Tuesday, July 21, 2009
We arrived in Wisconsin Dells this afternoon. It's like we're back in civilization again...Walmarts, Targets and restaurants. Oh yeah...traffic too. The west was very different....so spread out and very few choices in places to eat and shop. The kids played at the indoor waterpark here for a few hours. We'll be here for a few days, leaving Friday. Although I am ready to go home...I hate that it means that summer is almost over. It's going to be hard to go back to work and our school schedules.
We are somewhere in Minnesota. We stopped in De Smet, South Dakota to visit the homestead of the Wilders (Little House on the Prairie). We were able to see some of what life was like for the early settlers. We rode in a wagon to "school" where the teacher talked to us about prairie life. Greg was disciplined by the teacher for not doing his chore of fetching the water for the day! He had to stand with his nose against the blackboard. The kids liked the baby kittens the most...go figure! There was also a calf and foal to see. We made cornhusk dolls and the kids made their own rope.
Monday, July 20, 2009
After eating breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we went back to the Crazy Horse Memorial. We only saw the laser show last night so we wanted to view some of the displays and get a daytime view. It would really neat to go up on top and see the face up close...but we decided that $250 was a bit much. We did bring home a few of the rocks that had been blasted away to create the memorial. We ate lunch and then went to the Badlands National Park. It was a sweltering 104 degrees there. We drove the loop and got out to take a few pictures but it was too hot to enjoy it much. We stopped at the ranger station before leaving and watched a video and looked at the displays. From there we drove east through South Dakota. It was rolling hills without many trees until we passed the Missouri River. Still, not much going on in this state! We are staying at a Comfort Inn that has an indoor water slide so the kids were able to play for about 45 minutes before it closed at 10. Greg went to get a couple of pizzas for dinner and we ate in the room.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
We traveled from Buffalo, Wyoming to Hill City, South Dakota today. We stopped at Devil's Tower National Monument. It was the first national monument. We hiked around it's base and the kids completed the requirements for the Junior Ranger program. Close Encounters was filmed at this site. There is a field of prairie dogs near the entrance that were adorable. Tomorrow will be busy as we visit Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and hopefully at least one other national park or monument.
Monday, July 13, 2009
We left the Grand Tetons Sunday and drove through the park and then into Yellowstone. We took a few more pictures of the Tetons on our way out. We stopped a the visitor center for the kids to get their Junior Ranger badges and we took a picture with the author of the books that we bought. We only made a few quick stops in Yellowstone so we could get to our hotel and eat a nice dinner. The Alpine motel where we are staying is wonderful. Nice full kitchen, although at this point I don't feel like cooking. The couple who own the place a very nice. We went to the lobby after dinner for candy and coffee and tea. We ate dinner at the Outpost, kinda pricy but nice local restaurant. I just had the soup and salad bar....loved the corn chowder and ambrosia.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
We left Beaver and headed north through Utah on Friday, July 10th. I enjoyed the drive and the change in scenery. The temperatures and cooler here and much more enjoyable than the dry stiffling heat of the desert. We drove past the Great Salt Lake and tried to get close to it, but couldn't. We drove through part of Idaho to get to Wyoming. It is beautiful here. We spent Saturday at Grand Tetons National Park. Wow. I could spend a week here! We hiked 5.2 miles around Jenny Lake to view the Hidden Falls. The pictures do not do the falls justice. We saw lots of wildlife today including the pika, a relative of rabbits. Allison found it on our hike. It lives in cooler temps and is not seen often. We also saw a marmot, pronghorn, buffalo, moose (including some babies) and a bird that I believe was a young bald eagle. After our hike we drove around a bit before heading home.