Wednesday, July 2, 2008


One of the single most driving forces in humanities' quest for knowledge and understanding is the yearning to understand the origins of man. While scientists and theologians may snipe and bicker about the details of early man, a bold theory has been put forth in Custer, South Dakota. A re-creation showing not just primitive man but his social structure, community and, yes, his foot-powered cars.

Welcome to Bedrock City.

The Black Hills area of South Dakota has always been a huge draw for tourists with Mount Rushmore being the main draw. But, while impressive, four faces alone can't hold the attention of today's traveler for more than an afternoon. So the area surrounding the monument has a dense amount of attractions and whatnots all competing for the tourist dollar.

Sure Gator Farms and Mystery Spots abound but for my money, stop #1 revolves around the modern stone age family. the Flintstones. Yeah the gang's all here at this 30 acre park and campground. As far as attractions go it's a little odd in that the main activity is to walk around and look at stuff. But since that's really the only thing I like to do anyway, I was pleased.

Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty and the kids are all present and accounted for in fiberglass form and sometimes in "hand shaking costumed character" form. But Bedrock is a much larger and bustling metropolis than I recall from Saturday morning viewings. And characters and locations that you might not remember are also there. Like the Bedrock City Fire Hall:

I don't remember too many episodes of the Flintstones where stuff caught on fire...especially since everything in town seemed to be made of rock...but that doesn't mean that BCFD doesn't remain eternally vigilante.

Now as I mentioned before, the area's main draw is Mount Rushmore and there seems to be some type of South Dakota state ordinance that every tourist attraction in the area must pay homage in some way to the monument. Bedrock City is not exempt so let me introduce you to Mount Rockmore:

Fred? Check. Barney? Check. Dino? Ok. Some random guy? Well, he's there too. It seems sexism was rife in the stone age. Surely Wilma or Betty deserve a place on the Mount Rockmore more than the family pet or...some guy.

I guess cave women still had a lot to prove back in the day. You've come a long way baby.

As I visited I wondered how popular the Flintstones are with today's kids. There was a theater there that showed non-stop Flintstones cartoons but it seemed like the not-so-sublte nods to the Honeymooners were lost on the Harry Potter crowd. Their loss I guess.

The one cartoon I wanted to see wasn't shown though:

Now that's some smooth stone aged flavor.

Find Bedrock City online at:

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