One of the perks of volunteering here in South Dakota is that we each receive a VIP pass for local attractions. In many cases this pass gets us free admission. Committed to taking advantage of this unique treat, we spend our days off visiting as many local sights as we can. Rapid City and nearby Ellsworth AFB seem like a good place to start.
Going down the tube
On our last visit to this area Storm and I made a valiant attempt to see a Minuteman missile in a silo. I posted about our failed attempt in 2016 here. We learned from our failure that we need to go to The South Dakota Air and Space Museum early enough to catch the Ellsworth AFB tour bus. Once cleared through security, the bus takes us on a rolling tour through the base ending at an actual missile (albeit a training missile) in a silo.
We successfully secure our seats on the base tour bus. As we descend into the silo our guide warns us not to drop anything down into the silo as there is no way to retrieve items that fall into the abyss. At the moment that he issues that warning, I feel in my heart that I am going to drop something. I am terrified that it will be my phone.
I try to be careful, really I do. But sure enough as I aim my camera toward the missile through a door in the silo wall, my lens hood falls off. Not the first time I lose one of those, but certainly the most embarrassing time. At least we get to hear how very deep the silo is as we listen to my lens hood bounce off the missile and silo sidewalls on its interminable fall to the bottom.
Downtown Rapid City
Since we are near downtown Rapid City while at Ellsworth, we drive a short ways and park in the city. We have been told that there is a statue of each American president on the corners downtown.
Identifying some of the less popular presidents is a challenge but we enjoy guessing who is who. Matt reads the brochure ahead of time and before he admits his prep, we are agog at his presidential knowledge. With temps in the upper 90s, the water park we stumble upon is a very tempting respite. Wish I had worn my bathing suit today.
Speaking of water parks, I want to send a special greeting to the “Pool People” at Rex Wellness in Garner. Today for the first time since we hit the road, I attend a local deep water aerobics class. The people in the class are as warm and welcoming as all my dear friends in the pool at home. Thinking of you each day and I miss every one of you!