Today would be a special day for me as Steve was going to spend the whole day with me! After breakfast we were going to the gun range and then we were going to go to Robber’s Roost on a trail ride.
This was the set up for the rifle shooting. The rifle was placed on the little bean bag for stability.
Here is Steve getting instructions on how to shoot at the fake prairie dogs.
Next it was my turn.
Steve is getting instructions on the shot gun.
Here is Steve shooting at the targets with the shot gun. As my shoulders couldn’t lift the shot gun, only Steve did this.
My turn with the long guns. We didn’t shoot at the closer targets with these long guns. The closer targets were used with the pistols.
Next is was Steve’s turn to shoot the long range rifle.
Here is a better view of the targets. I think they got painted every night.
These are the types of guns that were available, and the corresponding ammunition.
I enjoyed using the pistol. It is much lighter than the other weapons! Our first year the instructor let my use his personal pistol. It had a laser which made it a lot easier for me to aim at the target. I still did very well with the pistol.
Here we are all done with our shooting lessons.
It was nice having lunch with Steve. Usually I am on my own.
Cookies for dessert!
Here I am all saddled up and ready to ride with Steve. Of course you wouldn’t know if this picture was taken after our ride and I was using the fence to hold my self up!
Here is our guide retelling the story of how this lookout got it’s name. I think any high point gets the name of Robber’s Roost out in the west!
The view from the top of Robber’s Roost is tremendous!
Trying to get the horses to poses for a picture can be difficult!
Here are some nice pictures of Steve and I coming down the mountain.
Dinner tonight was Creekside. There was a big barbecue. It was much different than previous nights as the weekend crowd included a lot of families. We had been spoiled with the ranch being mostly adults only the previous days.
Nevertheless we had a fun time. We met a couple from Denver. They had very exotic accents. Hopefully I will find out tomorrow where they are from!
Do you think Steve should grow his beard back?
Do you think I will find out more about the couple we had dinner with?
No breakfast pictures today. Instead it’s straight to archery. I think this is where I really realized how bad my shoulders are. I couldn’t draw the bow back at all to shoot. I had fun watching though!
Then it was back to the lodge for lunch. Salad, salmon and wagyu sliders.
Dessert was Apple Brown Betty and lemon bars.
Then it was off for a ride with a male wrangler. All comments are kept to myself! Although I might add that he had a nice seat. Ha Ha!
We forded some streams.
Then on the way back we saw the yurts where you can have a massage in the middle of the meadow.
Then it was back to meet Steve for dinner. Steve had a bit of a slow day and only caught 4 fish. None were picture worthy, so no pictures for you!
Caesar salad for a starter.
Then chicken for our entree.
No dessert pictures for you!
Was this blog post too short?
Are some posts too long?
Do you have arthritis in your neck shoulders and hips like I do?
More from our 6500 cross country road trip in 2015. Enjoy!
Breakfast with a view. The main lodge at the ranch has music going through their sound system every morning. This is my favorite set!
Breakfast. A little of this, and a little of that.
Breakfast is served on the patio outside. The heat lamps are nice in case it gets cold.
I went for fishing lessons with Trey. Steve had fished several times with Trey before and found him to be a great guide. Steve and I agreed that it would be good that instead of his trying to teach me someone else should try to help me with my casting. After I got the hang of it Trey went to another part of the pond to try and catch some fish himself. After noticing that he was getting no action whatsoever I told him that we should go back to the lodge. I figured that if he was not catching anything, then surely I would not also! Nil for the morning. I am hoping that shooting will be easier. Just aim at the target and fire!
Back at the lodge I had lunch by myself.
Meanwhile Steve was out with his guide. He caught one beautiful fish.
He had lunch here.
There are tee-pees for kids to play in when there are group dinners.
It is a pretty spot to visit.
Here is another large fish that he caught after lunch. Steve ended up catching 18 fish for the day. The two largest fish were 17 inches.
After lunch I went riding.
Later we had cocktails at Falcon Peak. This duo plays at many Brush Creek evenings. They are married and have great voices. Singing together a long time they harmonize well.
Don’t we make a cute couple? The answer is “Yes!”
There were lots of shrimp and crab legs to eat.
A sundown picture.
This one is a little better.
Back at the lodge we had a lovely dinner. Dinner included fried polenta and smoked prime rib. It was served buffet style.
The good-watermelon, the bad-fried bananas, with caramel sauce and whipped cream which looked a little bit ugly.
I scraped my plate clean.
Then it was to the campfire for some s’mores.
If I worked outside the house I could have this picture on my desk!
Perhaps Steve would want this picture on his desk.
Steve went down to breakfast and it seemed that my email was received after all! Everything was “How are you Steve? I have your fishing all set up!”
Steve had originally arranged all his fishing before we had arrived at Brush Creek. When we were at the activities barn yesterday all his requests were missing, and we were not sure that he was going to be able to fish the water that he had wanted to fish. I had mentioned this in the email yesterday to the VP also, complaining that Steve was having problems with scheduling the week’s fishing. Well, today it was all a different story! The fishing schedule was all rearranged, and Steve was going to be able to fish when and where he wanted to.
In fact, although we were not going to be moved into a cabin, a king size bed was going to be moved across the hall and we would be moved there and have quiet Mountain views. I don’t often complain, Steve and I have a tendency to vote with our feet. However in this case, I was pretty riled up and did complain. I thought that if we were moved across the hall I would be happier.
If I don’t see that an accommodation can be made, I decide to vote with my feet and also warn others about the type of service that they might get. I don’t feel that I owe any business my review. I only let businesses that I like hear about how they might make changes. I think the perfect job for me would be a paid luxury hotel consultant who is a secret stayer. Instead I am a luxury hotel consultant who pays to stay at hotels and gives the hotels my free advice!
This is one of the reasons we keep coming back. A 20 inch brown on the Encampment.
This is Cheyenne the horse that I rode today. There is so much to remember! Shoulders back, chest open, seat firm, hold reins like an ice cream cone, let the horse know who is boss, don’t let him eat grass, lean forward going up hills, lean back going down hills, when you post go up and down faster. If you are hitting the saddle hard it is because you are too slow for the beat, look ahead, not down, sit up like a girl, not slumping like a guy-they are protecting their equipment! Too much too remember but having fun anyway.
This was where I hung out before lunch. Can you believe I got a little sun burn? It’s the high elevation and poorly applied sunscreen!
Dessert from lunch today. I forgot to take pictures of the buffet. Oh well.
Steve came back from fishing on the Encampment to spend lunch with me. He caught three rainbow trout and a 20 inch brown trout. A good morning for him.
After lunch he spent the rest of the afternoon on Brush Creek fishing. He caught 16 brown trout ranging from seven to sixteen inches. All in all a good day.
Once again, I forgot to take dinner pictures.
Dessert. Bread pudding with coffee ice cream and some other stuff. I showed restraint.
Was today’s post too short?
Do you like to ride?
Do you ride Western or English? Are there more differences than shinier boots when you ride English?
Steve wondered why I didn’t talk about last night’s dinner. Here is a short recap:
It took us quite a while to find the house as it was in the middle of nowhere. Well to begin with , Sheridan Wyoming is in the middle of nowhere to start with! Directions were good, we only had to turn around once as we overshot the turn for the driveway. It was all on one level and a stream ran right through the back yard. Poor Steve didn’t go fishing, you can be sure that he would have loved to try to wet his fly line!
The couple we had dinner with were so nice to invite us over. They had just moved into their new house, and hadn’t even finished unpacking! We had a delicious steak dinner. The couple also have a ranch that we didn’t visit, but I would have loved to have visited it as on the farm they have a giraffe! I think they must have bought it from a traveling zoo that went out of business.
It was time for breakfast, but first we filled the car up with gas. Making sure that your car has a gas tank that is never less than 1/2 full is always a good idea.
After getting my picture taken in front of the buffalo at the gas station it was time to look for breakfast.
Due to the Labor Day holiday, most places were closed. The famous Mint Bar was closed as it serves booze, not breakfast. Although I have heard that many people do enjoy booze at breakfast. In fact at a recent doctor visit I was asked if I recently had alcohol at breakfast. I told her no of course, but also asked how many people did admit to that!
Anyway we did find a place for breakfast across the street.
We even spotted a real cowboy who war wearing spurs on his boots! That would be the guy with grey hair, not his little wrangler!
Steve had the bison and elk sausage egg platter.
I had the strawberry and banana french toast with whipped cream. Where else can you get that?
After breakfast our final stop was to wave good bye to the The DaVinci horse. As I told you yesterday our good friend GG was in charge of the project design. Kim L was the local businessman who spearheaded the project. There were many statutes all around town. Kim and a group of other civic leaders thought it would be a good way to bring tourists to the area and to also encourage city pride.
Then it was time to head south to Casper Wyoming.
A drive through Starbucks! Ordering was via the drive through or walk up window! This would be the last sign of civilization for while!
We headed up and over Casper Mountain. There are no pictures of this as I was scared to death. There were few guard rails, and I was holding onto my seat while Steve kept us on the road. The elevation topped at 8000 feet. Sheridan Wyoming’s elevation is 3800 feet, and then Casper Wyoming’s elevation was 5000 feet so we had quite the steady climb!
Last night at dinner we were told to take the Shirley Basin route to Saratoga Wyoming where Brush Creek Ranch is located. We were told that although the route is quite deserted it was a very interesting way to Saratoga. Once over the mountain we headed downhill toward Shirley Basin.
Years ago Uranium was mined in the town of Shirley Basin. It is now a ghost town as the uranium mine closed shortly after the Three Mile Island accident and the price of uranium plummeted.
Once over the crest the road narrowed to a dirt road that we drove on for 25 miles. This road looks pretty rough!
Is heading down a good sign? Let’s hope so!
Pavement! That means civilization is not far away!
I was so happy to see cars heading in the opposite direction again!
We emerged onto the High Plains where we remained at an elevation of 6500-7000 feet. There were views for miles with mountains in the distance.
I don’t know how the pioneers lived back in the day. The conditions were brutal.
We didn’t see many cattle. Did you know that it takes 10-15 acres of range land to feed one head of cattle. No wonder the ranches are so big! The weather is a sunny 75 degrees.
We finally made it to Brush Creek Ranch. We decided to try the hotel style units in the main lodge. I was hoping that they would upgrade us and put us in a cabin, but no dice.
While we were discussing our activities for the coming week at the Activities Barn I started to feel a touch of the swoons. It was a stylish swoon, as although I took off my hat, I kept my sunglasses on!
We headed back up to the room and I laid down with my feet up to rest. Elevation here is 7600 feet. Here we were hoping that by driving out west I would acclimate better to the higher elevations. Guess that didn’t work out so well, now did it!
We had made prior arrangements to have massages at the spa. As I don’t like to be in the same room as Steve when he is having a massage I requested two rooms. I was disappointed when we were assigned the same room. Oh well. To make matters worse, my massage therapist was wearing cowboy boots, and was clomping all over the floor during the massage. I had to ask her to take the boots off. So far, not a good start to our stay!
Soon it was time to head downstairs for dinner. I hoped things would improve!
This was our entree.
We had a lovely wine with dinner.
Chocolate desserts always make me feel better, and this one did the job. For awhile at least!
Our room had a view of the courtyard and in the courtyard is the Saloon. Unfortunately it was Karaoke night at the Saloon that first evening. It was very loud. I got really pissed as there were other rooms available in the main Lodge that were facing the mountains. Why did they put us in such a room that we would be hearing all the booze hounds in the bar? While Steve thought it not so bad, and promptly went to sleep with a pillow over his head I continued to stew. So I wrote an e-mail to the Vice President who is in charge of managing the ranch. We had met him on our previous visits and he told me he always enjoyed my opinions about the ranch. So I gave him a very detailed account about our stay up to that point in time. After I sent it, I got an e-mail back stating that Mike was on vacation. Oh, well!
How radioactive are you?
Do you like couple massages in the same room? Or should they be two singles?
Do you perform Karaoke, and are you a booze hound?
Why do I have a picture of a Ford Mustang car as my first picture? Well, there was a car rally this weekend in Sturgis, South Dakota. This is from the parking lot of our hotel. The guy driving the red Mustang wasn’t really trying to make much noise. I wish I would have gotten his real vroom vroom sound. Steve wouldn’t have been. It was bad enough I was questioning theses strangers at 7:30 in the morning! Sturgis is famous for their annual motorcycle rally’s. Hundreds of thousands of people attend.
Here is a little of a vroom vroom. I asked the driver what they did at the Mustang Rally. It is basically a bunch of people showing off their cars and all the modifications that they do to the cars to make loud noises!
Due to the Labor Day holiday we have problems finding someplace to eat. After trying two recommended breakfast places from Trip Advisor that only served coffee and granola we settled on a Perkin’s. I warned Steve about his future heart attack with his breakfast. Mine was bad enough with the fried egg and sausage.
Steve had the scrambled eggs, sausage hash browns and gravy covered biscuit!
After advice from my cousin Larry who lives in the Denver area we decided that we might have time after all to explore Spearfish Canyon on our way to Devil’s Tower. We got Steve his fishing license in less than five minutes at the Minit Man gas station. We passed a pretty waterfall and then Steven picked a spot to try. Success! Steve got his first trout in South Dakota. No pictures though, you will just have to believe him!
Then it was on to Devil’s Tower Wyoming. Remember Close Encounters of the Third Kind? People actually climb Devil’s Tower. Over 100,000 people have climbed DT and there have been only five fatalities. I think that is because they only let people climb it who are well vetted.
Look how buff this couple is!
We didn’t climb DT of course, we just strolled around the base!
If you zoom in on this picture you can see some of the people climbing!
Then it was onto Sheridan Wyoming. We wanted to see the DaVinci horse sculpture that our friend G was involved with.
Steve is going to get in trouble for touching the horse’s hoof.
But since M, G’s wife only reads my current blog post and totally skips the old posts G will never know!
Here is K , who was the impetus for the sculpture garden in Sheridan.
We had dinner with K and his wife M. They had just bought a new house and we had dinner there. They had lots of light switches along with lots of lights and I had fun helping M figure out what switch went with what light fixture!
Would you have been as accommodating as I was and let Steve try to catch a fish in South Dakota?
Can you hear the music from Close Encounters in your head now?
Steve and I found a cute cafe just across the street from the hotel. Unfortunately three young women from Texas parked their SUV just behind Steve. They had four dogs inside that yapped and barked every time that someone walked by! Not to mention the loud key fob of their’s that they used when they had to come out of the restaurant because they forgot something! Steve had a great omelette.
I had the whole wheat oatmeal waffle with fruit.
We stopped by at a grocery store in South Dakota. Remember my goal on every trip is to visit a grocery store if I haven’t been to one in that state or country!
Then it was off to the day’s first adventure. Mount Rushmore. Steve and I must have agreed that morning to wear white ankle socks!
Steve stands still in his pictures. Sometimes I get him to do an active pose. This is my active pose. I am pretending to hitch hike. Why anyone would pick me up with my shirt in my pants and those dorky sock and shoes?
Most people are heading in. Why am I facing the wrong direction? Looks like I still haven’t remembered to untuck my top! Wouldn’t you think that Steve would have mentioned something to me?
Here is the Avenue of Flags. There are 56 flags, one for every state, one district, three territories, and one commonwealth.
Steve and all the Presidents.
That broken rock below the monuments is called scree. If you remembered reading my blog about our trip to Colorado in September 2016 and our visit to Grand Mesa you would know that already!
Steve says “Look, there’s room for more Presidents!” Don’t tell Trump!
After we left Mount Rushmore we drove to see the statue of Crazy Horse.
Crazy Horse, it was started in 1948. Will it ever be finished? It was started by Korczak Ziolkowski.
This is a replica of what they hope Crazy Horse Monument will look like when finished. I don’t expect to live that long.
After we left Crazy Horse Monument we drove to Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Yes, it was named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer.
The road through Custer State Park was very sinuous.
The Needles in Custer State Park. Yes, they look like needles!
We read that there was a very scenic wildlife loop road. Come on, let’s see if we can find any wild beasts!
Why was all the traffic slowing down?
OMG! A bison jam!
They have the right of way.
Behind us, all over the place!
Going in all directions!
Talk about a bad hair day!
There are 1500 free roaming bison that live in the park. Every year, several hundred are round up and sold.
After the buffalo we stopped by to see the famous begging burros. They are called this as they go up to cars and beg for food.
We didn’t give them anything, but we did take their picture!
Having dinner in a biker bar. Well, it’s a bicycle bar, not a motorcycle bar! Steve looks like he is dreaming about going fishing doesn’t he?
I am having spaghetti with bison sauce.
Steve had the burger and fries.
Do you think any more President’s should go on Mount Rushmore?
Before breakfast we tried to find the falls that Sioux Falls are named after. They are not what I expected at all. Back east waterfalls are big, these were just a cascading series of water. (This is not my picture, my picture would have been shaky, and uncentered! This picture is from the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce.)
Then it was time for breakfast at The Original Pancake House. Whenever we are on a trip I us the Yelp App on my phone to look for good local restaurants. We have rarely made a bad choice this way.
I had the Dutch Apple Pancake. Does this not look mouth watering? This is very easy to make and since we ate there I have made it at home for myself several times. You sauté some apples in sugar and cinnamon in a cast iron pan. Then you prepare the batter which you pour on top of the apple mixture and pop it in the oven to bake. It is so delicious! Unfortunately I had to throw out my cast iron pan since Steve has a condition that causes him to store iron in his blood, So no iron pans for us!
Steve had the Irish Omelette which is corned beef hash and cheese in an omelette!
After breakfast we stopped in Mitchell to see the Corn Palace.
I had always wanted to stop here, so this was another check off my places to visit list.
The murals on the sides of the Corn Palace are changed every fall. Thirteen types of corn are used along with other grains.
This picture shows the plywood backing that the corn will be attached to.
This picture shows how the pattern is done. Instead of paint by numbers this mural is paint by ears of corn!
We passed by a number of signs for the Laura Ingalls Wilder home in De Smet, but had no time to stop and visit. On the way back we are going to stop at her home in Missouri where she lived with her husband for many years. Perhaps we will come this way again, but I doubt it. That could be a road trip all of its own, as Almanzo was born in Upstate New York and the books took place in many other states including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and her final home in Missouri!
Badlands National Park for those who can’t read signs. But if you are reading this blog, you must be able to read!
Obligatory selfie by spouse with long arms who can’t see themselves in the view finder.
You don’t want to get lost here!
The progression of prairie becoming The Badlands. Eons ago silty deposits of a shallow sea were laid down. When the sea receded volcanic ash was deposited. After years of compaction a prairie was created. Then the land was eroded over time. The Badlands are losing one inch a year. There were comments at the visitor center about air pollution obscuring view. The only air pollution here was from forest fires far away.
We saw our first prairie dogs!
They have a bit of a chirp!
Sunflowers as far as you can see in appropriately named Scenic South Dakota!
There were many road signs for Wall Drug Store, so we had to make a detour.
It was a generic tourist trip, but at least I got my picture taken here!
If you can make any of this out, this is a red wine decanter.
It is 95 degrees outside the restaurant and I can’t stand all these pillows behind me.
What I am looking forward to is my Pineapple Upside Down Martini!
This couple at the table next to us was celebrating their 50th Anniversary! they ordered champagne which came in generic wine glasses. They were so sweet!
Happy 50th Anniversary to our new friends Fred and Libby from Someplace in California! Don’t they look like the happiest couple? I should have exchanged phone numbers, I am sure that they have great stories to tell!
No pictures of our dinner, but here is the delicious dessert. It was called Heaven on a Plate. It was! Ice cream layers, and candy bars covered with chocolate!
Dinner was at Vesper Sky Bar at the top floor at the Hotel Alex Johnson. We spent the night here. There were rumors that the hotel was haunted, but no ghosts visited us during the night!
Do you have to be Irish to eat an Irish Omelette?
Would you drive out of your way to see a tourist trap for the first time? If you do for the second time I believe you are certifiably nuts!
We left our good friends A and M and were off to further points west.
Hello Iowa grocery store.
Then it was time to check out a vista. As you may recall I hate heights and towers. I was very unhappy here. This is my resting “I’m scared, let me go to the ground!”
The view was supposed to be awesome, but I don’t care. This is the Missouri Valley, looking at the Missouri River and Nebraska. It is flat out there.
Steve was very relaxed. Heights don’t bother him.
Then we were in Sioux City, Nebraska and it was time for another grocery store visit. Steve’s brother and sister in law lived in Illinois for years. As such, we think I had visited a grocery store when we visited them, so no grocery store stop today in Illinois was required.
The speed limit here is 80, which is wonderful as we were in the car for a long time. We had a lot of country to cover today! In fact, we drove for ten hours today!
Mushroom flat bread and my blueberry Pomtini. Good thing I took a picture before it was all gone!
Grilled salmon and salad.
Steve had the pecan crusted wall-eye.
The dinner was great except for the fact that we didn’t get bread and butter until after our entree.
We stayed overnight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Was today’s post too short?
Are you afraid of heights?
Do you like your bread and butter before your entree?
Thanks to my posting on Facebook about our visit to Cleveland our old Optometrist (not that he was old, but that he used to be our Optometrist!) contacted me to find out “how long would we be in Cleveland and could we get together?” Lenny G was busy last night but he could meet us this morning for breakfast. We hadn’t seen him in 11 years, he looked a little bit older and wiser, and Steve had grown a beard. I looked as attractive as ever! Which doesn’t quite mean anything as if you didn’t think I looked attractive before I still don’t look attractive!
We had a great time reminiscing about what had gone on in our lives since we last saw each other. I was devastated when he retired and moved South. He had been our optometrist since we had moved to Poughkeepsie in 1980. L always believed that Steve’s career success was due to the new glasses that Steve got over the years. He always remarked to me that I never changed since we first met. L told me that several patients of his had gotten airs as their husbands careers flourished. I had never changed at all. That can also be interpreted as “Once a schlub, always a schlub”!
L always delighted in winding our kids up during their eye exams, and leaving me to try to calm them down the rest of the day. I think the Lant family contributed vast sums to his retirement. With four family members all needing glasses we kept L’s office busy!
All too soon, it was time for us to depart. We were going to meet M and A who we had met at Brush Creek Ranch our very first visit in September of 2011. We had stayed in contact with them over the years, and I asked if we could meet for dinner on our trip out west. They cordially asked us to stay at their house overnight.
We left Cleveland and drove across the state of Ohio and then into Indiana. We had looked at the map earlier in the day and said, “Let’s go to Notre Dame!” I had always heard about Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome. Now we would see them!
That was a little bit harder. We had to find a visitor parking lot first.
Then we marched around the big and beautiful campus in the 91 degree weather. As I wasn’t wearing a hat, I tried to stay in the shade. If you are a brunette like me, you head heats up quickly. We saw the Golden Dome in the distance and headed closer.
There it was! The Golden Dome!
Next up was Touchdown Jesus! This is a mural on the outside of the library. It’s called Touchdown Jesus, as Jesus is standing with his arms up as if signaling a touchdown.
There it was, and here is proof that I was there!
Here is Steve in front of the Golden Dome. The Golden Dome is atop the main administration building. Atop the Dome is a stature of Mary, considered to be the Mother of God by Christians. Notre Dame means Mother of God.
Afterwards we went to a grocery store in Indiana before we found the house of A and M.
We had much difficulty finding the house of M and A as they lived in a gated community. We couldn’t figure out the pass code or what turns we needed to make once in the development. M had given us the wrong pass code. We ended up following a car ahead of us at one of the community entrance gates. It was a good thing that Indiana was not on Summer Eastern Time Zone. Otherwise we would have been late!
After meeting A and M’s beautiful children and nanny we went out to dinner at Gamba Ristorante. That was some decanter for the red wine!
We had tomatoes with mozzarella.
Grilled Caesar Salad. No, your eyes are not out of focus, my hand was shaking.
Roasted veal with pea purée and broccoli.
Here we all are in A and M’s beautiful house. M is the beautiful blonde, and A is the handsome brunette. A is a real fashion plate and there have been spreads on him in Chicago magazines. I was dying to see their closets as they are quite fancy dressers (as you can see from the picture) but they were traveling to Italy in two days and they said their closets were a mess. Maybe next time!
Have you changed over the years?
Would you consider yourself schlubby?
Have you had a fashion spread on you because you are so attractive?