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?
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 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!
As I explained yesterday this is a trip from years ago. Just like everyone else I hope to be traveling again soon. I would say that that’s the reason I have an unpacked suitcase laying in one of the spare bedrooms. That would be a lie however, it’s just not unpacked from my trip to Belize in January! Now that is lazy! Today our plan was to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was an easy walk from our hotel. But first we needed to have breakfast.
As usual, fried eggs for me.
Steve went on the wild side and had an egg quesadilla.
You already saw my picture in front of the museum. Here is Steve. Plan to see a lot of these outfits!
We enjoyed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although I liked the Country Music Hall of Fame better. I think it would behoove me to watch the Ken Burns Special to learn more about Rock and Roll. I will have to watch Krush Groove the movie about the founding of rap also, as I know nothing about rap! No pictures inside the museum, you will have to visit so you can see what is inside.
For dinner we ate at Muse, the restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. I tried the Farmer’s Market Prix Fixe dinner. My dinner had a peach theme to it. It started with grilled peaches, Serrano ham, micro basil and dehydrated vinegar.
Steve went out on a limb and got a Caesar Salad.
My entree was pork tenderloin with peach brine, peach wood smoked jalapeño peach tomato salsa, peach moonshine gastrique memo chives.
Steve had swordfish with white beans and escarole.
Steve had cookies and cream ice cream for dessert. Man this picture should have been cropped better! When we were in Chile years ago we met a famous wildlife photographer who went crazy about my picture taking. He kept telling me to make sure that my pictures of food didn’t have any extraneous items in them. I think I have at least 5 faults in the above picture!
Peach crepes with blueberry mascarpone and cinnamon anglaise.
Sorry the day wasn’t that exciting, but not everyday can be like yesterday and meeting my inebriated gambling girl friend!
Have you ever been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Have you ever been to the Country music Hall of Fame?
Today is going to be a long day of much sitting in planes, airports and then cars. We will not be home until very early Saturday morning. Enjoy our last few moments in paradise and our long trip home!
First is my morning coffee with lots of foam!
I had two eggs over medium with bacon and toast. Steve had scrambled eggs and since he forgot to order bacon I was sweet and shared mine. I am such a sweetheart!
A small plate of fruit with my last breakfast.
I wanted to use the video that Bunny took of her shower as she did such a good job holding the phone steady but she didn’t bring her phone to dinner last night. So here is my video. When I showed you the shower the other day, it was only a picture. You couldn’t really see how magnificent it was!
Our bags were all packed and ready to go.
I made sure to return the room key. There was a $100 charge if you didn’t bring it back. We never even used it to lock the room. I should have just left it at the front desk the first day!
These are the only Jaguars we saw all trip.
Goodbye front desk manager!
Today we got to take the van. All our other trips had been in the Land Rover. The van was air conditioned and I didn’t have to worry about getting dust in my eyes. That was nice, but I enjoyed bouncing around in the Land Rover also.
Steve doesn’t look to happy to be leaving. I was looking forward going home and to hang out on the couch in our house!
It was a short drive to the airport. Town was very busy as it was market day. A day trip to Punta Gorda is offered twice a week for market day. I think I might do that next year, but not when it is so hot and muggy. I think it would be very interesting to see all the products that some of the Mennonites have for sale.
Inside the Tropic Air terminal. It also doubled as the post office!
This is an activity I chose not to do.
Hiking, swimming, more hiking, all in a dark cave that required head lamps. No thank you!
Permission granted to board the plane.
Although the man is wearing a plaid shirt, he is not Steve. This man manages Copal Tree from New Hampshire. He comes every few weeks to make sure that all is running smoothly. The staff at CTL is incredibly personable and seemed to be very happy. Many of the team remembered us from last year. It was a pleasure to stay there.
The plane was given a good hose down to get rid of all the dirt and schmutz.
Good bye Punta Gorda! See you next time.
Here you can see the reef around the islands. the deep water is a much darker color.
It was very cloudy at times. Good thing we were flying via the computers!
The rivers were very sinuous! The roads are straight though.
Agriculture and lots of islands from the air!
This is Harvest Caye an island that Norwegian cruise ships land at. Last year there was a cruise ship parked here. Look how long the walkway is to get to the island!
Here is a short video of what you can do on the island. It looks incredible. Imagine how much fun it would be if the ship just parked here all week and you just hung out on the island all week!
At Dangriga, our last stop before Belize City we had a lot of passengers get on the flight. The copilot left the plane so another passenger could board the plane. Steve was instructed to move from behind the copilot to the copilot seat!This is where Steve was supposed to sit.
As Steve couldn’t figure out how to get out of his seat and into the crew seat (not because Steve is stupid, but because he is big and the space was really small), the manager of Copal Tree Lodge sat there. Even he had trouble getting from his seat to the front!
He was very interesting to talk to. Too bad I only got to meet him on the way to the airport today. Lucky for him I only met him today! He manages Copal Tree Lodge and a private shooting lodge in South Africa. As it is very private I will never go there. The owner only lets his friends stay there. I will have to research this so I can get invited there. Wish me luck!
Well remember my post the first day about how much wealthier I thought the town of Placencia was based on the airport? Well, I was slightly wrong. I do think that there are many more expensive houses there. But it is Maya Aviation that has the more expensive terminal. Tropic has the non fancy buildings. Dangriga and Placencia have both Tropic Air and Maya terminals. In Punta Gorda, there is only a Tropic Air terminal.
This is Dangriga airport. The Tropic Air terminal is on the left and Maya Air is on the right. An interesting fact is that we saw many more flights for Tropic Air than Maya Air departing the terminal at the Belize City Airport! Perhaps all the money went to build the terminals and they didn’t have any money left to buy planes!
At the terminal in Belize City this man was waiting for luggage with us. I still have not quite figured out what the t-shirt meant. I know the phrase, but the rose and what looks like a noose has got me flummoxed. I think I will never find out this puzzle. Oh well. There will always be other crazy people for me to look at!
Once we got our luggage check in was a breeze. Unfortunately we were going to have to wait another two hours until our flight was ready to board. That meant more people watching!
Steve was feeling exceptionally generous and bought me my very own bag of Crunchy Cheetos. What a guy! I think I will keep him!
Steve’s name was called and he had to go up to talk to the gate agent.
Poor Steve was selected for additional screening. He was not allowed to talk to anyone once they questioned and examined him. I stayed far away and people watched until I would meet him on the plane. Unfortunately this meant he would lose his Pre Check ability at Houston Airport.
Here is Steve in the holding pen. Do you think they will play “Enter the Sandman” when he was released to board the plane? (If you are not a New York Yankee fan you will not understand this reference!)
This man had beautiful long grey hair.
The blonde on the right is thinking “What shampoo does he use? His hair is incredibly healthy looking!’
In the terminal there was a young man wearing a green jumpsuit. It did look comfortable!
This plane would be taking us to Houston.
I boarded the plane and found Steve waiting for me.
Yikes! Green Pajama Man Jumpsuit was going to be on our flight! Good think Steve was sitting next to me. Can you imagine the questions?