Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rapid City & Black Hills of South Dakota

We arrived at Rapid City on the 21st of July and headed right for Mt Rushmore in the Black Hills.  The lines into the park were 5 lanes deep and backed up on the highway, but well worth the wait.  The Avenue of Flags looks nice in the picture with the presidents behind them and at night looks even better(didn't put the night pics up, should have brought the tripod). 

Keep in mind most of these pictures are in the Black Hills in South Dakota, I can't believe they're not mountains!  When we were driving to the top of the hill in Custer State Park and I looked down, it sure felt like we were in the White Mountains.  Take a look at the picture Al took of the tunnel in the park, you can see Mt Rushmore if you zoom in.  We both like looking for bison in the parks, so here is another picture of them.  What I didn't realize is, that the younger bison's look like cows, they don't take on the shape of the bison until they're older.  I put a couple more pictures of the park because I liked them and thought you might want to see them.

Off to Bear Country USA, a safari style park, where you travel through with your car as you look at the wild animals.  It was bumper to bumper moving at a snails pace while you looked at Mule Deer, wolves, bison and, of course, bears.  Even though it took allot longer then it should have, it was worth seeing.

Crazy Horse, also in the Black Hills, is a work in progress with no end date but a must see.  From Crazy Horse we headed to Belle Fourche, which is the geographic Center of the Nation, when Alaska and Hawaii were added.  Next stop, Spearfish Canyon, which had waterfalls and the Belle Fourche River. Janet & Roland, they were fly fishing in the river, do you want to come join us, I'd love to learn how to fly fish?

The "City of Presidents" tour was the last thing we did before we left Rapid City.  It was 12 blocks of life like statues of the first 42 presidents.  As we crossed the street, we tried to guess which president it was and didn't have a difficult time with the last 30 or so presidents but failed horribly with a small portion of the rest. 

Off to Yellowstone Nat'l Pk where we don't think you'll be able to reach us so email me if you need me at

Avenue of Flags, which features flags from all 50 states and 6 U.S. Territories  

Faces of Mount Rushmore

Carved granite tunnel in Custer State Park

A herd of bison in Custer State Park(there are 1,300 bison in this park)

A scenic shot of Custer State Park

Needles Highway tunnel(wouldn't fit the motorhome through here)

Bear Country USA(looks pretty relaxed considering there are hundreds of people watching him)

Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of SD 

Belle Fourche Monument

Spearfish Canyon waterfall

Spearfish Canyon river

Rapid City, City of Presidents

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wall, South Dakota

While traveling to Wall, SD we decided to stop at this rest area and saw this spectacular view of the Missouri River with the Louis & Clark marker.  Another view we saw over and over were billboards of the famous "Wall Drug" as seen on the "Today" show(that was even on the billboard), it reminded me of South of the Border on the way to Florida.  The funny thing is, I called ahead for a campground in Wall where we would spend a week and guess where we were, right behind it.  Good old country music from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

Al has been talking about going to the national parks since we began this adventure and we finally made it to the first one!  The Badlands Nat'l Park was magnificent, I've never seen anything like this!  As you can see in the pictures, the rock formations & fossils make up the park.  The Badlands border the Grasslands which we also traveled through because the park rangers told us there were Bison throughout the park.  Take a look at the picture Al took, we waited 15 minutes for him to walk down the hill and pass in front of us.  This area was a must see and we enjoyed it very much!

Rest Area with Louis & Clark marker.(Missouri River in the distance)

Wall Drug Store & Cafe

Badlands National Park map

Badlands hills are 244,000 acres & border the Grasslands

Buffalo in the Grasslands passed right in front of our car!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mitchell, South Dakota

 We're in Mitchell, South Dakota visiting the Corn Palace.  Believe it or not the murals in the Corn Palace are made out of 12 different corn colors.  They're in the process of changing all of the murals this year but are still letting people visit the palace.  Todd, I know you like to see all different styles of art, this is folk art, what do you think? 
The next stop was Mitchell's Prehistoric Indian Village which we stopped by to see because the campground told us students from England were working on the archeological dig.  We thought it would be nice to see them working the site and we were not disappointed.  
Next stop, the badlands!

2 murals made out of corn on the outside of the Palace

2 more murals outside the Corn Palace

Here's a mural inside(looks like he's building a fire)

Earthern Lodge(look at the village below, this is a single home)

Prehistoric Indian Village(1,100 years ago)

Archeological dig site

Minneapolis, MN & Mall of America

We traveled through the city of Minneapolis and were surprised to see that the All Star game will be played there in a short time.  They had banners throughout the city advertising the event.  From Minneapolis we headed for the Mall of America, you better have good walking shoes/sneakers for this mall.  When you first walk in it appears to have 3 floors but as you walk through the mall, you will see a fourth floor.  The middle of the mall has Nickelodeon Universe and Lego City with 3 Roller Coasters(one was Dora the Explorer) which Maddy would love!  
Al & I left Minnesota earlier than expected because the storms in the area were intensifying.  Our original plan was to go to Iowa to see the Winnebago tour but there were terrible storms in that area. 

Minneapolis, MN

Mall of America entrance

Entrance into Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe had 3 indoor Roller Coasters

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A vist to Milwaukee, WI

Thought we'd head to Milwaukee and see Lake Michigan from a different angle(looks like the ocean there too, amazing).   You can walk, eat or sail along the river in the downtown area.  They also have a mall in the downtown area, I felt right at home, one of the stores is called "Boston Loft"!  The picture that looks like a white ship is called "The Art Museum", isn't it awesome, and as you can see, its right on Lake Michigan!  We should have made time to visit it. The last picture is O'Donnell Park(with the orange modern art symbol), just to the left of the symbol is the Miller Pavilion, which has a brewery and restaurant! 

Downtown Milwaukee(right side of picture is the Mall)

Milwaukee River

Milwaukee Art Museum w/Lake Michigan

O'Donnell Pavilion w/Miller Brewery(left)