Driving – and, er, not much else…

The hotel room view was taken from the car park as I forgot until we were all packed up.

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Today was great for me as all I did was sit in the car and knit.

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The first hundred miles was enlivened by boards advertising a place called Walldrug. I wish now that we had stopped there – the boards were about every couple of miles for what seemed like at least an hour.

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That was only about a quarter of them – I missed a lot.

We saw signs to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home – and were going to divert to see it – but it was 55 miles out of our way which was too far given the distance we had to travel. Boo.

Nothing else interesting until we got to the Green Giant, where we stopped in a small cafe and had hamburgers.

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Arrived in Wisconsin Dells about ten thirty – though we weren’t sure how many time zones we had gone over.

Distance walked – about 10 paces to the Green giant

Distance driven 740 miles

To Mount Rushmore..

And so we said goodbye to the mattress capital of the universe,

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…and the fairies said goodbye to the mountains.

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We drove to the site of Custer’s last stand, and stood around ourselves for a bit.

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It was a lovely spot, with birds singing and the sound of trains in the distance.

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We were very good and stayed on the sidewalk.

On the way out we saw some prairie dogs.IMG_3248

From then on the landscape got flatter, and flatter. It is difficult to explain the scale of it – just immense  grassland stretching as far as the eye can see.

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We drove and drove without stopping – only getting held up by roadworks on the other side of Deadwood.  By held up – I mean stopped still for 20 minutes waiting for the pilot car to take us through. My driver was not happy.

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There would be no hugging of construction workers.

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We stopped by a lake to stretch our legs, and sit down for a rest on the floating pier.

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A little while later there was a forest fire

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By the time we got to Crazy horse – which one day will be the Indian  equivalent of the carvings of the presidents at Mount Rushmore – it was just closing. They let us into the parking lot to take a photograph though.

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As you can see, there is some way to go.

Just down the road is Mount Rushmore – which although finished was a bit of a disappointment.  I always thought it was much bigger. (channels Father Ted on perspective)

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Blurry photos of fairies – in spite of several attempts with me holding on to them with my arm out looking like an idiot in front of all the other tourists. My husband wouldn’t have done that to me on purpose, would he?

Got to the holiday Inn in Keystone at the bottom of the hill and collapsed. It is very tiring being driven around.

Distance walked says 186 steps – but it was further than that!

Distance driven 558 miles

Some people live too far away

We travelled over to West Yellowstone to meet someone I have known on the internet for some time, but never met face to face.  As we were so close to Yellowstone we went into the park first to see some more bison and some more hot puddles.

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We saw lots of bison, and then went for a walk around some hot puddles.

http://my.viewranger.com/track/details/MjY2MjgzNw== . Via @ViewRanger

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We passed the steamboat geyser, which erupts at intervals from 4 days to 50 years (!) but didn’t have the patience to wait and see if we were in luck. The steam from the geysers and vents stinks, and slightly stings as you walk through it. We went past one man who was stood breathing deeply at one geyser – he either believed that the sulphurous fumes were good for his health or was committing very slow suicide.

On the way out we saw some elk. Paddling.

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We then went into West Yellowstone and met another Liz, who is lovely, as are her two accompanying daughters.

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They brought elves to meet the fairies. None of them would stay still as we perched them on various animals.

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Eventually we had to drag ourselves away, and went back to see our apartment across the lake for the last time before we start the long journey home.

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Phil had shrimp and grits again for dinner – I declined three day old shrimp and had an omelette. I am hoping he survives to drive tomorrow.

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Distance driven

Distance walked 3,9 miles

 

 

We thought we should do a bit of exercise…

So we walked to the top of the hill, and we walked back down again. Twice.

http://my.viewranger.com/track/details/MjY1OTE5MQ== . Via @ViewRanger

We bravely walked into danger – past evidence of shootings,

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and more bear warnings –

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but it was a gentle zigzag stroll up to lovely views, and down to a very pretty creek.

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We saw a few other hikers – including a real man who strode up the hill with bear spray strapped to his waist. Phwoar! Unfortunately no picture, dammit.

We drove back via the ski area at our apartments. This is why we don’t ski. (apart from the fact that I am terrified of heights)

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Back at the ranch, I helped the fairies make a snow man. We should have done it earlier, as due to the heat the snow was melting rapidly, and it was hard to model! The fairies complained bitterly.

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It was a beautiful evening – with the moon rising over the mountains.

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Spaghetti carbonera for dinner – no photograph.

Distance driven 47 miles

Distance walked – 4.4 miles