Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Home Again!

The trip went wonderfully. I am very fortunate to have a large (LARGE) extended family in Wyoming and South Dakota. Thus, necessitating us visiting them and the beautiful surrounding area! If you are up to it, following is a pictorial review:

Gurnsey Lake, Wyoming - My mom spent many a summer swimming here.

Oregon Trail Ruts, WY (sorry for the sideways view!) - The kids loved climbing around these.

Register Cliff, WY - These are supposed to be markings left by people traveling on the Oregon Trail, but you will see markings up to the present!

The great Toad Races, Wheatland WY

Sunset View of Laramie Peak. Wouldn't it be great to have this out your window!


The Mammoth Site, Hot Springs SD - This was the kids favorite site. Actual mammoth bones!

Our Prarie Dog greeter at Custer State Park, SD

View of the Needles Highway and Black Hills, SD. This drive is not for the easily car sick!

Do I need to say? Mt. Rushmore, SD
So worth the visit. Also, much nicer then when I was there TWENTY years ago!

I also need to take a moment and mention the Jr. Ranger/Ranger program at all the National Parks. It made the experience so much more valuable and interesting to the kids. At the Visitor Center in each park, ask the Park Ranger for a Jr. Ranger book. It asks the kids various questions that they will find the anwers to throughout the park. When they complete the little booklet (and it is pretty fun) they take it back to the Ranger and they get a little Jr. Ranger badge. We ended up with three: Mt. Rushmore, Jewel Cave, and the Badlands. The kids LOVED it.

Bison herd at Custer Park. Totally impressive to us, not so to my relatives who own a bison ranch! The Ranger stated that they have at least one goring a year (so don't feed them!)

Crazy Horse Memorial, SD. Totally worth the stop. They have a fabulous museum. I have no idea when this project will be done, but the head alone is bigger then all four presidents on Mt. Rushmore.

Jewel Cave, SD - I had to try very hard not to let my clautrophobic panic take over. If you go, get your tickets ahead of time and do the Scenic Tour.

If you want to go spelunking at Jewel Cave - this is Mr. Plaidshoes squeezing through the "test" box. If you can't fit through here - then you don't get to go spelunking. I advise just doing the tour!

The mythical Jackalope! Wall Drug, SD. There is a picture of my sister and me almost thirty years ago on this statue. Obviously, I had to get one of my kids! This is the biggest tourist trap in the middle of the US. But so much fun. They also have the best cake donuts.

Badlands, SD. None of the pictures I have do this place justice. The landscape and history of this place is amazing.

Jack & Jill went down a hill..... Story Book Land at Wylie Park in Aberdeen South Dakota. A fantastic park with a lake, playground and zoo. This was the site of our family reunion. There are several pictures of me as a kid at this park.

A refreshing last day.

As fun as the trip was, it is good to be home!


Shannon said...

What a dream vacation!

Angelina said...

I want to see the mammoth bones! That is so cool!

What a great trip.

By "goring" do you mean that once a year someone gets impaled by a bison?


plaidshoes said...

Yes, they actually get impaled! Usually the bison don't get so close the the visitor's center, but for some reason, they were camping out there. There were rangers every 50 feet or so, so people wouldn't get too close and think that they were friendly :-)