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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 2 - The Midwest

We headed off with fair weather from Sheridan, Wyoming.  The land was mostly flat with some slight rolling hills.  I mentioned yesterday that we were wondering how the Indians could keep track of where they were going because one hill looks like the next.  I snapped some pictures as we traveled so you can see the flatness.  I found most of Wyoming to look like this.  The most fun thing about this area is that one of our sons served a church mission in much of the area that we traveled today.  We finally got to see where he served.  I remember back to his letters and tried to remember his experiences in each of these towns.

Just west of Gillette, WY we kept seeing these buildings in the middle of nowhere.  I finally called my son and asked what they were.  He said they were natural gas areas.  That whole area has natural gas, coal, and oil.  We saw the oil rigs but weren't sure about these buildings....they were everywhere!

When I was 16, I went around the United States with a group.  It was such a fun experience.  One of the things I remembered were the red roads.  Here in Wyoming we saw those red roads.  This picture does not show it as bright as it was but I think you can get the picture.

Our next stop was Mount Rushmore.  I also went there when I was on that trip at 16.  Today, I was so disappointed.  As we drove up, it started to pour...not just rain but sleet.  It was coming down so hard that you could hardly see your hand in front of your face let alone see the faces on the rock.  My husband didn't want to get out and walk in that stuff but I took my dog (which I later found out that dogs are not allowed) and we went part way into the park.  I turned back also because it was obvious that I would not see any better than what I already saw from the car.  The disappointing thing is that it cost $11.00 just to go into the park (no drive in and out - it was either go in or do not go in at all).  After not being able to see anything, I wish we would have saved our money and taken a picture from the road.  Oh well!

The Mt. Rushmore area has tons of stuff for a family to do but everything looked like it was going to cost you.  We did stop at a little village - stores and souvenirs etc.  The sun came out while we were there.  We thought about going back up to the mountain but we needed to get on with our trip.  By the way, when we paid for our ticket, the gal said we could use it the rest of the year.  I thought one of my kids might want to use it but later I found that it was non transferable and that she had written part of our car license on the ticket to make it that way...ugh!

Can you guess what this is?  Take a look at the next picture and see if that helps.

These are the pinnacles of the Bad Lands in Wyoming.  This is by far worth the money to go to this park. Now the cost to this park is $15.00.  We paid it then my husband saw that they were selling the life time senior passes for National Parks.  I asked how much they were thinking $50 or so.  She said $10.00.  So we handed her back our receipt, she had my husband fill out some papers, she returned $5.00 to us and now we are the proud holders of a lifetime pass to all National Parks in the US.  That really made this tour worth it.

The views in this park are so awesome.  For as far as you can see, you have this awesome view.  The colors were fantastic.  As you can see, the weather helped to make the scene spectacular too.

I don't know if you can see him or not but as we were driving we saw tons of Prairie Dogs scooting all over the place.  Here is one standing up checking us out.  You can see their mounds all over the ground.  As we were leaving the park we also saw a colony of white Prairie cute.  They all scampered to their homes (holes) when I started to get out of the car.

We also saw this herd of deer.  They weren't scared of us at all.  It was funny because Lucky had been watching these deer but as we started to leave, she finally let out a tiny little growl.  Big brave dog!

This park was so much fun.  I hated to leave but on we must go.  We traveled over the same flat country as I started with on this day.  Tonight we are in Mitchell, Wyoming.  We are going to check out the Corn Palace first thing tomorrow then who knows where we will go.  We haven't yet decided.  Such fun!

1 comment:

  1. I've never even heard of a white prairie cool. I've always wanted to see Mt. Rushmore (even though Bob tells me it's more impressive in pictures than in real life), but now the Badlands is even higher on my list. Gorgeous!
    (Also, we're jealous of the $10.00 price tag on the LIFETIME pass. We're paying $70.00 for our ANNUAL pass this year. A few more years I guess!)