Sightseeing on the Outskirts of Deadwood, South Dakota – Razor Style

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Deadwood, SD is filled with wild west history. Just hearing the names Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane evokes scenes of smoke-filled saloons, dancing girls, spitoons, and deadly poker games – like the one Hickok lost his life in. The story goes he was shot in the back holding a hand of aces and eights, later coined the dead man’s hand. Both of these legends are buried at Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood.

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We didn’t stop to check out the cemetery. The Boss was more excited to get out of town and off the beaten path. Remember back when we were at Bear Lake in Utah and we saw the ATV’s cruising down the main roads? We said then and there that if we had a chance to do that in our travels we would; and we did. It was awesome!

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Mr. Gibberish had been itching to do some off-road touring, so we rented a Polaris Razor 570 for the day. Mad Mountain Summer Adventures , located on Route 385 just outside of Deadwood, is a great place to rent a ride. Their rates were very reasonable and the owner was laid back and down to earth. He provided us with a great map broken down into three sections and we were able to see just about everything he pointed out.

One of the places to see was a little town name Galena, an old silver mining town. It was really just a few dilapidated building, thankfully with a port-a-potty. The Galena Cemetery was a pretty walk, if cemeteries are allowed to be called pretty. The plots are scattered about and as you would expect, many of the markers were hard to read. There are quite a few Civil War soldiers’ graves, as well as some of the more prominent Galena residents, including the first town sheriff, who’s grave we couldn’t find.

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This stone had me singing the song Little Liza Jane by Vince Gill all day.

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There were also five or six graves showing the same birthday (no not year!) as me, which I found just a tad bit disturbing. That seemed like a lot, proportionately.

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Just pretty somehow…

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Mr. G was in charge of the navigation. Hey, the maps were crazy hard to follow and filled with hundreds of trail head numbers with absolutely no rhyme or reason – way outside my navigational skill-set.

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Here are some more shots of the scenes from the day…

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Beautiful view…

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Umm Babe, that’s a long freaking way down…

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Hey, didn’t the guy say you might not want to try the dry river beds???

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I do have video for some of the tougher spots but it just might make you a little nauseous because it is super shaky. Mostly it’s me saying “Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!” and then laughing, patting my chauffeur on the back, and saying “I knew you had it all along!”  🙂

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We made our way into Nemo and feasted on another gourmet lunch. This one was at the Nemo Mercantile. Okay, it was a frozen Tombstone Pizza. But is was cooked to perfection and absolutely deee-lish! The little country store was a great place to sit back and take in what we had seen so far over a couple of ice-cold beers – and that’s just what we did. Sorry no pics, we chowed down like we hadn’t eaten in three days.

The Boss did manage get a pic of my butt however. He was pleased with himself for finding a big mud muddle that somehow only covered my side of the Razor. Hmmm…

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Yes, he is remarkably clean.

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On the way back we spotted some more wild life domesticated life, with attitude. He stared us down for a few minutes and then slowly went on his way.

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In case you’re wondering, we did get to take the machine on the main paved roads like he wanted to. But honestly, being off-road was much more fun. It took us the entire day to see all the points of interest on the maps and it was well worth the money and time.

I guess that’s about all from South Dakota. Next up North Dakota… shocking, right? LoL

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

~Cheers~

 

 

 

 

Devil’s Tower, Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore

Wanting to check off some of the really big things (pun intended) to see while we were in Wyoming and South Dakota, we decided to get a glimpse of Devil’s Tower and Mount Rushmore. I’ve tried to pick the best pictures for a little pictorial post of this part of our travels.

Devil’s Tower, WY way off in the distance…

20130605_172842A much better view…

DSCN2180I was actually pretty eager to see this because “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” is one of my favorite movies from when I was a kid. I have great memories of watching it with my Dad who was a big sci-fi fan. Here’s an image of the poster for the movie and a link to some video footage in case you’re too young to remember the flick. I think I may need to rent this again for old times sake.

Close Movie Devils Tower

Click here for video

The weather was fantastic for our trip through Custer Park and then onto Mount Rushmore. We made a quick stop at Crazy Horse, but we had missed the guided bus trip and start of the movie in the museum and didn’t want to hang around for the next one. Here is a pic of the work in progress…

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We hadn’t seen Mount Rushmore yet, so as crazy as this sounds, we weren’t as awed by the scope of this project as we should have been. If we ever get back that way again, we will certainly have a benchmark and be able to appreciate what has been done since our visit.

This is a sculpture of what the monument will look like when completed.

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Luckily the owners of **Chris’ Campground** (where we were staying) gave us great advice and directions on how to best see Mount Rushmore, so that we had the view in our windshield and not our back window.

There are a series of pig tails curls on Iron Mountain Road (off route Alt 16A from Custer Park) to the monument. I think Mr. Gibberish liked the twisty road as much as he did seeing Mount Rushmore! There are three itty-bitty tunnels on this road…DSCN2299

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Coming out of the last tunnel you can just start to see the monument.

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Closer…

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Closer still…

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From the side of the monument you get an awesome view of George Washington…

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Incredible…

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We had a great day visiting the national parks and love that we are able to check them off our bucket list. If you ever get a chance to see any or all of these national treasures, take advantage of it!

**Campground information for this scenic loop**

If you are in the Spearfish, SD area and need a place to stay I highly recommend Chris’ RV Campground. We initially only booked for two nights, but we loved it so much we stayed an entire week! The property is very clean, spacious and well maintained. They have two swimming pools, various laundry facilities, bath houses and recreational areas.

The owners, Bryce and Lana Christensen and the entire family were incredibly helpful, warm and friendly. Lana is the person to see if you need any kind of information on the area. Whether you need the best route to an attraction or a good place to get your laptop fixed, she’ll know where to send you!

Chris’ Camp – 701 Christensen Drive, Spearfish, SD 57783 1-800-350-2239

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

~Cheers~

 

 

 

An Awesome KOA in Buffalo, Wyoming

Smack dab in between Yellowstone National Park (244 miles from) and Mt. Rushmore (238 miles to) is a little town called Buffalo, WY. It was a great place for us to stop for the night on our way to South Dakota. We found a cute KOA there that was perfect.

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Buffalo, WY KOA – 87 US Highway 16 East – Buffalo, WY 82834 307-684-5423

I know KOA’s can sometimes get a bad rap and I must admit, we’ve been to one really bad one. But for the most part the KOA RV parks we’ve stayed at have been great, and the KOA in Buffalo, WY is up there with the best.

The park is completely family run; Mom, Dad, and kids home from college. There is something special about keeping it in the family when it comes to running a business. I think for me it adds a kind of homey touch that you don’t always find in the bigger, corporate type parks.

Come on along and take a little tour…

The office/camp store is newly remodeled and fully stocked with staple items as well as gifts and souvenirs.

20130605_10430220130605_104247The bathrooms and shower stalls, which are separate from one another, are located in the main building. They are immaculate and nice and bright.

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Individual shower rooms

Individual shower rooms

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The laundry room, game room/arcade, pool/hot tub, and playground are also located in the main building area.

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Cute place for the kids to hang out on a rainy day.

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And places to hang out on a sunny day…

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The park itself is medium-size with about 60 sites. But the layout is spacious, as you can see in the next picture, and we didn’t feel cramped in our spot. Granted, we were only there for one night, but I’m sure we would have been very comfortable had we stayed longer.

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*Note – this is not our rig*

The Buffalo, WY KOA also has a Deluxe RV site on the property that would be wonderful for a longer stay. The site, which is completely fenced in for privacy, features a very large patio, BBQ area, fire pit area and even a hot tub!

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I have never come across a campground with a deluxe site with this many amenities. What a fabulous idea!

The Buffalo, WY KOA also has a quaint row of cabins if you’re sans RV, or just want to pack the kids out for a night ;-).

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Finally, if you’re in the market for a great RV park for a jamboree, rendezvous, family reunion, etc. the Buffalo, WY KOA would be a great option. They have the coolest retro camp kitchen I have seen yet. Check it out…

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I can just see some sort of cook-off being a lot of fun there!

So there you have it, a great KOA right between Yellowstone National Park and Mt. Rushmore with tons of amenities and friendly hosts.

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 Buffalo, WY KOA – 87 US Highway 16 East – Buffalo, WY 82834 307-684-5423

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

~Cheers~

Yellowstone National Park – Day Two

We started the second day of our stay in Yellowstone National Park at the Mack Daddy of hot spots… Old Faithful Geyser.

Yes, we were freezing.

Yes, we were freezing.

But as you can see, the crowds hadn’t really started yet so we had a nice laid back stroll around the site. The entire time I was walking the boardwalk all I could think about was what the first people who came upon this natural wonder must have thought. I know I would have been thinking “Yikes… run!”

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When Old Faithful decided to blow his top we were on the back side of the geyser but we managed to get a picture or two.

Just starting…

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A little stronger…

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A little video… (as soon as I learn how to edit video you won’t have to watch the bobble as I switch cameras :-/)

Old Faithful Geyser – Yellowstone National Park

The massive geyser was certainly something to see, but I have to tell you, I was equally impressed with the smaller geothermal pools and geysers. They were spectacular on their own.

Brilliant and crystal clear springs…

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Awesome colors and textures…

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Ha! The Beach Spring… (always a beach bum at heart ;-))

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I don’t know why, but I have a thing for dead wood. Which is actually kind of funny because we did go to Deadwood, S.D. on our adventure. But that’s another post.

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After a gourmet lunch in the cafeteria at Old Faithful… (yes, we are very high brow. Ha!!)

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We headed over to the Grand Prismatic Spring and may just say… Oh My Gosh! I thought the colors were vivid at Old Faithful, and they were, but the Grand Prismatic Spring blows them away! (IMHO)

Crossing over to the spring…

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A little info…

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Taaa… Daaaa!!!

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Simply out of this world, stunningly, beautiful…

20130603_155253Sitting here going through all the images I can still feel the excitement and awe I felt the day we were there.

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After spending quite a while at the Grand Prismatic Spring, just trying to soak it all in, we bee-bopped around the park for the rest of the afternoon with no real destination in mind.

Here are a few more images from the day.

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More wildlife…

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Blurry picture but another bear 🙂

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Okay, one more bear, and thankfully a better picture.

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And one more buffalo… too close for comfort.

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And okay… one more little spring. This one is all on its own and called Fire Hole Spring. It had what looked like little explosions going on under the water. (don’t worry – it’s way better video than the one of Old Faithful!)

FireHole Spring – Yellowstone National Park

And there you have the highlights of our time in Yellowstone. I have so many pictures and memories it was hard just to pick a few. If you ever get a chance to go – take it! Our time spent there is something we will remember for a lifetime. I don’t believe there is ever a bad day in Yellowstone National Park.

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That’s all for now. Next up… Buffalo, Wyoming and an RV Park review.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

~Cheers~

Yellowstone National Park – Day One

As I sit here looking back over the photos from our time in Yellowstone National Park, I’m finding it really hard to pick my favorite spot. It truly was one amazing view after another. We were really able to pack of lot into our stay, which was only two nights and one full day, by making the most of every minute.

When we checked in to our site it was late afternoon but we managed to get a few hours of sightseeing in before it got too dark. Our first stop was at the Mud Volcanoes, where the only thing more powerful than the smell of sulfur was the rumble of the eruptions.

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This is my first attempt at adding my own video. Hope it works!

Mud Volcanoes at Yellowstone Park  (Click the link to view video)

Dragon’s Mouth Spring is also right in the same vicinity.

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This video is a little long (and silly) but you can hear the force of the eruptions coming from the cave. It’s also a good indication of why my pictures are less than stellar. It’s hard to keep a steady hand while laughing.

Dragon’s Mouth Spring, Yellowstone Park (Click the link to view video)

The next stop was Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River.

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And then on to the Lower Falls…

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Artist’s Point along the South Rim …

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Then onto Inspiration Point – The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. No, not the one they used to go to on the TV show “Happy Days” so they could make out. LoL

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As you can see, it had been a bit rainy at times, but while we were at Inspiration Point the sun decided to make an appearance and we saw an awesome rainbow over the canyon. It was breathtaking, unfortunately the following image doesn’t do it justice.

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That was about all we had time for as it was starting to get dark and the drizzle made its way back in. But we did get lucky on the way home. No, still not a Happy Days reference. We actually got to see our first bear on the first night in the park!

Hey what’s that? A traffic jam already?

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Oh my gosh! It’s a bear!

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After seeing so many buffalo, antelope, and elk we were really hoping to see at least one bear while in the park. So we were feeling pretty giddy making our way back to camp 🙂

That’s all for now. As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂

~Cheers~