Where in the USA is the CoCo Locomoto? travel blog

Polished cross section of a petrified tree

Petrified Garden

Petrified Moss

10 x 12 house where 11 people survived blizzard of 1949

Tepee prop from Dances With Wolves

Buffalo prop from Dances With Wolves

Kevin Costner's horse prop

1880 Town

Wooden Car

Elvis Presley's Harley

Knowing it was to be hot, we were up and out of the campground early, we had several things to see right along I-90. Our first stop was the Petrified Garden where many different kinds of petrified plants and trees from the Black Hills and Badlands area have been gathered for the public to enjoy. It was amazing to see petrified moss, trees that were packed full of agates and gems, wood that still was covered with petrified bark and the biggest petrified log found in the area. It also was home to a house moved there from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in which 11 people survived the 1949 blizzard. The cabin couldn't be more than 10 x 12! It didn't say how long the blizzard lasted but one day would have been too long with eleven people in it. Then it was on to the "1880 Town" which is an authentic 1880-1920 era town from the buildings to their contents. It was a kick to walk through the old hotel, jail, livery, church, school house, post office, saloon and some 30 other buildings. One of the neatest surprises was the entire upstairs of the museum housed artifacts and props that were used in the movie "Dances With Wolves." Amazing is the only word I can think of to describe how realistic the props are and how creative those people must be to make you think they are real. Most of the movie was filmed in the Black Hills and Badlands. We came away deciding we would have to rent the movie again now that we had been to so many of those places. Our last stop for the day was Murdo. Murdo's claim to fame(a sign along I-90 at the exit) is it is the home of Senator John Thune and the Pioneer Auto Museum. While the museum boasted Elvis' Harley Davidson and Dukes of Hazard's 68-69 Dodge Charger and quite a few muscle cars, the most beautiful was a wooden car made from mahogany, oak and five gallons of Elmer's Glue and took 4 1/2 years to build. It was a masterpiece and amazing piece of workmanship. The museum also has a prairie town, 1950's collectibles, road signs and over 30 buildings to tour. We obviously didn't get an early enough start as by the time we got to Murdo, it was 105 degrees and windy! Hot and tired, we had an ice tea and headed home...something to see on another trip through the area.

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