Wednesday, June 03, 2009

T-minus TWO days...

...and am I ever counting! Dan and I are flying out early Friday morning for great and glorious WESTERN parts [un]known. We'll be arriving in Rapid City, SD around 10:30 in the morning and setting out on our grand adventure from there.

The Highlights:
  • FRIDAY = Badlands National Park (and I must, MUST remember to take Dan to Wall Drug, if only so he can say he's been there and "gets" those WD bumper stickers random people affix to their vehicles). We'll be driving through the Black Hills, obviously, and I'd like Dan to see the Minuteman Missile memorial, too. I figure he'll dig those... We're staying just outside the west side of Rapid City for the evening ---- and aiming to drive to Mt. Rushmore to watch 'em light it up at night! We watched "North by Northwest" in preparation for our Mt. Rushmore visit. ;o)
  • SATURDAY = Mt. Rushmore by day; the Crazy Horse memorial (and our visit happens to, crazily enough, coincide with the BIG memorial walk-up-to-the-foot-of-the-memorial walk); and Jewel Cave for a bit of tame tourist spelunking!
  • SUNDAY = The Devils Tower National Monument, prairie dog town at the base of the monument, Cody WY (and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center), and, just for V: the Cody Night Rodeo (you have no idea how geeked I am about this!!!)
  • MONDAY = Yellowstone via the east entrance. We'll be staying at the Old Faithful Inn right by the spout! *Grin* Ah, and visiting the Fish Bridge and some of the southern parts of the park
  • TUESDAY = Yellowstone, again. This time we'll be hitting the northern parts, including the Norris Geyser Basin. Sweetness! And, staying the night in West Yellowstone, MT.
  • WEDNESDAY = Sadness. We shall part company with my folks -- they're meeting up with us for the first four days starting with Rushmore. Dan and I are heading northwest into Montana to visit our mission president's cabin at Triple Creek in the Bitterroot Mountain range. Bill grew up in Anaconda, MT about 35 miles west of Butte and co-owns the land with his brother, Jack. He's been building a cabin on the land for several years now and invited us to visit and check out his progress (up to this point, I've only seen it in pictures!) He also gave us some great tips for lunch (debating between Wind's Bakery for pasties and Peppermint Patty's for fried pork croquettes!). *Grin* From Anaconda we'll head back east to Bozeman and the really, really cool Museum of the Rockies on the campus of MSU (that would be, MONTANA State University). And eventually end up in Billings for the night with a stop at Pompeys Pillar (the only "physical evidence" of the Lewis & Clark Expedition).
  • THURSDAY = Off to relive the Little Bighorn and Custer's Last Stand. Hehehe...we'll be buying the CD tour version and trekking across the battlefields on our own. Thursday night lands us in historic Deadwood, SD -- at the Hickok's Iron Horse Inn. Quite exicited! Downtown Deadwood is fabulous! Gunfights and all!
  • FRIDAY = Gotta visit "Boot Hill" and see Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane's graves. And a visit to the Day of '76 Museum (story of the MODERN cowboy) and Black Hills Mining Museum will keep us busy 'til lunchtime. Then we head on south to Custer State Park for some crazy hairpin turns and tunnels! Staying the night in Custer...
  • SATURDAY = Wind Cave! And maybe the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs... There's SO much to see and do in the Black Hills. Now don't laugh...Saturday night we're staying at the KOA in Rapid City. Awhile back our airline called to inform us that there was an overbook situation and would we be willing to get bumped. Our first option was to catch our Saturday flight home all the way to Minneapolis, and then spend 14 hours in the airport waiting for a GR connector. I inquired about changing the ENTIRE leg of the trip and catching a Sunday flight out of Rapid City. Sweetness! Not only do we have an extra day, $250 vouchers for a later flight, and a cheap night at the KOA --- but we also managed to somehow save $5 on a car rental and keep it for an extra day.
  • SUNDAY = Homeward bound, and likely ready for it. *Grin*

1 comment:

  1. i was just about to ask you when you were taking off, too! :) we MUST hang when you return. after you recuperate. soooo close to ND, and yet... :-p