Friday, July 18, 2008

Trip Pictures

If I don't do this now I'll probably forget to do it, so here are some of the highpoints of the road-trip.

The first major site we hit was Mount Rushmore, the weekend after July 4. The rid on top of Roosevelt's head was for the removal of the fireworks hardware which was used for the celebration. It'd have been cool if they could have made showers of sparks shoot out of Jefferson's eyes, but that probably would be dignified.

Next up was a drive through Custer National Park, a very scenic and cool drive. The animals roam free, and these two buffalo came in for a nice close-up. This one was inches from my door as I passed him - I could have easily touched him as we went past.

We went through Deadwood, which was a disappointment for me since I'm not a gambler. I was hoping for more of a historic city. We went up to the cemetery where Wild Bill Hickock is buried and saw the grave sites of a number of notable Deadwood's past citizens.

The main focus of the trip was going to Yellowstone for 3 nights. I knew it was a big place before we went, but if you've never been there it's hard to fathom just how massive the park is. I drove around 300 miles within the park and seldom drove on the same road twice.

How do you sum up Yellowstone in a couple of pictures? You can't.

This is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. There was a late thaw so there was still snow on the ground in places. The water was flowing much more heavily than normal for this time of year, so the falls were more spectacular than normal (from what I was told).

Instead of putting up a picture of Old Faithful (I have about 50) I'm going with a thermal pool. The colors are actually different types of algae which live in the different water temperatures. This pool used to be blue in the middle, but crap throw in by vandals over the decades changed the temp of the water causing it to reflect green instead of blue.

We took two days to drive from Yellowstone to Milwaukee, but didn't skip a small side-trip to Devil's Tower in Wyoming. Anybody who's seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind has seen it. I'm not a rock climber so I didn't get to go to the top.

The weather was about perfect - 70's and 80's for the entire trip, with cooler temps in the mountains. There was no rain for about 2,500 miles of driving meaning the Jeep got to bring back a few thousand souvenirs for me.

A Case of Slacker-itis

Alright, alright. It's been a while since my last post.

In my defense, I've been doing other things. Working. Sleeping. Eating. Blah, blah blah.

Really though, most of my time recently has been spent preparing for and going on a road-trip with the family to Yellowstone. Since we drove, there was a lot of preparation for the vehicle, packing. etc.

I got some very nice pictures that I'll post in the future, covering stops in Yellowstone and the Black Hills (Custer National Park, Deadwood, Mount Rushmore). In fact, I took just over 1,200 pictures over the 10 day trip. Now I need to spend a lot of time weeding through to get the best pictures - who wants to look at 90 pictures of the same waterfall??

We also had some very cool close-encounters (good description, as we also went to Devil's Tower) with some buffalo. Close enough that I could have reached out the window and slapped one, possibly earning some major scarring to the Jeep in the process.

Nature is pretty cool, even if you have to drive over 3,000 miles round-trip to see it!