Thanks to an overzealous spam filter, I was locked out of the blog for a couple days. To reclaim it I had to sacrifice a couple of new posts (which it happily gobbled up), but I've finally reclaimed my territory. Is there some sort of techno-war-dance I can do? Expect a flurry of back-posting over the next couple of days. We'll start with some news from the Journey Museum in Rapid City. It's the largest public museum in the Black Hills, with a collection that spans from the geologic prehistory of the area to American Indian culture and pioneer settlement. It's pretty new - built in the late 90s - so the exhibits and the building itself are pretty modern. They sent me an e-mail late last week with some details on an exhibit slated for next year. Entitled "High Plains Open Range," the special exhibition will focus on The Big Roundup of 1902. More than 400 cowboys organized by the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association drove a massive herd of cattle from the Missouri River west across the state. Three months later, the roundup was over - and so was the era of the open range. The quick erection of fences ended the traditional cattle drive, along with the traditional cowboy. Cowboys survived, of course, but their job descriptions were significantly rewritten. The new exhibit, inspired by the recent publication of Cowboy Life: The Letters of George Philip, is scheduled to open on September 28, 2008 and close on March 22, 2009. It's still a ways off, but for anyone already planning their next Black Hills vacation (you obsessive-compulsive planners know who you are), it's probably worth fitting this into your itinerary. The Journey does a really good job with their exhibits. According to the e-mail I received, the exhibit will include photos, letters, diaries, clothing and personal accounts from The Big Roundup, but other artifacts reflective of cowboy life from 1877 to 1908 will be included, too.