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Tag Archives: Iowa

Into the West Day #4

We’re on our way.  We’re heading to California to start a slightly modified life.  Excited as it may be, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.  I thought you would like to see the things we encounter on our ~2000 mile journey.  (I know it ‘s just what you have all wanted!).  Enjoy!

Travel miles today: 561  miles

Travel miles total: 1831  miles

Places of interest: Another huge day of traveling.  I did get to see some awesome dino bones, though.  We didn’t quite make it to Reno today, but we are about 3 hours away.  That should leave us with about 6:30 hours of driving tomorrow.  I think we can do it.  Just need to get up and going early.

 

First (and only) stop: Dinosaur National Monument.  We arrived right as it opened and got on the first tour of the day.  The ranger takes you up to the Quarry Fossil Center and from there you can explore.  Of course, we got to enjoy it with about 50 elementary students there on a field trip.  The center is basically a building covering a giant wall of dinosaur fossils.  It’s huge!  And really cool.  The original building was built in the 1950s, but closed in 2006 because it was structurally unsound.  It was literally falling apart.  It took the NPS five years to replace it.  Thankfully the new building opened last year, so we could see the wonder that is the Quarry.  Very neat place!

 

In passing: We passed the Great Salt Lake.  Man is that thing huge!  and the Bonneville Salt Flats.  J didn’t want to risk the car, so no offroading.

 

Tomorrow: Donner Party Memorial in Truckee CA, Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield CA, and finally Sunnyvale CA!

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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Life, Readathon

 

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Into the West Day #3

We’re on our way.  We’re heading to California to start a slightly modified life.  Excited as it may be, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.  I thought you would like to see the things we encounter on our ~2000 mile journey.  (I know it ‘s just what you have all wanted!).  Enjoy!

Travel miles today: 665 miles

Travel miles total: 1270  miles

Places of interest: A huge day of traveling.  We didn’t really stop at much, but passed through South Dakota, all of Wyoming, a bit of Colorado, and into Utah.  We got a phone call that the moving truck will be arriving on May 3rd, so we need to get moving.  Our plan is to get to Reno, NV tomorrow to be set for early evening arrival on the 2nd.  But before we get there, here’s what we saw today:

First passing:  From Hill City, SD, we headed north passing through Deadwood and by Sundance on the way to…

 

First (and only) stop: Devil’s Tower.  You know the giant rock from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Yeah! That giant rock.  It’s even more impressive up close.  We paid the entrance fee to wind our way up to the tower.  The road passes through prairie dog town (literally next to the road) and up to the visitor’s center.  We bought a few interesting photographs and postcards, but decided to skip the mile long hike around the tower.  We took more pics and then headed back to I-90.

 

Then: Headed south to Casper, WY and kept going.  Because of the push up on arrival, we kept driving into part of the night to get to Vernal, UT to stay the night.  After checking a few full hotels, we finally found on that had rooms and got one.  I don’t know what is going on, but Vernal seems to be hopping tonight.

 

Tomorrow: Dinosaur National Monument, Utah, and Nevada.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Life, Readathon

 

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Into the West Day #2

We’re on our way.  We’re heading to California to start a slightly modified life.  Excited as it may be, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.  I thought you would like to see the things we encounter on our ~2000 mile journey.  (I know it ‘s just what you have all wanted!).  Enjoy!

Travel miles today: 397 miles

Travel miles total: 605  miles

Places of interest: A huge day of sightseeing. Although I think I enjoyed it way more than J…

First stop: Sioux Falls downtown to see the reproduction of David in the park.  I found it pretty weird that Sioux Falls, SD, has a naked man statue in their downtown, but it was nice.  On our way out of town, we drove by the concrete outline of the USS South Dakota, but no pics.  It was pretty lame…  I want the real ship.

Next up: The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.  The height of cheese.  Loved it!

Then: 1880 town outside Murdo, SD.  We originally had a 1880 town close to Sioux Falls on the list.  We drove past and it was like the set of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  We passed that one up for the original.

On to: Wall Drug in Wall, SD.  The best part… J got a pic of me riding a jackalope.  We marveled at the cheese.  We were almost eaten by a T-Rex.  And we scored some fudge, red raspberry rubarb jam, pheasant jerky, huckleberry tea, and bison summer sausage.

Finally: Mount Rushmore.  I actually really enjoyed the monument.  It was also nice to visit on the off season with hardly any other tourists.  And for some reason, we didn’t have to pay.  Score!  We finished with the mountain, Wove our way through the Black Hills, and ended up in Hill City (Comfort Inn) for the night.

Tomorrow: Devil’s Tower and Wyoming!

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Life, Readathon

 

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Into the West Day #1

 

We’re on our way.  We’re heading to California to start a slightly modified life.  Excited as it may be, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.  I thought you would like to see the things we encounter on our ~2000 mile journey.  (I know it ‘s just what you have all wanted!).  Enjoy!

Travel miles today: 208 miles

Travel miles total: 208 miles

Places of interest:  No one place.  We got a late start, so no fun attractions along the way.  We did decide to take the Iowa Loess Hills Scenic Byway instead of just heading north on I-29.  Lots of great rolling hills, tiny towns, and bluffs.  We made it to Sioux Falls, SD, at dinner time, ate at Old Chicago, and checked into the Fairfield Inn.  Tomorrow we’ll actually hit some great roadside attractions on the way to Mount Rushmore.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in Life, Readathon

 

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