Well I didn’t post last night because where we stayed in Elko didn’t have wifi. But that is ok because I didn’t have a whole lot to report.
We go through a lot of agricultural area. This time since we are in Idaho you can add potatoes to the corn fields.
We end up in Elko for the night. We have fantastic BBQ’d steaks and fresh sautéed vegetables for dinner. And finish up with apple pie and ice cream bars with caramel topping.
Today we drove home from Elko to Verdi. Ending a great trip to South Dakota. We traveled a total of 2733 miles in the motorhome pulling Lizzie on the trailer. And a total of 1769 miles in Lizzie, for a grand total of 4502 miles for the entire trip. All without incident until I managed to jackknife the trailer into the motorhome in our own driveway!
We get up early and I get this photo of the sunrise from our campground.
The fog is just lifting when we go by Buffalo Bill Reservoir.
We enter Yellowstone Park through the East Entrance and not too far into the park I see my first bear in Yellowstone!
We continue on through the park by the Yellowstone River.
We make a stop to see Old Faithful and time it perfect.
We leave Old Faithful with plans for our next stop to be a picnic lunch, but we somehow loose John and Nancy in all the traffic. We stop at Excelsior Geyser Falls, mistake, we are trapped by all the traffic. We luck out by the time we get to the parking area to get a spot beside a tour bus.
We continue on and luck into seeing a meadow with a herd of buffalo.
And here is my up close and personal shot:
We cross the Continental Divide again.
And go by Yellowstone Lake. We see all the devastation from the forest fire.
We finally catch up and find John and Nancy and have our picnic lunch on the Madison River.
Others are enjoying the river by fly fishing.
We have to go through some yucky major road construction, but the sights are well worth it. The fall colors are starting as we head on into Idaho Falls.
When we finally find the right campground – Snake River RV Campground – it is quite nice. We go out to a nice dinner to end another great day.
We get up and say goodby to everyone at the Farewell Breakfast. We are on the road by 9. I get a hold of Debbie and we make plans to meet her and Tom in Gillette at 11. We go to lunch and talk the whole time. It is so good to see her and try and catch up. She has to leave and head back to work and we head on. There are a lot of pronghorn antelope in the fields on the way to Buffalo. Tom gave us some jerky from an antelope he had just shot.
We make it to the Little Bighorn Battlefield. It is free entry after 4:30 and we drive in at 4:31! We watch the movie and make it on the drive loop of the battlefield. It is pretty sobering to see all the grave stones.
We went 305 miles today. It was a nice day. I drove a lot of it.
Today we leave Wall and go on the Badlands Loop Drive. The Badlands are pretty in their own way. I don’t think they are as dramatic as Bryce Canyon, but none the less definitely worth seeing.
And then I got my chance to get my up and personal shot of the Bighorn Sheep!
We leave the Badlands and head for Sturgis. We take the lesser traveled road again instead of the freeway.
I finally get my chance to get my up and personal shot of the big commercial sunflowers.
But as they say “All good things must come to an end”!
We go to Sturgis and stop for lunch. Our first stop is at the Knuckle Saloon, but we leave after finding out the wait is over 45 minutes.
We head onto The Jambonz and have a great lunch – Southern Foods (catfish and gumbo) and finish off with homemade peach cobbler! The atmosphere was also great.
We make it to the hotel in Spearfish and it is time to load Tin Lizzie back on the trailer. She has taken us 1769 miles with no breakdowns! She got a free ride of 1335 miles coming and we will take the Northern route back home.
We start out early because it is a long drive day. It is foggy again in the morning.
We don’t make it far and stop for Jim and Kathy’s car which stops on them. So it called for a road side seminar.
They get things running and we head on. The next stop is at the rest area with the statue called “Dignity”.
From here we head across the Missouri River.
It makes the Truckee River look like a stream.
On the way since we stayed on the frontage road instead of the freeway we stopped for a “running board and trunk” picnic lunch on the prairie.
I also got some photos of the sunflower fields. I think they are pretty.
We stop at the Pioneer Auto Museum. It had a little of everything.
We make it to Wall. We walk down town to see the pharmacy, which was closed. We stop and talk to the Ranger at the Grasslands Museum and comment on the native garden. I get my picture of a native prairie sunflower.
We have dinner across the street from the Wall Drug. I have a buffalo burger. We walk back and call it a night.
We get up and have breakfast. Janet’s pickup won’t start again. Larry Nixon and others stay to help her. Bill’s brakes still have a problem so he is taking it to a shop. With everyone being helped we head out on the country roads toward Watertown. It is through guess what? Cornfields! It is pretty in its own way, but certainly not my mountains and trees.
We head on following our directions very carefully and guess what we come too?
We continue but Rick gets drowsy again so we pull over and I take over driving. Next thing we know is John says I have trouble and has stopped. I turn around and go back to them.
Rick changes the coil and gets them running and we are on our way again. We make it to the Redlin Art Center too late for lunch but they are sweet and have saved us lunch in our beautiful keepsake tins. They put on the movie for us and then we tour the museum. Beautiful paintings and we buy some mementos of our trip. A expensive stop but we will have good memories.
Last night coming into Vermillion Lizzie back fired and stopped, but Rick got her started and we made it to the hotel. We were tired from driving in the wind, I guess Lizzie was complaining too.
We got up this morning and Rick went to start Lizzie and she wouldn’t start. He found one of the connectors to the spark plug off. He fixed that and we headed to the National Music Museum and got out of the parking lot and she backfired again and stopped cold. We pushed her to the side of the road and got a ride in the trouble truck to the museum. I keep kidding Jim and Carlene that we need to get to know each other better, but preferably not this way.
We spend two hours at the Music Museum, which was very interesting.
to the blueprint designs, to the patterns
to putting them together.
To the Stradivarius which they say is worth 2-3 million. This one is for you Carrie!
I also liked the old instruments made out of various things:
I also enjoyed seeing the zither because we have one at home with mother of pearl inlay.
We leave the museum and go back to the hotel where Lizzie is patiently waiting. Work commences on her, with a coil change and a distributor change. With many helpful hands and ideas she starts up and we are off and running.
We head on towards Sioux Falls.
Because we had to work on Lizzie we didn’t get gas when everyone else did. So we came into Sioux Falls on fumes, literally. We stopped at the very first gas station and took 10.89 gallons into a 11 gallon tank!
Our radiator is taking on a well used look. Look out John Hulstrom, there maybe some competition out there!
This pretty guy was found on Pete and Linda’s radiator.
We check into the hotel and head to Falls Park where we have a BBQ dinner and look at the Falls of the Big Sioux River.
We listen to a great presentation by Marcus of the Great Lakes Tour to be done next year. We are ready to sign up. We return to the hotel and Rick helps Larry Snuttjer with his steering and John with his starter, while I do the blog.
We get up and have breakfast. Rick tries to find a solenoid for John’s car but with no luck. So we stay behind the rest of the group and drive with John and Nancy. He needs to hot-wire it every time he needs to start it.
However the theme of the day is WIND, CORN, and HAY! And more of the same for 228 miles.
Meanwhile the wind is making us see what life on the prairie is all about. There are no trees or mountains to help buffer it. I knew there was a reason I love living in the mountains!
I am truly amazed how big the Missouri River is.
We make a stop for lunch in Yankton at JoDean’s Restaurant. We are the last ones to come in. It is a buffet. I like the decor.
We go onto the Gavin’s Point Dam and the Lewis and Clark Visitor’s Center.
We go through the Lewis and Clark Museum and watch a good movie on their expedition.
We get to Vermillion our home for the night. Rick again tries to find parts for John with no luck. However he is successful in helping Bill with his brakes with parts he brought.
We all enjoy a long “happy-hour” and then hit the sack.
We start the day by going over Iron Mountain Road. It is: 17 miles long, with 314 curves, 14 switchbacks, 3 pigtails, 3 tunnels, 4 Presidents, and 2 splits! We had fun doing it.
We head onto Custer State Park. This is a place where all creatures great or small, slow or fast are a wonder to see!
I can’t believe what it must have been like in years past with the thousands of bison on the plains. I can only compare it to seeing the great migration in Africa. It is an awesome sight that I will never forget.
We can’t do a trip without a “fix-it” moment. John and Nancy’s car would not start at the Visitor’s Center. The group to the rescue, never leaving one stranded is the name of the game, right?
Today we travel through a lot of different terrain:
And like the creatures of this great land, some of us go fast and some of us go slow, but we all end up getting to the same place having seen a lot of new places!
We end the day in Hot Springs and four of us Kathy and Jim and Rick and I relax and enjoy the hot springs which the town was named after.
Add another good day spent with nature, seeing new places and enjoying doing it with friends and sharing our adventures with those who couldn’t join us.
We all leave together to Crazy Horse and they set us up for a photo op with the cars and Crazy Horse as the back drop.
It doesn’t seem like they have made much progress since Rick and I were here 30 years ago. The face is complete and they say the arm and his hair is what they are working on now. They are now on the third generation of the Korczak Ziolkowski family working on it. They have added a lot more to the visiting area however and it is very informative about native American culture.
We spend time seeing everything: watch film, Indian Museum, Sculptor’s Studio/home, Bison exhibit, other beautiful sculpture’s done, the 1/34 scale model of Crazy Horse, and watch a native Lakota do the hoop dance.
We have lunch and head to Needles Hwy, a very pretty windy road.
We get back just in time before a quick little thunder storm. It was a great day!
Today we all traveled together to Mt. Rushmore. We did group pictures of the cars with Mt. Rushmore in the back ground and then went to see the sites.
Up close and personal with the four:
Next we take a ride on the old steam engine 1880 train.
We go through pretty country with rock walls, trees, stream, and meadows. There are a lot of deer. It is an hour ride each way. When we get back we go to dinner and then return to Mt. Rushmore for the night lighting ceremony.
Today we head to Deadwood first. We all go at the same time to start the walking “poker run”. I start with a King, but then quit. I take pictures of Rick driving Tin Lizzie under the city sign and then by the “Tin Lizzie” casino.
We then go up to the Mt. Moriah Cemetery. There are 3,627 burials here, including Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.
Pictures as leaving Deadwood.
We leave town after huge ice cream cones and head for the scenic route to Hill City.
We go through pretty hills with aspen and pine trees with green meadows, running streams and a lot of deer. We even come across two wild turkeys, but I haven’t found any big horn sheep yet. We decide to go to the Wonderland Cave and take their tour.
Copper in a geode.
We finish off the day by going to dinner at the Alpine restaurant. What a meal, a fantastic bacon wrapped filet mignon steak with baked potato, bread, and a 1/4 wedge salad for only $11.95! Now that is the way to end the day.
We get up at 6 and have breakfast. We are on the road at 8:45. We are a group of five cars to start and pick up two others on the way. On the way we make a stop in an old town called: Hulett. We had fun there until the antique shop owner decided to get grumpy with us and I thought he might try to really put us in jail or in coffins! We escaped and headed on. We enter Devils Tower National Monument with ease with one exception: Marilynn had a “senior moment” and couldn’t remember her birthdate! When they take me away will someone come rescue me? We hike to the base of the tower and get a fantastic view of the valley below. We watch a couple climb half way up the tower and then come down. We head on, passing prairie dog town and make a stop in Sundance and have a picnic lunch. After lunch as we are headed back to Spearfish we end up in a race with a large buck. He was really pretty with a big rack. This time I do get a picture of him on the run as we are going by in the car. Maybe my photo skills are improving? After getting back to Spearfish we drive up Spearfish Canyon as far as Bridalveil Falls and then head back to the hotel. It was a fun first day.
We get up at 6:30, shower and have breakfast. Tank up, gas is $2.79/gal., and ready to go by 8:30. We take I-25/ US-85 N. It is a two lane road, but more scenic than taking the freeway. We hit some crosswind gusts, but not bad. It definitely is prairie grasslands. I again think it might be in the running for “Loneliest Highway” against Hwy. 50! We stop at Lusk for our picnic lunch. I luck out and find a small herd of pronghorn antelope! We aren’t moving in a car and they are in a grass field fairly close. So I now have my official picture of pronghorn and you can actually tell what they are.
We continue on and just heading into Spearfish Canyon are some pretty rock formations. The canyon itself is pretty and tomorrow we will make stops at the falls. We get to the Holiday Inn and unload Lizzie – the end of her free ride for now. We register and the South Dakota/Black Hills Tour has officially begun.
We were lazy today and didn’t get up until 7:30. First things first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIM! Have a great day. We had breakfast and were on the road by 8:40. Last night we discovered that going over these bumpy freeways had jostled things in the outside cabinet on the motorhome and lodged it shut so we couldn’t get into any of our hoses, table, chairs, etc. Not sure how we are going to get it open.
By 10:30 we make a pit stop in Green River. They have neat rock formations and history about mining soda ash. We go by Table Rock, cross the Continental Divide twice, last at 7000 feet. We stop in Rawlins at the city park by an old train engine and have BBQ’d hot dogs. We hit cross winds about 20 miles out of Laramie and our ” check engine” light comes on. We stop and Rick checks the oil – adds some, checks the gas cap and we head on. Oh by the way we managed to get the back cabinet door open!
We go on and make a final stop at The Lincoln Monument. It is to commemorate the Lincoln Highway – America’s first transcontinental automobile road, 3,500 mile route from NY to SF. It is also placed at the highest point on I80 at 8640 feet elevation. It starts raining here and continues for about the next 20 miles. We arrive at our camp site in Cheyenne at AB RV camping at 5:45.
We end the day with having BBQ hamburgers for dinner.
Today, Sunday, September 2nd we get up early, maybe due to the trains that run right behind the park?? Have a nice camp breakfast and are on the road again by 8:30. We go through a lot of different terrain, but I80 between Elko and Salt Lake City has to be a close contest to Hwy. 50 for “The Loneliest Highway” ! We cross the Salt Flats with a brief stop, pass the Great Salt Lake, pass the Morton’s Salt Factory and then through Salt Lake City. We go through Parley’s Canyon and stop and get gas for $3.79/gal., not bad Bridgeport still has it beat at $5.00/gal. We make a side trip to Rick’s sister and brother-in-laws cabin. They totally built it themselves. It is beautiful. It is up at 8,000 feet in the aspen trees with a fantastic view. Their nearest neighbors are moose – who come right under their deck. They feed us dinner and we are on our way. We make it to Philips RV Camp in Evanston at 7:30.
We are on the road by 8:30. It is quite smoky today and gets worse as we go. I am thinking it might be from the big fire by Elko. Through out the day we are passed by a lot of “Firefighting Support” trucks: from mobile meals to aerial support trucks. As we go through Nevada I wonder how different the “Black Hills” and the “Badlands” of South Dakota will be from some of our terrain? The area is desolate but pretty and unique in its own way. We are also passed by playa dust covered vehicles heading home from “Burning Man”. Each to his own, however a trip in a Model A is more to my tasting. Speaking of Model A’s, Lizzie is relaxing and enjoying the ride! Especially going up the grades into Elko. We arrive in Elko about 5 and I fix tacos for everyone, making fresh guacamole and using fresh tomatoes from our garden. We finish off dinner with “little” ice cream cones (only 2 inches tall) that Nancy and John brought. They were so cute! Life is all about enjoying the simple and little things, right? So ends our first day on the road this time.