Saturday, October 17, 2015

An evening with good friends. July 23, 2015

 These are our friends, Joe and Barb.  It seems we don't get together near enough but when we do, we always have such a great time, we enjoy each others company and always have much to visit about.
 We had a fun tasty meal at the Route 16 Diner in Hill City.  The guys had to act it up by the mens room sign. 
You never know what might happen when this pair gets together.  

We were very thankful to Barb and Joe inviting us to the "BRULE" music program at an outdoor theater and stage.         This beautiful painted buffalo is on the grounds. Barb and I just had to have our picture with it.  

 The music is fantastic and the dancers put on a spectacular colorful show.  Notice the beautiful Eagle costume,  the dancing was very graceful and realistic. 

 "BRULE" band  is led by Paul LaRoche.  He was born in Lower Brule Sioux Reservation but adopted and raised by a wonderful couple from Worthington, MN. 

 The flute player is his daughter, Nicole 
and his son Shane is on Guitar. 
 The drummer who you can see 
in below picture is Vlasis Pergakis. 

 After the very enjoyable concert, the dancers and band members came out to shake hands and pose for pictures with audience members.  
Barb enjoying greeting  and thanking one of the very talented dancers. 

The drummer. 

This shows how beautiful Paul LaRoche shirt was as he is
 greeting many from the concert audience. 

 Here we are posing with Paul LaRoche, the head band leader.  
 Below is Jeff and Joe posing with Paul.  

We enjoyed the evening from beginning to end.  We have to make a point to spend more time with our friends. 
 It is always a special time.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A CAVE, A PARK and A ROCK QUARRY July 5,6 and 7th. 2015

While Jeff and I enjoyed our visit and time with cousin Jim and wife Judy,  we also enjoyed some of the great sites and attractions in that area.  These brought back many memories for my husband Jeff since he had visited these places when he was young and lived in Marengo for several of his childhood years.  First on our "to do list" was Marengo cave.  It is miles long and partially under this cemetery.

Cousins, Jim and Jeff get in some visit/relax time while waiting for the first part of cave tour to begin.
Below, you can see the map outlining the Dripstone trail tour.

In we go,   temp is a pretty steady 54 degrees.   Below you can see Jeff and Jim underground with all the cool dripping stalagmites and stalactites.

stalactite is an icicle-shaped formation that hangs from the ceiling of a cave, and is produced by precipitation of minerals from water dripping through the cave ceiling. Most stalactites have pointed tips.

A stalagmite is an upward-growing mound of mineral deposits that have precipitated from water dripping onto the floor of a cave. Most stalagmites have rounded or flattened tips.

When the stalagmites and stalactites touch they are called columns.

This one they called a castle from Frozen.
Notice the mineral  water dripping from this stalactite.  

Most of the cave had fairly nice walk paths but in some areas, we had to stoop as not to bump our heads.   This open area was high, a good 12 feet high.  Notice the shiny specks on the ceiling?

For many years, since this cave was discovered, this ceiling area is wet, and sticky.  We were told that we could try through up a penny and it might stick to the ceiling of the cave.  I had tried further down from this point but it did not stick but when I came back to this area,  my very new 2015 shinny penny did stick up there.   Jeff informed me that when he was a boy in 3rd grade, he also threw up a penny to stick in the cieling.  You can tell there are many many coins stuck in the cave ceiling.
I am sure "MY SHINNY PENNY" is one of the 2
in the center of above picture.  

I took this picture to show some of the very unusual items that were thrown up and are still in-bedded in the cave ceiling.  Credit card, chap-stick, pen,
 and I think I saw a cigarette lighter too. 

This is the map of the second tour, the Crystal Palace tour, that started right where the last tour left off but went the other direction.

There was even a waterfall in the cave but 
almost too dark to capture it with my camera. 

This above picture was very intriguing.   You can see the walkway to the right and it looked like this underground lake was very deep and scary.  Turns out it was only 3 to 6 inches deep. The still reflective water gave a illusion of depth, I choose this picture because it actually shows ripples from a small drip of water from the ceiling.  It was absolutely beautiful.  

Next on our list of fun things to see and do was
 SPRING MILL STATE PARK.    Both Jim and Judy enjoyed this beautiful day with us.     

Most of these pictures speak for themselves but the building below is a corn mill that is actually still used to display how the water turned the big water wheel to turn the gears that grinds the corn into corn meal.  They then bag the corn meal into labeled cloth bags and sell as a souvenir.  

Above shows how they used to grind corn meal before the mill was established.  Below you will see the holding bin and the big round flat rock that grinds the corn.

This is the big water wheel. 

I love these split rail fence and how showy they are next to all the lush green plants.

This is a lovely picture perfect garden in the 
Spring Mill State Park.  Lots of rock walls 
and flowers that attract beautiful butterfly's.
Nice spot for a picture.

Me and Judy just realized we had no pictures of us together. Jeff had to man the camera.   

They had people working in the old buildings, this was the black smith and there were others such as pottery and weaving also available to show and answer questions.
Jim and I cooling off our feet in the "ICE COLD" stream that comes straight from a cave up the hill.  It made us feel like little children not the older seniors that we are.   I guess you are as young as you feel.  Right?

This is a nice 1/4th mile hike up a hill to this stream fall and the mouth of the cave where the water comes out from. 

The water runs through the wood flume, down the hill to the mill and unto the water wheel.  The water coming from the cave never freezes and thus the mill could run year round. 

Jim and Judy relax on an old wood bench.
Love the green moss on this roof of an old log cabin.
This is one of the old rock mill grind stones.  

This was day 3 of our adventures and this is close enough to Jim and Judy's house that we could have walked, but it was raining that day.  Jim was so kind to contact the owner of this old MARENGO  ROCK QUARRY and schedule a tour.   Tours are not normally given but since Jeffs dad had worked in this very rock quarry some 55 years ago and they know Jim, they were pleased to show us around underground. 
This is the office area and you can see that it is under ground by the rock walls up above and also one wall.

The rock quarry has not been operating for many years and is now a big many many mile underground Marengo Warehouse.  The roads are the dotted lines and big enough for big equipment and semi trucks to meet on those roads.  Each color represents a finished warehouse for some company to store their products.  The non-colored are the storage warehouse areas that are not yet finished off but are planned to be complete in the future. 

Jeff and Jim look quite small in this large road area under the ground in the old rock quarry.

There is one of the semi trucks. 

This is in one of the storage areas.  I believe this was the freezer warehouse for fruit.  Normal temp in the quarry is 54 degrees but this unit has freezers to keep it -20 degrees below.  We didn't stay in there long, we could see our breath.
The smell reminded me of our Niagara locker from my childhood where we would keep our meet before we had our own freezer. I loved that small!

This warehouse area belongs to the US Government 
and these are all MRE's.  (MEAL, READY-TO-EAT, INDIVIDUAL)
Jeff said back in his day they called them K Rations.   

Here we are looking in another warehouse unit.  The man with the blue shirt is one of the owners and was our personal tour guide.  He was full of very interesting information.  Notice all the paint ball marks on the wall,  this area was at one time used for paint ball fun/game room. 
This is all corn.  Who knows, maybe some of this corn is even corn that our grandchildren have de-tasseled in NE. 

Jeff is showing one of the original drilled dynamite holes for blasting rock back when this was still rock quarry. 

Our guide told us they have come up with a new machine that smooths off the rough edges of the underground rock.   Below you can see how nice it makes it look. 

They have pored all the smooth cement
 for the road-ways and warehouses.  

More corn.
This area will never be used due to water leakage and this area is always wet and not safe.   Those cracks could be a sign of collapse or cave-in. 

Another warehouse has this windshield covering to keep glass from shattering.  It is amazing how big these storage
areas are miles under the ground. 

This is a dark area in the Quarry where there was a cave-in years ago.  This area will not be used for warehouse either.  This might even be the very area where Jeff's dad was when a cave-in happened and he hurt his leg.  He never went back.  I can't say I blame him.  With no light this deep underground tunnel is so dark you have no idea of direction.  This makes me think of Christs words, He is the light and we know Hell will be total separation from Christ who is the light, I believe that Hell will be total darkness as we experienced for just a few seconds in the quarry tunnels when the lights were turned off.  Only hell is for eternity.  It is so comforting to know and believe that Jesus paid the price for all our sins and if we believe and trust in Jesus salvation for us, we need not face the eternal torment of hell, and separation from Christ the Light.     

I loved the idea of a speed limit sign on the
rock wall of the tunnel road.  

It was a wonderful experience for Jeff to see and walk the areas where his father had once worked.  When we came out it had about quit raining but had this light fog or steam. 

This railroad track is runs right by Jim and Judy's yard and also right by the Marengo Warehouse. 

Picture of a picture.
 This is not such an old picture but a recent family picture of Jim, Judy and their family.
Jeff and I, Jim and Judy spent hours looking at old photographs.  Lots of fun, memories and even laughs. 
We are quite sure this is one of the Falin children We are not sure which one. 

Jim's dad Harry, Jim and son Rick. 

Ma and Pa Fletcher
We looked at hundreds and hundreds of old and not so old photos.  I have only posted a few that I took pictures of.  I am sure many of you have hundreds of old photos too that bring back many memories.