Summer 2008 travel blog

Very old dig. Now just a quiet pool.

Old man of the rock.

You can tell Ron had the camera this time.

I was sitting at the head of these stairs.

Waterfall of Pipestone Creek

An active site. All they use are these hand tools.

Prayer flags marking an active quarry.

It was a short ride - only 70 miles to Pipestone, MN. We are right across the street from the Pipestone National Monument.

Pulled into the site and noticed that the swimming pool was right across the street. Since I was VERY hot - I put on my suit and went for about a 5 minute swim. Dried off a bit and finished unpacking from the road. That really felt good. Had a laid back night as there is WIFI and cable TV here so Ron didn't have to set up any satellites. Fixed some ribs and a salad for supper and kicked back. Did run the guide and set up chart with TV channels - then watched the food network for awhile. Early to bed.

Monday we walked over to Fort Pipestone - a so called "reconstruction" of a pioneer fort. I think it is a tourist trap filled with things made in China for sale. We then drove to the National Monument and walked the whole trail (just over a mile) It curves along the rock walls and then across the prairie. The smells were wonderful and the flowers a carpet of color. There was a lot of monarda, laitris, fleabane, and dozens of others that I can't remember.

The rock quarries where the Native Americans (they are the only ones that can) dig the Pipestone are beautiful. Lots of multi-colored stone. The Pipestone is a soft layer only a few inches deep and is buried beneath tons of harder quart/granite. They have to quarry it by hand as any tools or dynamite would destroy the Pipestone.

Tuesday we toured the County Museum and then went to the Native interpretive center. Sat and talked with the gentleman there that quarries stone and makes pipes and other objects. I bought a small piece of stone that I'm going to make into a candle holder. Not by hand, however, I'm going to use a dremel tool.

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