24 October 2009

Mid-West Adventures

With all this extra time I seem to have lately, I've been trying to put together an album of my trip out to Wyoming. Actually, I'm trying to START putting together an album. The problem I have is...where do you start when you have over 4,000 pictures??? I've spent days comparing duplicates and purging. And now I'm taking a break.

I came across a picture of a meal Jenn & I concocted while in South Dakota and I thought I should share it with you.
a beautiful sight after a long day....
I'll also tell you about our day leading up to this masterpiece of a meal. But first I'll introduce you us. That's me (bottom) and Jenn (top). I've talked about her before, cause she's awesome, and she's been my best friend for practically forever. We decided kind of randomly to take a few weeks this summer and drive out to Wyoming and back through South Dakota.

Jenn & I

It was a long day, with no help from the night before, trying to sleep in the car. We slept in the car because we couldn't see the roads and it was dark out. Really, REALLY dark out. And there was a really, REALLY intense lightening storm. We even have a video of it hitting the car. No joke. We got hit by lightening. It stormed almost every night during our trip, and it was actually fun in the tent...but this storm was different. It was bad. I had flashbacks of the movie Twister. If you've been to the middle of the country you know what kind of storms I'm talking about. Nobody was driving. And we were almost hit by huge tumbleweed. So we drove to the only 'town', pulled over, and tried to sleep in the car. I don't think we even ate that night, so it didn't help.

sleeping in the car, with wine &
a deck of cards of course!
Jenn woke up really early and started our 5.5 hour drive to Devils Tower.

We got to Devils Tower just as they were opening, so it was a nice quiet hike around the base before any tour buses arrived. And we were able to see all the cute prairie dogs before it got too hot out. That's key to any National Park - do EVERYTHING early! It makes sense, but sometimes it's easier said then done. We learned quickly to do everything in our power to arrive everywhere as early as possible.

Then we headed across the border to South Dakota. I have always wanted to go to South Dakota ever since I was a little kid, but I have absolutely no clue why. So I was very excited.

It took us quite a while to reach Mt. Rushmore because we caught the tail end of bike week at Sturgis. We ended up not going into the actual 'pay area' because it was so crowded, but were still able to grab the pictures we wanted.
pictures like this...
...and this
After stopping at a few other sites to take pictures, we headed a little farther south to the Wind Cave National Park.
oh man...
And saw large wildlife.

And 100's of buffalo on the side of the road, and in the road.

And buffalo at our campsite.

Speaking of campsite, Elk Mountain Campground was great. It was one of the only campsites we didn't have to battle for a site. We had our choice of where to set camp! They had free firewood! The site was only $12!!! WOO!!!
free firewood!!!
It was also one of the hottest days of our trip, so after we set everything up we were able to lay out and enjoy the sun and our books. It was by far the earliest we ever arrived at a campsite, and it was a good thing because we were exhausted. And starving.

Seeing that we were on the last leg of our trip, we were trying to eat up everything we had left. What you see below is a wonderful disaster. That's grilled corn on the cob with all sorts of seasonings, grilled sweet potatoes, and a hamburger bun filled with hot dogs smothered in sauteed onions & peppers, cheese, and baked beans. Could we have added more to this dish? Of course we could have. But it really didn't need it.

***Extra tidbit: Without even knowing ahead of time, we visited a lot of 'firsts' on our trip. Among them: The first national park (Yellowstone), the first national monument (Devils Tower), and the first caves in the world to become a national park (Wind Caves).


  1. you forgot to mention that we had our first and only arguement on this trip, and i think probably ever in our entire existence! damn that food was good, i want to make it for dinner tonight i think. who cares if cob isnt in season?!

  2. You mean the fight brought on by exhaustion, dehydration, starvation, high altitude, high attitude, and stupidity? You mean the fight about putting the tent in the shade although there was no trees to be found? You mean the fight where we couldn't agree on which direction to put the tent door? Do you mean the fight where I screamed "Where the fuck do you want me to put the fucking door?!!?!?!", which was followed by a whole 15 minutes of silence. The same fight that was 'hugged out' and we laugh hysterically at now? That must be the one.