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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:45 am
Posts: 563
Location: Verona, WI
BLACK HILLS SOUTH DAKOTA BORN FREE RALLY: August 25-29, 2010
Hosts: Rosella and Bill Meier

Set in South Dakota’s Black Hills, rich in breathtaking natural beauty as well as the backdrop of America’s wild west, this rally was skillfully organized and hosted by Rosella and Bill Meier. Courtesy of the Meier’s membership, the rally took place on the grounds of the Hart Ranch Camping Resort, where our congenial hosts gathered us for an initial get-acquainted wine social in the Hart Ranch café.

The next morning, our nine-hour bus tour of the highlights of Black Hills started with a cowboy breakfast at Fort Hays, the movie set of Dances with Wolves. Following breakfast was an exhilarating tour to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monument over tortuous tight hairpin curves, pigtail bridges and squeaky-tight granite tunnels. Respite came with a lavish luncheon at Custer State Park’s beautiful game lodge. A National Historic Landmark, this lodge served as the summer White House for Presidents Coolidge and Eisenhower. The bus tour concluded with a cowboy dinner and music show at the Fort Hays Chuck Wagon.

Each morning, a wonderful continental breakfast was served at the Picnic Shelter. Friday and Saturday were free days, to give everyone the opportunity to explore the numerous amazing attractions of the Black Hills, or to stay in camp to relax and enjoy the Hart Ranch activities. Interesting sites visited included the Reptile Gardens, Deadwood’s gold mines and casinos and hot springs. Favorite was the Mammoth Site, a remarkable exhibit with huge fossil, in-situ bones and an ice age museum. On Friday evening, we had a fun pizza party.

Next day we got another chance to take in more Black Hills attractions. Many went to historic downtown Rapid City, visiting the City of Presidents, Museum of Geology, Wind Cave and Jewel Cave National Parks. Several hearty souls went to seek buffalo – and there they were – glorious hundreds – just outside Custer State Park. One buffalo mistook Jerry Chappell’s big, white Born Free to be a big, white Thetford and took care of business, right on Jerry’s hood. Thus, Jerry returned to camp with an authentic Black Hills artifact, to the envy of all of us.

To top off an exciting day, we were served a splendid catered steak dinner, with after-dinner entertainment being – us! We cajoled Rosella and Bill, who are master dance instructors, to take our group through the paces, and there we were, line dancing! How the other campground visitors must have envied our talent and our fun! What a great way to wind up a very great rally. Sincere thanks go to Rosella and Bill Meier for conducting this well-organized and memorable rally.

Submitted by Ann Sasaki

NOTE! This recap was posted for the author by the Website Administrator (bfadmin-2).


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