Scott woke up at 6:00 to get tickets for the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Tickets weren’t even being given out until 8am.
The idea was that the kids and I could sleep a little longer while Scott stood in line. We did get about a half hour more sleep, but then two crows decided it was time for us to get up. Once I was able to get the kids out of the tent they played on the playground. Scott came back about 8:20. We snuck in a quick shower and breakfast and headed to the Minuteman Missile Site Tour.
The bedrooms in the Missile Site upstairs.
All meals were made at a nearby Air Force Base and delivered via an armed guard.
The middle picture was of the security center which also had the locked door that provided access to the elevator to the basement. The spelling on the ever important emergency exit on the top of the tiny six person elevator wasn’t spelled quite correctly. Hopefully they won’t ever need to use it, but let’s hope it works better than the emergency escape hatch from out of the command center down below. When they decommissioned the missile command center they discovered the escape hatch had collapsed due to the frost.
The four foot thick door had a little humor painted on it, “World-wide delivery in 30 minutes or less or your next one is free.” From SD over the North Pole it would take around twenty minutes to reach Russia. The middle picture was of HICKS cable that connected all the launch and command sites. The picture on the right was of the largest rebar we have ever seen. There were nine layers of the rebar circling the command capsule below the ground.
The picture on the left is of the capsule covered in cement. There were only two officers in the capsule.
If this green light ever lit it meant a missile had been launched.
The inside of the four foot thick door to the capsule. The elevator shaft. The security vehicle with bullet proof glass and armor. The security officers said the vehicle was miserable: no heating or air, no power steering, and the seats only reclined all the way back and would not sit straight up. The doors were so awkward the soldiers had to grab onto the seats and pull themselves up inside.
The middle picture is the classified document burner.
The Minuteman Missile Site looked like a long ranch home and was easily seen from Interstate 90. In fact, all missile locations are within 15 miles of Interstate 90.
After seeing the Missile Command Center Scott was in hot pursuit to find the missile silo eleven miles away.
The little blue hatch contains a keypad that allows the large blue hatch to open for maintenance. It took many hours for the hatch to open. The white tip is not the tip of the missile it is the radio antennae that connects to the command center.
Next stop: the visitors’ center. The kids earned their Jr. Ranger badges.
We went for a very short overlook hike in the Badlands.
We ate a quick lunch while Cody finished up his Night Explorer Jr. Ranger book. We had already earned our Badlands badge a few years ago.
The Badlands Visitors’ Center included a mini paleontologist lab. The paleontologists were very friendly and willing to share information. The ranger in the room talked with Cody for quite a while about teeth found on fossils. Sharp teeth meant a carnivore and flat mashing teeth meant a plant eater. An organism with sharp and flat teeth is an omnivore like us.
After leaving the Badlands we headed West on Interstate 90 to Mitchell, SD. We stayed at the Mitchell City Campground. Brooke suggested taking out the blue tooth speaker and listening to something besides country music as it seems to be very plentiful in the middle of nowhere areas we have been staying. We danced while we finished up dinner.
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