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51-BadlandsBenReifelVisitorCenterAug2022

August 6th 2022

Woke up this morning at 5:45 AM to the AC being frozen up so I am attempting to get it to thaw out and moving a bit of air. The outdoor temp is sitting at 65° which is a wonderful change from the high temperatures that we had yesterday.

Took Chloe for her morning constitutional walk and got a few pictures of the surrounding area with the soft lighting. Looking forward to the drive that I have put in place for us to do today.

Ben Reifel Visitor Center

Pulled in at 9am when they opened the doors for the day. Grabbed some photos on our way there of the Badlands. Got our stickers for the park, and Cindy n Linda got their books stamped for the park. Checked out the visitor center and took pics of the items that were of interest to me.

Visit the Fossil Preparation Lab

The lab is part of the building of the Park Visitor Center. We got to watch 3 different folks that were working on different fossils as they removed the stone surrounding the fossils in front of them. Got a few pics plus got to visit with the folks working in the lab.

Info from: https://www.nps.gov/thingstodo/visit-ben-reifel.htm

The Ben Reifel Visitor Center is the main facility in the North Unit of the park. Stop by to talk with rangers, explore museum exhibits, check out the Fossil Preparation Lab, or visit the Badlands Natural History Association bookstore. There's something for everyone at the visitor center.

Whether you're curious about what you've already seen in the park or you're just arriving and want to get a preview, you're sure to learn something new in the Ben Reifel Visitor Center's museum exhibits. From the mosasaurs which swam through the Badlands area 75 million years ago to more recent history with the Lakota who live south of the park today, these exhibits cover a vast time period and all of the different stories which come together to make the Badlands special. These exhibits include audio-visual elements and tactile displays.

At the visitor center, you can also catch the park film, The Land of Stone and Light. In the spring, summer, and fall, the park film runs on a 25-minute loop. In the winter, the park film is shown as requested -- just ask the ranger at the front desk to play it for you. Captions and audio-descriptions are available on the park's multimedia webpage. Ask the rangers at the desk about these options when you visit.

If you're interested in the paleontology of Badlands National Park, don't miss the Fossil Preparation Lab. There, you can chat with park paleontologists as they gradually remove rock from specimens to reveal fossils. Park rangers are also available in the lab to answer any questions you may have about the incredible fossil animals of the Badlands. With millions of years of fossil history recorded in the park's rock formations, there are plenty of fossils to learn about!

At the Badlands Natural History Association Bookstore, you can purchase books to learn more about the park, as well as souvenirs to remind you of your time at the Badlands. Badlands Natural History Association uses all profits to support park programs like internships, volunteering, and more.

Benjamin Reifel, also known as Lone Feather, was the first Congressman elected with Lakota heritage, representing South Dakota’s 1st congressional district. Mr. Reifel belonged to the Brule (or Burnt Thigh) tribe. He was also the only Native American Congressman during the 1960’s. He served 5 terms from 1961-1971.

Reifel decided not to seek reelection in 1971, but still remained in government service during the administrations of President Richard Nixon and President Gerald Ford. During this interval, he spent time serving as Special Assistant for Indian programs to the Director of the National Park Service.

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