Spearfish South Dakota to Sheridan Wyoming. Saturday 6, September 2015

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?

Do you read all my blog posts both old and new?

Rapid City to Spearfish South Dakota. Saturday September 5, 2015

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?

Have you ever been in a bison jam?

Do you beg for food?

Sioux Falls to Rapid City, South Dakota. Friday September 4, 2015

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!

Do you believe in ghosts?

Indiana to South Dakota. Thursday September 3, 2015

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?