Sunday, December 10, 2017

Week 103, 12-10-2017

Thoughts and QuotesTravel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.
                                                                                                Seneca, Greek Philosopher

I need some vigor in my mind. As you know, my brother Bill was my stand-in for the trip I was supposed to take this week. But - 

The Pepper and Pals Report

Monday: I went to pick Pepper up after his claw removal. They told me Dr. was at a conference but would be back late afternoon and he wanted to check Pepper once more.

Back to pick him up at 5:00.

Tuesday: Took Stormy to the Humane Society to be adopted. I wrote out a letter telling her history, about her family, what she likes, etc., took her medical records and some photos of her, her mom Misty, her sibling Sunny. I paid my $30 fee, filled out all the paperwork, showed my ID, transferred her to their carrier. The attendant came in to get her. Stormy slapped her and nicked her skin, and that was that. Guess Pepper gets to keep Stormy.

Wednesday: I trapped Fred and took him to the vet.

Thursday: Thankfully, things were calm and I went to lunch with my brother Jim.

Friday: I picked up Flower and Ginger from the vet. They have reunited with their mother, Midnight.

Saturday: Pepper's foot started bleeding, so back to the vet to have it glued.

I had to give him two droppers of liquid antibiotics each day for three days. The war was on! I have salve to doctor his head wound every day, which is easier than the dropper. I feed him several times a day with a spoon since he's still wearing his collar. I have to take his collar off and clean it and his neck each day and put a new panty liner to pad the place where the collar snaps together.

So how could I have gone on a trip? And to top it all off, Linda Kitty-sitter fell and broke her arm the day before I was to leave.

But not a total waste. My camera took the trip with my brother Bill. By next week, we should have everything sorted out so we can take the trip through photos.

In the meantime, my niece Sarah mentioned that she's thinking of taking a trip next summer to see Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone.

I was there in 2006, but I'm sure things haven't changed all that much. I've added comments in blue and imported things from my journal from a prior trip in wine. I've also inserted links to all the places so you can explore further. And you'll thank me that I only inserted some of the photos - not all.

So this is for you, Sarah, so you can read it on any of your devices.


Wednesday, July 5: I was the last to arrive at the pickup point, and we still got on the road fifteen minutes early.  Sharon and Joyce, sisters I met on the New England trip, are also on the bus, along with an additional sister this time.  Sharon has a new three-month-old granddaughter, and she doesn’t have a picture with her.  Imagine that!

We had our first stop in Clinton, and I found a mailbox to drop my “thank you” note to the Dettens for the 4th of July brunch.  Had time to walk a bit. 

I’ve been reading because we’re taking the same route I followed last week when I went to Independence.  The movies have already started – a John Wayne western, so I’m listening to tapes.  I almost left my heavy duty headphones behind – glad I didn’t.  They block the noise better than my wimpy ones.

Only twenty-one people on the bus including the driver and tour guide.  I like to come to the back, and I have empty seats on all sides – my own little condo.

The roadsides are so pretty and green.  This really is a beautiful state.  I see a sign for a Cracker Barrel twenty-miles ahead.  Bet that’s the one where we’re having lunch.  Goody – my favorite.

Lunch was a hamburger patty, green beans, corn, a corn muffin, and I took my biscuit and half my meat for dinner.

More videos (corny comics), so I listened to tapes and read.  Kept falling asleep.  Corn fields are pretty, but a little monotonous.

Comfort Suites in Sioux Falls, SD for one night.  A perfect room, but not fancy. Queen bed, two nightstands, couch, coffee table, small dining table with two chairs, desk, armoire, iron and ironing board, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, hair dryer, shower over tub, TV, of course.  I could live here.  The manager had snacks for us when we arrived: three kinds of cheese, sausages, crackers, cookies, coffee, and juice.  Nice touch.  I got acquainted with a mother-daughter from Highlandville (just six miles south of Nixa) while we snacked.

I meant to take a walk, but ended up in a thrift store.  The building was set back and the sign said, “Savers Department Store”.  I was looking for batteries, but bought a cookie press (never used) instead and a book for Joey.  Mark that off her list – nine to go.

I had my biscuit sandwich, tomato cup of soup and a cup of tea in my room.  Going to have a nice hot bath and jump in bed and read.

Thursday, July 6:
South Dakota also serves biscuits and gravy and boiled eggs on their “continental breakfast” – just like the South.  The Comfort Suites was very quiet.  What a miracle!

We stopped at the Corn Palace.  I’ve always heard about it, but never knew what it was all about.  Mosaic murals (inside and out) are made of different grains and grasses and halved cobs of corn in various shades – I heard seven different colors and twelve different colors, so I guess it’s one or the other or somewhere in between.  I also heard that it takes $100,000 to redecorate each year and then I heard $130,000.  They need to get their tour guides, their movie, and their info on their bags coordinated.  And their bags say that they’re made of corn and they feel funny.

The Corn Palace is an auditorium where entertainment and sports events are held in the off season.  During the summer tourist season, the floor is covered with counters and displays and becomes a giant gift shop.  The walls are covered with pictures of the place – one from each year – redecorated with the current year’s theme and up high, the corn mosaics.  Seems to me they’d have to sell a lot of black gold jewelry to pay for the redecorating.  At the end of the summer, the birds and squirrels get to eat all the corn, etc.

That's right - all corn and grain. These murals are huge. I'll show you the entire building so you can get an idea. These mosaics are up on one outside wall. This year's theme was a tribute to the rodeo. You can check out Mitchell's Corn Palace HERE.

Lunch was at Al’s Oasis by the shores of the Missouri River.  There’s a huge buffalo statue out front, so I thought it would be a good place to try my first buffalo burger.  I did and I liked it.  Can you believe 5-cent coffee?  Honest!  The buffalo burger was $7.25 to make up for it, however.  One drawback – the room was surrounded by big shelves at the top of the walls, and on the shelves were all kinds of dead animals and birds, watching you eat lunch.

Looks as if not much has changed. The animals still watch you eat, but now the buffalo burger is $13. Check them out HERE.

On to the Badlands and they’re really bad.  The winds feel as if they’re gale force and the landscape is similar to Bryce Canyon except gray and with sharper points.  Some areas, however, resembled sand castles.  All I can think of is “desolation”.

The National Park Service link is HERE.

The visitor center had some interesting wildlife from long ago – really long ago – simulated, not stuffed.  One animal was a small three-toed horse with spots like a fawn.  There’s an interesting movie showing all the wildlife you don’t see ordinarily because you’d have to hike and hike and climb those jagged rocks and sometimes photograph at night and there are snakes out there!  Hard to believe anything can exist in that place.

As we drove along we saw prairie dogs popping up out of their holes and a couple of deer, who just watched us pass and kept on chewing.  I’m surprised there aren’t more guardrails.  I wonder how many people slip in the loose gravel or get blown over the side?

Next stop was Wall Drugs.  Wall (the town) was named for a wall of rock which is the beginning of The Badlands.  A pharmacist bought the drugstore in the 1930’s and Wall was a small town and very poor.  With the drought and the depression, the drugstore was failing.  Tourists would just drive on through town to Mt. Rushmore and The Badlands.  The wife suggested putting out a sign which said, “Free Ice Water”, and the tourists came.  So they added coffee and ice cream, then food, souvenirs, etc.  Now the place covers a city block – very touristy with animal statues for taking pictures, a place to pan for gems, etc.  There’s a collection of western art in the restaurant and some of it is very good – but not for sale.   Also a collection of very old photos – Native Americans, buffalo, cowboys, early settlers, etc.  And you still get free ice water.

This is a goofy place. You can check it out HERE.

Then boring landscape (prairies) so Tonya entertained everyone with a CD of cowboy music (Sons of the Pioneers, I think).  I listened to my tape of the Three Tenors Encore. 

We arrived in Keystone for the night at the White House Resort, which seems new and very nice but with bare essentials, and I do mean bare.  I had soap and toilet tissue but that’s it – not even shampoo.

It's still there. Not a place you'd want to spend a week, but if you're just visiting Mt. Rushmore, the location is perfect. I had a room on the backside, so very quiet (high on my list of priorities). You can see more HERE.

It’s a little western style town with boardwalks and a vintage train with a quaint little station.  There are containers of beautiful flowers everywhere; predominantly red, white, and dark purple petunias. 

The train runs between Keystone and Hill City. You can take a youtube ride HERE.

 A little stream runs through town.  I had a nice walk and even found a place to view Mt. Rushmore far off in the distance.

Take a look just above the front of the roof, and you can see Mt. Rushmore in the distance.

I found a Subway and got a turkey and ham sub with lots of veggies, which I ate at a little park by the Borklund (Mt. Rushmore sculptor) Museum.  Two cute little black, white and gray birds came to help me with the bun.  The park has replicas of other Borklund statues, including the face of Stone Mountain in Georgia.  I’d forgotten Borklund did that.  The shops are boring; typical tourist junk with a Western slant, so I was bathed and in bed with my cup of tea at 8:30.

The museum was closed by the time we arrived. You can check it out HERE.

Friday, July 7:
A nice buffet breakfast at the hotel, then off to the mountain.  After viewing the movie of how Mt. Rushmore was sculpted, I was even more surprised that it even happened.  It just doesn’t seem possible.  The faces are 60’ long, at which scale they would belong to men 485’ tall.  Begun July 4, 1927, and completed October 31, 1941, interrupted by the depression, WWII etc., the actual carving time was six and a half years, mostly done with dynamite.

The $850,000 paid by the government (total cost almost $1 million but 15% paid by private funds) has proved to be a sound investment when you think of all the money received in entry fees, sales of food in the restaurant and the sales of items in the gift shop and bookstore.

A South Dakota historian, Doane Robinson, originated the idea of the carvings, but he envisioned full figures of Western heroes like Buffalo Bill, Chief Red Cloud, Lewis and Clark, etc.  Danish born Gutzon Borklund felt the presidents would appeal to a larger number of Americans. 

Washington was chosen to represent the Birth of the country, Jefferson for Expansion (Louisiana Purchase), Lincoln for Preservation (Civil War), and Theodore Roosevelt for Development of the country (Panama Canal).

The amphitheater is looking directly at the sculptures. You can see the tailings left from the carving. You can also get a great view inside or out from my favorite viewing spot below - hey! a girl's gotta eat to keep up her strength. The National Park Service link is HERE.

My observations from a prior trip:

Gutzon Borglum would be so happy if he could see the Mt. Rushmore complex.  The public areas perfectly compliment the sculptures.  Everything is build of various shades of gray granite; walks, stairs, pillars, amphitheater, cafeteria, girt shop, and visitors’ center.  It all looks stable and permanent – like the buildings in Washington D.C.  The cafeteria has floor-to-ceiling (very high ceilings) windows with a view of Mt. Rushmore from every table.  A nice surprise – real carnations on very table.  Hanging light fixtures have circle bottom with a teepee in the middle and metal sculpture buffalo circling the teepee

The walkway from the cafeteria to the visitors’ center is lined with tall square pillars with a state flagpole on each side of each pillar.  A plaque on the side of the pillar tells the name of the state and the date the state was admitted to the union.  Every state is represented and it makes a colorful and festive sight with all the flags flying in the breeze.

The visitors’ center has a movie, videos, and historical pictures and equipment.  The sculptor’s shop is waaaayyyy down the hill, and as I was going down, I met some of the bus people who told me, “Don’t bother.  It’s just a small version of the mountain, and we’ve had to stop and rest five times already”.  Then I understood the rock walls which served as benches, lining both sides of the stairs.

Pictures simply cannot capture the magnitude of this phenomenal undertaking – it needs to be an “in-person” experience.

On to Deadwood.  I saw a single antelope twice, then three in a group plus a flock of five or six wild turkeys.  The three antelope were near an area with water and feeding troughs, so I’m wondering if people raise them.

We passed the Crazy Horse monument on the way, but didn't stop, so I didn't even mention it in my journal. Here's what I said in my journal from a prior trip:

We had a step-on guide today who was very knowledgeable about the area.   She was born and raised here and obviously loves South Dakota.  We had a stop to view the Crazy Horse monument from the bus.  It’s scarcely started and it’s been underway for over fifty years.  If it’s ever finished, it will be a magnificent sight; not in my lifetime, however.  One family has undertaken the task and want no help from government or others so that they can have complete control.  I wish them well.

Here's the current LINK. Doesn't look as if they've made much progress.

Deadwood is so depressing.  It’s nothing but casinos, hotels, restaurants and junky souvenir stores.  We had a really good buffet lunch at The Silverado (owned by Kevin Costner – he didn’t join us).  I had a piece of chicken, a barbequed rib, corn, and a great salad from the salad bar – even artichoke hearts.  I had just enough bread pudding with caramel sauce and whipped cream to taste and wished I’d taken a whole serving.  I walked around town long enough to realize there was nothing of interest, so I went back to The Silverado to wait for the bus.  Several of our people were waiting inside, so I joined them.  No place to sit but a stool at one of the slots.  Then I noticed it was a penny slot.  I didn’t know there was such a thing.  I put a dollar in and tried to figure out how it worked.  There were five rows across and five down with pictures of natives and African animals.  Tonya, our guide, was trying to explain how it paid off and all of a sudden a bunch of lions started roaring and I cashed out with $24. 

This hotel had beautiful chandeliers which did not photograph well.

All the tours to the cemetery where Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane are buried were going to be back too late for my bus.  As we were leaving, our dear bus driver, Rory, drove up the hill to the cemetery.  Tonya said the graves were about 1-1/2 blocks away and the admission was $1.  I was the only one who wanted to go, so I told her to just forget it.  The real Deadwood was on our bus.

The ride to Sheridan was rather dull, so I finished my book.

Our hotel was across from an Albertsons, so I walked over to get some batteries for my tape player and headphones (just in case).  I got bananas and apples and a couple of pieces of chicken and a whole-wheat roll.  Returning from the market, the wind picked up and almost blew me away, and I can honestly say that I’ve been in a dust storm.  I had to run for the hotel. 

I had my chicken and roll and an apple in my room.  Thankfully, I had shampoo this time, so I washed my hair, watched the news and looked at my Yellowstone book.

The hotel sounded like an airplane engine, so I didn’t sleep well.

Saturday, July 8:
Goody!  A coffeemaker!  I had oatmeal, a banana and coffee in my room.  Took a walk around the hotel perimeter – beautiful day and the wind was gone.

We drove through some of the most magnificent scenery up into the Bighorn Mountains (a part of the Rockies) with panoramic vistas, many different colors and types of rock formations, glorious evergreens and patches of wildflowers in white, purple, orange and several shades of yellow.

We made a stop at Shell Falls for photos and I picked some gooseberries and some rose hips from some wild rose bushes.  Wonder if I can get them to grow as easily as my grapefruit seeds?

Gee, I guess I was pretty excited about Shell Falls.

I didn’t crack a book all morning – the scenery was too wonderful to miss.  I saw a doe with her fawn in a little clearing right by the highway; then two yearlings out in a field.  Also, a hiker out in the middle of a big open space.  Wonder how far he walked – no civilization anywhere.

By eleven o’clock we were crossing wide open spaces of desert and scrub brush.  Hard to believe it was only a few miles since I’d been admiring the beauty.  Started digging out my book.

We had lunch in Cody at Irma’s, one of Buffalo Bill’s original hotels along the stage coach line.  He named the hotel for his daughter.  We had lunch in the big diningroom with the original carved cherry wood bar.  There are little buffalo heads on the sides of the booths for cowboys to hang their hats.  I had a decent buffet lunch – salad, green beans, chicken enchilada casserole and buffalo lasagna.  There was a nice ham at the carving station at the end of the line, but I decided that would be just too much.  I got a small dish of bread pudding with whiskey sauce, but it was really powerful, so I had only one bite.  Don’t anyone strike a match!

After lunch, I walked around the town and looked at the postings in a realtor’s window.  I was very surprised to find that houses are more expensive in Cody, WY than they are in Springfield, MO.

Take a look at the buffalo heads on each booth for hanging your hat and the beautiful wood behind the bar. Irma's link is HERE.

After lunch we stopped at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.  I had no idea it was so big.  I went to the Native American Wing first, then the Natural History, then a special exhibit of paintings by William Ranney (where I couldn’t take pictures), then to the permanent art exhibit (where I could).  Ranney did portraits, art of the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, as well as Western art.  The permanent collection is strictly Western art and sculpture, lots of it by Russell and Remington.  I don’t really care for Western subjects, but I saw real talent in both exhibits. By the time I finished all that, I didn’t have time for the Buffalo Bill wing.  Should have studied my map more carefully and I would have opted for Buffalo Bill instead of Natural History.

There's a lot more of the permanent collection on the website HERE.

On to Yellowstone, entering through the east entrance.  Not only did they have a fire here three years ago, so lots of devastation, but they’re also doing major work on the highway, so we had delays in getting to the Old Faithful Snow Lodge where we’ll spend two nights.  No TV’s and no air conditioning.

The three sisters and I walked over to the cafeteria.  I had a great chili cheese dog and we arrived at Old Faithful just as the eruption started.  They wanted to stay and hear the Park Ranger talk, but I didn’t want to sit in the sun, so I roamed around Old Faithful Inn, bought some postcards, took pictures around the park, went to the General Store for an ice cream bar, went back to my room and started my “charging” (phone, camera battery), reorganized my suitcase, wrote out my cards and took them to the post office.

Impressions of Old Faithful from a prior trip:

Old Faithful puts on her show about every hour and a half.  I thought it would just spurt up, gush a few minutes, and be over – boom!  No, she ekes out every last ooh and aah from the tourists..  First you see just steam (which is always there), then an occasional splash of hot water for a teaser.  After a few splashes, the real gusher starts out low and slowly works its way to a giant tower of scalding water with clouds of steam blowing off so that all you see is a pure white ethereal-looking fountain which shoots gallons and gallons before it slowly starts to recede, getting shorter and shorter until it finally stops altogether and only the steam remains once again.

It was warm, so I had to turn on my fan all night.  Just don’t like that noise when I sleep, so I woke up about every two hours.

National Parks must be as close to natural as possible; therefore, no a/c, no radios, no TV. The newer rooms were nice, but I preferred staying in the really old lodge. This is what I wrote in my journal from a prior trip.

I have a perfect room.  Twin beds – oak headboards, with quilted print bedspreads, beige with forest green and brown figures of bear, elk, bison, long-horn sheep, moose, trout, feathers, evergreen trees, canoes, and Indian symbols.  My lamp is wooden with a carved wooden shade lined with parchment and a different scene on each of the four sides (bear, elk, mountains, trees).  I have a wood-rail arm chair with a cane seat, and an oak dresser I would take to Antiques Roadshow if it were mine, as it is obviously an authentic old-timer.  When you open a narrow door, which looks as if it might be a closet, there’s the stool and mini-shower.  The sink is in a vanity in the room.  But the real bonus – I’m on the second floor, so I can open my window and there’s a bubbling brook I can hear all night.  It’s real – they don’t turn it off at midnight.

Sunday, July 9:
We had an included breakfast buffet at our hotel and then left for a tour of the park with a step-on guide.  She was extremely knowledgeable and loves the park.  We saw hot springs, geysers, mud pots and fumaroles; some of each of the 10,000 hydro-thermal features of Yellowstone.  We saw deer, Canada geese, white pelicans, one elk and lots of bison – LOTS of bison.

We stopped at the Lake Lodge for lunch in the cafeteria.  I had three chicken tenders and a small Greek salad and it was $11.  And I thought Europe was expensive.  At least I haven’t seen buffalo on any of the park menus.

A stop for a peek at the Yellowstone Lake Hotel. 

You can check out Yellowstone on the park service website HERE. There are many places to stay or camp; some are seasonal. Check out the main website and then you can be redirected to the Lodging site.

We didn’t return from our tour until 2:00 (left at 8:00), and we saw only a fraction of the 2.2 million acres of the park.

When we returned, a buffalo (bison) was lying right on the corner of a busy intersection by our hotel.  Two park rangers were there to make sure people didn’t get too close, and they had to stick around until he got good and ready to move on.

There are lots of wildflowers in the lodge area.

I was tired, so I had the rest of my chicken from lunch, a cup of soup, some cheese and crackers, and an apple in my room. 

When we arrived, everyone was saying "No tv's!" and I was saying, "Hooray! No tv's!"

Monday, July 10:
Some of the prettiet scenery was on our way out.

Motoring through the Tetons with picture stops and restroom breaks -

We stopped at the Church of Transfiguration, a little rustic A-frame church with a big picture window behind the altar and a wonderful view of the mountains, fronted by aspens.

A long stop in Jackson Hole for shopping and lunch.  Tonya and I went to the Million Dollar Cowbory Bar for lunch.  The inside is totally western, with saddles for bar stools, everything constructed of gnarled wood, stuffed animals, a collection of spurs, etc.  Of course, Western music while we ate our hamburgers.  They were out of elk and I like the fat in beef, so I stayed away from the good-for-you-low-fat buffalo burger. I didn't want to disturb the diners (and drinkers) with flash, so my photos are blurry.

You can read more about it HERE.

I walked off my fat burger by going down three of the four directions from the square.  I goofed.  The fourth way led to a beautiful visitors center and a lovely park with a lake, Canada geese and swans – one with a baby trailing behind.  I would have missed it, but we drove right by as we left Jackson Hole.

Jackson Hole hasn’t changed.  Same park in the center of the square with entry arches made of antlers at each corner leading into the criss-crossed sidewalks center, same shops full of Western gear and souvenirs, same stagecoach ride, same high prices.  I had a one-dip ice cream on a stale cake cone and it was $2.95.  I didn’t care.  It was wild huckleberry – a new experience for me.  I’ll have to admit that I’ve never seen a town with more beautiful flower boxes, whisky barrels and hanging baskets in glorious bursts of multi-colored splendor.  The boardwalks were crowded and the sun was hot, so I was happy to see the bus pull up.

They have a sense of humor here. The fence is made partially of skis.

And this

belongs to a gardener.

Perhaps they have an abundance of paint.

The Jackson Lake Lodge has a perfect view of the Tetons and the lake through wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling picture windows.  The lodge is one of the Grand Old Dames of national park hotels.  More rustic than sophisticated like Banff Springs and Princess Lake Louise in Canada, but still the same slightly snooty ambiance in a grand natural setting.

We had a Sunnyland group dinner in the best dining room, The Mural Room (named for the murals of the wild west which are on three sides of the room).  We had a choice of three items out of five (appetizer, soup, salad, entrée and dessert).  We felt as if we were on a cruise.  The items were unique, or familiar with a unique preparation, and served on white tablecloths with cloth napkins.  The butter was in the shape of a moose, the rolls were an interesting sun-dried-tomato-herb combination, and we had the same giant view of the Tetons as in the lobby.

I had wild mushroom ravioli with duck sauce and fresh asparagus for my appetizer, then prime rib, baked potato and a squash medley, followed by crème brulee.  I ordered an end cut, but it was still rare.  By the time they took it back three times to get it brown, everyone was finished with dinner, so I joined them with dessert.

We traded “tastes” so now I’ve eaten elk (prepared with a chipotle rub and served with cilantro pesto – spicy!) and something called a crab sundae, an appetizer of a crab-cucumber-veggie stack.  Some entrees were served with grits or polenta, exotic sauces and coulis.  The desserts were beautiful – I saw one strawberry mousse-white cake creation which would make any pastry chef proud.

My room had cooled (no a/c here either) and I had a feeling it would be a quiet night.  It was, thankfully.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I had, as the British would say, a nice lie-in.  I didn’t go to breakfast (a big buffet) until 9:00 and then spent most of the day reading.

The tour was doing a float trip on the Snake River.  I saw a picture.  No boats – rubber rafts where you sit around the edge and no seat backs.  An afternoon in a life vest under a hot sun didn’t appeal to me.

I had some cheese and crackers for lunch and then explored the hotel and sat on a bench where I could marvel at the Tetons, smell the pine trees and laugh at the ground squirrels.

The grill restaurant has some wonderful vintage photos of happenings around the area.  The float trips used to be in boats and the ladies wore hats and dresses.

Another three-course dinner in The Mural Room.  I had an appetizer of crab cakes, which I shared with Tonya, then breast of chicken (dry) with polenta AND potatoes and broccoli rabe.  I ate a few bites of chicken and my broccoli.  I split my chocolate raspberry cake with Tonya.  Teton is French for breast and somehow, our rosemary rolls ended up with little bumps on top.  Perfect Teton rolls.  I couldn’t resist taking a picture. You get the idea even though the photo is blurry.

The dinner took so long, I got to the slide show when it was half over.  What a shame, because the slides were excellent – scenery, wildlife, flowers, and the speaker was a slip of a girl who was bubbling with enthusiasm and had climbed Grant Teton personally.  Back to the room just before 10:00 p.m.

You can check out the lodge HERE.

Wednesday, July 12:
Another sumptuous buffet breakfast at the Jackson Lake Lodge.  Tonya and I sat at a window table and I spotted a moose.  Tonya used her binoculars and said that it was bull with a big rack.  Too far away for a picture. It's the little brown spot in the center (almost) of the photo.

We had lunch in Rawlins, WY, and there was a TV mounted on the wall.  We all stared at the screen while we ate.  We hadn’t had a TV for four days.

WY is like the island of Hawaii; as if you’ve visited many places but you’re still where you started.  The wide open ranges “where the deer and the antelope play”, the red rocks like Bryce Canyon, the rolling hills covered with wild flowers, the pine covered mountains, with lakes and rushing streams, and, of course, the steaming hydrothermal features of Yellowstone – it’s all WY.

I had dinner in the coffee shop at the hotel with Louis and Gladys.  If I ever stay in Cheyenne again, I’ll pay close attention to the hotel’s proximity to the railroad tracks.  The trains went screaming through all night long. I think the boot out front was to distract you from noticing the tracks, almost directly across the street.

Thursday, July 13:
Breakfast at the hotel and on the road again.  We crossed into NE by time for our first break.  Where are the “amber waves of grain”?  All I see are flat fields.  Can the grain already be harvested by mid-July?

Oh, boy!  Another corny movie.  Yesterday was a Danny Kaye movie – and he was a young man.  Don’t know what this is, but there’s a Mexican girl with dyed red hair and a wimpy-looking guy who needs a shave.  Jane Fonda is his mother and she looks terrific!

Had a ten-piece chicken nugget combo at Wendy’s including a baked potato and drink and then ordered a side salad.  All for $5.54.  I saved five pieces of chicken so I don’t have to go out tonight.

We drove close to the capitol building in Lincoln, but arrived just before closing time.  I’ll have to come back.  The statue on top is The Wheat Sower, so where is all the wheat?

I had half an English muffin and a piece of ham I saved from breakfast, my five chicken nuggets from lunch, and a peach from Wednesday’s breakfast for dinner.  Very steamy outside, I’m sure it’s going to rain.  I didn’t want to leave the hotel.  Watched the news and Israel is fed up and they’re bombing supply routes in Lebanon to cut them off from Syria.  My guess is that Iran’s behind this to take the heat off about their uranium enrichment.  Raining like crazy outside.  Finished another book.

Friday, July 14:
NE, IA, and MO are certainly the corn belt.  I’ve never seen so many fields of corn.  Fun to see – some rows are straight as arrows and others are planted in waves.  I don’t know what else I’m seeing – could be potatoes?

Just past Kansas City we got stuck behind a chartered bus which had broken down.  It was a group of teens from Topeka, KS, and they were headed for MSU in Springfield.  There were only sixteen of them, so we loaded them and their luggage on our bus and left the other driver there with his crippled bus to call a tow truck. 

We stopped in Garden City for lunch at a place which specializes in meat and sausages.  I had a wonderful pork chop and bought a gooseberry pie to take home.  Can’t find gooseberries anywhere.  Then we all went next door to the Russell Stover outlet and here came the  sick bus.  Somehow the driver got it going again.  So we loaded all the (very nice) kids and their luggage on and they took off first so that if they broke down, we’d be behind them.

We got to Springfield and our pickup point about 3:00 and as I was driving home, I passed the charter bus only blocks from their destination.  It was a Bible group and the driver said that he fixed the bus by speaking the Word.  Think I’ll practice.

I had a phone message from Gloria and Stu to come to dinner.  I was tired.  What a perfect ending to a perfect trip.






No comments:

Post a Comment