Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

We got back from Ohio Sunday evening and started sight seeing again Monday afternoon. I  really had very little energy yesterday, however. Traveling over three time zones in a day is certainly a physical challenge! We picked up KC at Happy Tails first thing in the morning. Once we got him home he paced around us a lot and cried. As you can see from the picture below, he finally settled down.
It did not help, then, when we left him to do some touring. He started up again fussing and following us around when we returned. He has not slept much since that first nap, the stress he is generating may kill him yet! Yesterday afternoon we followed the River Road along the Missouri River and saw several falls. The number of birds on the river were awesome to see. We saw cormorants, cranes, egrets, and pelicans, to name a few. We stopped at Giant Springs State Park. which is a trout fish hatchery. The springs there are quite beautiful, they were seen by Lewis and Clark in 1805 who described them as "clear and of a bluish cast". They can be seen bubbling up in several areas, something very cool to look at on a warm summer day!
  The water for the springs flow out of the Belt Mountains. It takes fifty years for them to flow that distance into the springs and then on to the Roe River. Roe River is all of 200 feet long, and is the shortest river in our country. At this park it flows into the Missouri River, which is the longest river in the country. We got to First Peoples Buffalo Jump Park just in time to hear the story of the jump given by a park ranger at the visitor's center there. It is quite a fascinating story which has been pieced together using information from oral history of the Native Americans, as well as from artifacts found at the archeological digs in this area. Prehistoric inhabitants of the Great Plains, using their children as decoys, hunted bison by stampeding them over cliffs. I have a picture below of the cliffs where this jump occurred. Wild bison were totally extinct in our country by the 1890s.  However, some buffalo were caught and kept in private herds, which is why they are still around today.

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