WARNING! Long post with lots of pictures.
First I would like to share with you the story of how I got stuck in some mud for nearly 45 MINUTES!!! Yep, stuck good. I was out doing one of my beaver/otter surveys where I walk 500 meters along the banks of rivers. I had just finished one side of a bridge and was going to cross under the bridge to survey the other side. Right before I got to the bridge I noticed this little drainage ditch (probably 6 inches wide or so) but water was flowing through it so I figured I would 'hop' across it as to not get my boots wet by the water....
That didn't quit work out. As you might be able to see in some of these pictures I managed one foot across the drainage ditch and felt it sinking into the mud. (Mind you, before you accuse me of being an idiot for jumping into mud!, I have crossed under dozens of bridges like this this summer and they pretty much all looked like this. The mud that you see is typically a hard dirt/ground and not mud so I wasn't expecting anything different) Right as I felt my one foot going under I tried to 'quick step' my way out of a muddy situation (pun attended =) but as my next 2 steps hit I sank all the way down, right up to my knees. This was the worst mud I have ever experienced. It WAS INSANE. I honestly could not move. I could feel the weight of the mud pressing down on top of my feet. I tried and I tried to pull my legs out but they just were not moving. I eventually had to radio Jesse over from the other side of the river to come help me out. He found some flood debris laying under the bridge (the big log I am holding) and threw that to me to try to work myself out. I felt like the zebra from 'The Swiss Family Robinson' movie. Remember that scene? :}
He also tossed some bigger rocks over for me to balance on once I got a limb out. He also tested the mud around me to see how close he could get to help. Wouldn't you know I landed in probably the ONLY spot under the bridge that sent you right under...
Even when my foot was almost out, it was extremely hard to get it out. That mud was insane. It is really hard for me to try to explain how bad it was.
So after about 30-45 minutes of struggling, tiring myself out I managed to free myself!! I was SOOO exhausted when I got out. I also was extremely muddy as I'm sure you could imagine =] so I pretty much ended up sitting in the river to wash the mud off. Good times!!
Yesterday the four of us out here headed down to Mount Rushmore and Devils Tower for a little vacation. It was BEAUTIFUL!! The Black Hills are amazing. I almost didn't want to come back to North Dakota after seeing eastern Wyoming and eastern South Dakota. But here I am. Back in ND...
This is Devils Tower (in Wyoming). I guess the tower you see is the lava from the inside of an old volcano. The volcano part has since eroded away and just left the lava that hardened in the tub. There are several native american stories as to how it was formed but the most 'accepted' was that of a bear clawing at the sides leaving the streaky look.
A little prairie dog. The girls called it 'cute and squishy', Jesse and I called it 'target practice' =}
Just a bunch more pictures of DT
These next few are from Mount Rushmore (in South Dakota)
I get carried away with digital cameras so there are a lot of pictures. These are just a fraction of what I took.
This last one is from the program they do at night when they light up the faces. Couldn't get a good picture with the lighting and in all reality, they were not as lit up as I thought they would be.
These last few are of a snake I found (almost stepped on) while doing one of our surveys.
Jesse and the snake. Size comparison.
I am pretty sure that it is a King Snake. If there are any experts out there feel free to correct me if I am wrong...
Just a couple bird pictures. As it turns out, flying birds are really hard to get a good picture of :]
Oh, one more thing. If your still reading this! I had 2 firsts in the eating world today. I ate moose (moose burger) for the first time and I also ate road kill for the first time! The moose was the road kill. One of the game wardens out here got the meat off of the road killed moose (not sure how long it was road kill for before he slaughtered it. Not sure I want to know... =] But it really was good. I haven't had many wild game meats but moose is my favorite thus far.