Wednesday, September 19, 2012


My wife wanted to go on a vacation, you can see how the excitement paralyzed her arms, so she picked Yellowstone, Tetons, Rushmore, Devils Tower, and The Badlands with a flyby in Rapid City, Keystone, Cody Wy., Jackson Hole Wy , Sylvan Lake, The Needles {highway} and of course Wall Drug.

We captured over 1000 photos in 9 days and drove 2986 miles. Early in the trip I told the wife we need to focus on drive time like an Indy pit crew. With 17 hours one way we have a lot of stops to lose minutes that add up to hours. I say this "We need to beat cheeks" but she happens to be looking up road construction maps and her phone hears me and does a search for, "cheap antiques" so from then on, when we needed to get going, it was "Beat Antiques". So lets get to Beating Antiques.

We leave after work, about 6pm, drop the dog at my parents house and sometime around 2am we are sleeping in the back of the van at a rest stop just out of Rapid City. Move some soft gear bags to the front seats, stack some tubs and you have a 3 foot by 6 foot space for sleeping. Pull out the pads and sleeping bags, beach towel the windshield and the two of us get a good 5 hours.

Roll out early, get coffee and we are way ahead of plans so right to Mount Rushmore National Monument.

Rushmore added the "drillers trail" back to the trail system and it's very cool. You can hike to within a few hundred yards of the monument at the base of the major rubble field.

 This is a winch that lifted tools and equipment to the monument like a modern chairlift. Workers walked the trail.
 This was the intended monument but it was underfunded or something....
A drillers chair. They sat in this for hours while drilling blast holes, surfacing and measuring.

The workers trail gets you so close you can see the rubble from the drilling. The chair above was used to position the driller to make these holes.

Humiliated Goat.

We still have time so we Beat Antiques over to Devils Tower for a hike around the base and for me to relive my climb to the top in 2003.

The hike around the base is maybe a mile and I've climbed it with my good buddy Brad so I can say for certain that you will not find a landing pad for aliens. The top is domed slightly and it's hard to tell you're on anything. The summit log is next to a wood post that use to hold a park sign reading 'No climbing beyond this point' it was carried to the top by a climber that didn't agree with the park services idea of climbing limitations.

We jump back in our ride and Beat Antiques to Cody Wy. We have a hotel waiting for us. Cody is an hour from our Campground in Yellowstone's Grant Village just off the lake.

We arrive at the hotel close to 8pm, check in and go to main street to get a good dinner and not more make do road food.

Cody is a real live cowboy town. Big hats, big buckles and big steaks. We crawl into a cowboy hangout called the Proud Cut and get a table at the front window looking out onto the street. I think they were showing off the "Tourist" like, look at these people with no hat and a tiny belt.

I see something on the menu I've only heard about. They have a caption that says, "The Real Deal" and I figure when in Cody...
Yep, Rocky Mountain Oysters. 

We also stopped at Wall Drug

I lost you at bull calf testicles didn't I. Well on that bomb shell, good bye. I'll be back tomorrow where we pick up at the shore of Yellowstone lake.


No comments:

Post a Comment