Saturday, September 13, 2008

Traveling to Cody, WY, the Black Hills and back to Minneapolis.

This morning, Thursday 8-28, we drove across Yellowstone Park to the Yellowstone Valley Inn & RV Park, which is about 18 miles west of Cody, WY. During the drive we had the usual Yellowstone road block, buffalo on the road. When we got to the campground a wildfire was burning over the mountain to the north. We had actually crossed it's path about 26 miles further west as we came out of the park.The fire had been started by lightening and was allowed to burn to try to burn up the trees killed by a bark beetle infestation. As the fire began to move closer to Cody, officials decided it was time to start getting it under control. The campground owner said it’s about 3 miles from us, but not to worry as it's heading NE.

OH NO, the repossessers found us.

Well, not really, it’s the same old problem of the transfer case not wanting to shift out of neutral. The truck was towed into Cody and was dropped off at Webster Chevrolet. While they were pushing it in to the bay by hand the driver started it so he could use the power steering and tried to shift the transfer case and voila, it went right into gear. They ended up reprogramming the module. The good thing I found out wasI could do a manual reprogram myself so when it happens again I will give that a try.

The town of Cody had a collection of Grizzly Bear statues around the town. We only got a couple pictures as we did not spend any time in the downtown area.

The main purpose of stopping in Cody was to take in the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. The museum is made up of five mini museums. They are the Plains Indian Museum, the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Whitney Gallery Of Western Art, the Draper Museum Of Natural History and the Cody Firearms Museum. After spending a day there, we concluded it probably would be better to take a couple of days to take it all in.

On Saturday the 30th Sandy and I went on a day trip up the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and the Beartooth Highway.

The Beartooth is one road I probably would not drive with the motorhome. This picture of the GPS shows just a small example of the many steep switchbacks on the road.

The following pictures were taken of the magnificent vistas along the Beartooth Highway.

This is Beartooth Mountain.

Pictures of the Beartooth plateau and the west summit at 10,947 elevation.

Our turn around point was at Red Lodge, MT where we had lunch at Red Lodge Pizza. For the trip back to Cody we choose to take the flat route back. By doing so we came across this deserted coal mine that had the misfortune of having had an accident in 1943 that killed 74 miners. Mining is a dangerous job today and I can only imagine the conditions back then.

Just down the road from the mine was the small town of Bearcreek, MT. In town we came across this Main Street sign.

In all fairness to the town, even though the town seems to be dying, it did have a nice little wayside rest in town complete with picnic tables, grill and water,

On Sunday morning, the 31st, our friends Ron and Jane met up with us and we headed over to the Black Hills in South Dakota. We followed Highway 16 from Cody to Buffalo. This took us through the south end of the Big Horn Mountains and a 9,666 foot pass.

From there we drove on Interstate 90 to Spearfish, SD. Both Jane and I prefer to drive the secondary roads as opposed to the freeways, but we wanted to get to the Black Hills in one day without driving 12 hours.

We ended up spending two nights at the Elkhorn RV Park and Resort between Spearfish and Deadwood, SD. Jane and Ron prefer national forest campgrounds to private rv parks, but after they discovered it had a fenced-in area for Denver and Charley to run off leash, they decided that it wasn’t too bad after all.

It was cloudy with light rain the next morning so Sandy, Jane and I went on a scouting trip to Custer State Park to find a camp ground to spend the next few days. We ended up deciding on the Game Lodge Campground. While in the campground we tried to call the reservation center, but even with climbing to new heights, I was not able to get through with my cell phone.

On Tuesday the 2nd of September, we drove down to the Game Lodge Campground. Next to the campground is the Game Lodge which was the summer White House for President Coolidge in 1927.

Sandy, Jane and I went made a circle loop to Mount Rushmore and back. The first leg was the Iron Mountain Road (Hwy 16A) which included Pigtail Bridges and 3 one-lane tunnels that frame Mount Rushmore as you pass through them. The highway was designed by Peter Norbeck and built in the 1930s and stretches for 17 miles. We first came across a small herd of Burros which are descendants of animals that were left to fend on there own after they were no longer used to haul tourists around the Black Hills.

The next pictures are showing the Pigtail Bridges. Remember you can click on the pictures to read it better.

Ron and Jane traveled to the Black Hills with us on their first visit to this area and to see Mount Rushmore. If you have not been here since they built the new Flag walkway and visitors center it would be worth the trip. The day began cloudy, but eventually cleared up to be a beautiful sunny day.

Jane, Dave and Sandy

Inside the museum.

When we left Mount Rushmore we went back to the campgrounds by way of the Needles Highway.We thought the tunnels were tight even in the pickup but this tour bus managed to squeeeeeze through without a problem.

On Thursday the 4th we said goodbye to our friends,Ron, Jane, Denver and Charley, for our trip back to Minneapolis.

On the way we stopped at Sandy’s folks for a couple of days and went to a play called “Church Basement Ladies” which is a comedy about the hierarchy of the ladies who do all the food preparation for weddings, funerals and other events that take place in a fictitious Lutheran church. We had originally seen the play in Minneapolis and it was fun to see again.
From there we went up to Staples to visit my Dad, stepmother and brothers for a couple days and then on to Minneapolis. After getting in to Mystic Lake around 11:00 AM I got ready for a trip to Syracuse, IN to pick up the new boat that will be hauled in the back of the pickup when we travel. I was on the road by 1:00 PM and got into Syracuse about 11:30 PM their time. The following morning, 9/11, a day we should never forget, I was at the factory at 7:00 AM to load the boat and start the trip back "home".

Upon getting back to Minnesota I stopped and dropped off the boat and trailer in Rochester, MN to have the motor installed. By late afternoon I was back at Mystic Lake.

Be sure to check out Ron and Janes Blog as she has more on our time together.

Bye for now.
Dave and Sandy

1 comment:

LazyDazeAZ said...

I'm thinking this boat had better see "water" this winter. What do you say Sandy? Miss you both. Sitting in Rocky Mtn. NP today. It's a beautiful, sunny fall day in CO. Heading south with the birds. See you soon. Jane