Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I've been trying to get a map of our route, and I hope this works! Our trip might be overload for Google Maps, though. Let me know if it makes any sense to you or not!

Today we left Columbus, Montana and drove into Wyoming! I was sound asleep when we entered the state, but I was awake by the time we reached Devil's Tower. This is the area of the country that I saw about 30 years ago on a long trip to National Center West with the Girl Scouts, and we camped one night near Devil's Tower. It's so cool! It's the core of an ancient volcano, and the mountain is all eroded away while the cooled magma is still there. Neat, right?

It's rained nearly all day today, but we managed to look around and take some fun pictures. We drove down to see Crazy Horse Monument, which is privately owned and funded. There is also a big Native American museum filled with all kinds of artifacts, both old and more modern. Simon coined what sounded to me like a new term . . . "leech town" for the little towns around the monuments where everything around town has something kitschy to do with the point of interest, and it all costs more money than it should. Suffice to say that the Black Hills area is rife with Leech Towns.

We drove around Custer State Park and were able to see some great wildlife. The donkeys were blocking the road with their grazing and begging, but they were really cute!

The Buffalo herds were mostly far away from the road, but there was one large herd that was very close to the road that had a lot of calves. It was exciting to finally see a real herd! I tried to get Simon to run at them and get them to stampede, but he wouldn't play along.

Finally we got to Mt Rushmore. We'd saved it for last because we kept hoping the rain would clear. It didn't, and neither did the fog, as you can see. If you enlarge the pictures you can see better! I did manage to get a few clear shots of the big stone heads with great patience. The visitor's center is greatly changed from 30 years ago when I was here before. It's really big and impressive now, and I don't remember it being like that before.

Tomorrow we will go through the SD Badlands, visit Wall Drug and maybe get all the way to the Corn Palace or further. Then we'll be in the Chicago area, staying with dear old friends, Scott and Tony. So far we're still having fun with one another, too, which is a great thing, don't you think?