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