors that are both knowledgable and kind is awesome. Time of my life here." -Jake Letner

This morning we went to the visitor center and looked at all the fossils and the information they had. It was pretty cool. For lunch we drove out to a picnic area and on the way, we saw atleast one hundred bison. For some reason they all decided to cross to the road when we were driving through. After lunch we went searching for fossils and i found a jaw bone with a tooth in it, it was awsome. I am so excited for the next few days.~Emilee Sandberg

Our Badlands Home

So since I didnt get to write, ill just combine all of the fun interesting things into this one post. We suffered through a horrific storm that made out tent collapse then got all of our stuff wet. that sucked becuase we then had to sleep in the van which wasnt the most comfortable thing you could thing of. then we went and drove to the badlands after we stopped at ashfalls which was really cool because they had like these species of animals that you would never think about from about 5 milion years ago like a saber-toothed rodent.  then we arrived at the badlands! ever since then we've just been hanging out. today for breakfast we had a deluxe breakfast becase ITS MY BIRTHDAY! (: and then we went to a random spot and at the park and just started climbing away. Me chelsea jake and derek ended up getting caked in mud. but oh well it was worth it! then we ate lunch and went on a hike to find fossils and stuff. i found a really cool femur fossil but it was actually a bone. We unfortunately aren't for sure about what animal it is from. Along with the femur i found a hip socket, a tibia, and just another chunk of leg bone. And now just recently we went swimming in the freezing cold pool (which was only 70 degrees) and now eating sloppy joes! sounds like a good birthday to me!! - Lizzy Willis! <3

Gotta a little muddy on our first hike

Well, this has been one amazing adventure! Our drive to the KOA was accompanied by cold winds and rain, which stopped once we pulled to our sites. Every thing else has been just as perfect! From our camp-cooked meals to our fun-filled evening campfires...we are having fun! So many things we learned in Earth science and biology have come to life as we get into the "wild" and actually find fossils, flora, and fauna. Right now I'm eating some peach cobbler made for Lizzie's birthday. It's topped with vanilla icecream to boot! Now that's roughing it! (: Sister lorrie

Good Day in the Badlands.  Always something new to see and experience.  A bit muddy, which has the consistency of creamy peanut butter...muddy shoes, muddy pants and shorts, muddy legs....the gift that keeps on giving on day long..."Christmas Vacation" movie reference, meaning that it is really tough to scrape off.  I, for once in my life, did not fall or get muddy....I probably just jinked myself. ~Mary Packard :-)

A BigHorn Sheep Family, we saw 13 in all

My Birthday Fossil, The Distal end of a Mammalian Femur...Best Present Ever!!!!!

A great first day in the Badlands. We took a wonderful hike through the formations, climbing the tall peaks like curious monkeys, and it was amazing. Humbling to see such magnificent sights. ~ Heidi L. Warlop
You've heard the old Joke, right? " Why did the Bison cross the road..."
Today was a day of sight-seeing. We got to explore the Badlands, and may have got a bit dirty on the way. The ground out here isn't very sturdy, so there was alot of slipping and sliding when trying to climb around. I really enjoyed the Yellow Mounds, where it was easy to climb and the view was great. The bison looked funny because all of their fur was falling off. It was persistently cold and windy, but not when we went hiking. We went down into this area beneath all of the mountains and got to search for fossils (although I never found any). Oh but I did find a gall on a plant which I never had seen before, so I felt pretty proud! The climbing around was fun and the sights are unbelievable. I hope more exploring tomorrow will be cleaner, but just as exciting. ~Ashley Willis

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 2: Ashfall Fossil Beds and LOTS of driving...

The storm last night was INTENSE! We woke up this morning, cooked a nice warm breakfast of oatmeal and re-packed the vans for our drive down to Ashfall Fossil Beds.  It is a really unique place where the students can take a look at what Nebraska looked like 10 million years ago.  Here is a link to their website:

 Each of the students will write a little something about their experiences each day...read and enjoy! ~Mr. Perez

The ride has been long but we have had tons of fun listening to oldie's music in Packard's van! Brashley (Bryan and I) have been a force to reckon with, singing loudly and being amazed at the sites. The fossils were interesting today, it's like they told a story of their own. The Badlands are amazing! I can't wait to see them in full force rather than the teasers we keep getting. Hope we don't get hit by another storm! Last night's was super scary!! I'm glad the driving is over now and I am sure ready to get out there and explore. ~Ashley Willis

Well the rides were entertaining in Perez's van. The first night was really scary. It started to rain and then it was thundering and lightning. Everyone started to freak out, Lizzy, Andie, and Chelseas tent was coming up from the ground and water was getting in almost every ones tent. I was scared, but today was exciting. Tomorrow we start covering the badlands and all they have to hold.~Emilee Sandberg

So we drove and stopped an drove and stop and then we drove and stopped. lol. We got to our camp last night about my bedtime and then ate an hour later. I was tired. We drove again to Ashfall Fossil Beds. That was neat and I made sure to get a lot of pictures of that. Then we drove and then stopped. Then (guess what) we drove and stopped. Then we made it to the Badlands. The scenery is so beautiful and more than that. We are camping here tonight and I am ready for bed like three hours ago. Its okay though the things I see make it worth it. The driving isn't too bad either its kinda entertaining. Okay well I'm going to go to bed now because i am cold. Love You Lots ~Robyn Capps~

Holy Cow!!! What a storm... we survived it, and became stronger because of it.  Made a double clothes line to help dry things  out in the morning.  Great group of students. Learning alot....using an "old fashion" can opener, grilling hamburgers, working together as a team to construct our 20' canopy that Perez created for us....keeping us dry and allowing us to cook and eat if it rains.  Dinner was good, realy good. Italian sausage, meatballs and spaghetti with garlic bread.  Our bellies are full, a nice warm shower and hopefully a peaceful night with no storms or clasped tents.  Looking forward to exploring the Badlands tomorrow.  This is my 4th trip and seeing amazement on the students faces is priceless...to think that places so breath-taking are in this great country.  ~ Mary Packard

Another long day of driving, but we've finally arrived in the Badlands! We stopped to get a quick look, but it was much too cold to stay out of the vans very long. (It's still pretty chilly right now too!) No worries, we'll get plenty of time to see the Badlands over the next couple days.. It's rained quite a bit, but that hasn't stopped us yet! ~ Heidi L. Warlop

My first night camping with everyone, it started raining at night. Lizzy, Andie, and I were in a tent together and it starts raining really hard and lighting, with some thunder. Our tent started to blow away and we were holding it up. Finally, the rain stopped and lizzy and andie slept in one van and i was in another.
The second day, long driving with lots of fun.   ~Chelsea Baker

Woke up on day 2 and helped make what turned out to be amazing oatmeal which i topped with cinnamon and brown sugar!! Then we cleaned packed up and hit the road. Nice that everyday we have alittle less to pack as we consume food. Picking up some later this week though. Ashfalls was spectacular. Even the drive there was filled with scenery which entailed rolling hills all the way to the badlands. The fossil beds were filled with all kinds no so foreign animals such as rhinos and dear. Then we got to the badlands.... Nothing could prepare you, not even pictures. It is simply incredible and just and wonderful sight. Glad we are exploring them up close tomorrow. Will be taking more pictures and maybe a few will make it to the blog. P.rez is rushing me off so GOODNIGHT!    ~Bryan Stebbins

Each time we do this it gets better and better.  Everyone is having a great time and I appreciate all the hard work everyone is doing.  They deserve a good nights rest.  Tomorrow will be filled with lots of fun and interesting things to see.  The only thing I wish was a bit different would be the rain!!! So far it has rained both days.  We are ready for some sunshine!  ~Stuart Perez

Day 1... Niobrara State Park

We traveled from Pittsburg to Niobrara SP.  It was a bit of a challenge to find a campsite  but found one that had four sites together. The group had lots of fun setting up tents and cooking dinner over a campfire.  Our entertaining evening of "catch phrase" was cut short by a rain storm.  The storm was pretty intense with lots of rain and hail but only lasted about 30 min.  Some of the group slept in vans....but I'll let them tell you about why later. Monday we pack up and visit Ashfall Fossil Beds.  When we leave there we drive to the Badlands.   Check back later for pics.  ~Mr. Perez

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Almost Ready to Go!!

Here we are again!  The PHS Science Club is traveling to the Badlands of South Dakota and Beyond.  The ten students going on this years trip have worked extremely hard both to raise funds and in getting to know one another. 
To change things up a bit we are traveling Beyond the Badlands and taking in a few more sites. 

Here is a sample of our itinerary:

Sunday May 29:  Camp at Niobrara State Park, NE

Monday May 30: Visit Ashfall Fossil Beds in NE and enter Badlands National Park, camp in the Badlands

Tuesday May 31: Lots of Hiking in the Badlands and visiting the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Wednesday June 1: Tour the Minute Man Missile Site and visit Wall Drug, more hiking in the Badlands

Thursday June 2: Visit SDSM&T Geology Museum, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and camp near Rushmore

Friday June 3: Visit the Journey Museum, Devils Tower and camp at Devils Tower

Saturday June 4: Visit the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs and Toad Stool Geology Park in NE, camp in CO

Sunday June 5: Visit Mt. Sunflower in KS and head back home

Take some time and visit our blog and let the students know you are "watching".  We will be posting every evening to update everyone about our experience.  ~Mr. Perez