Seeing America’s beauty

Me and the Mrs. took a little R & R last couple weeks and went on the longest vacation ever for the two of us. It was the longest we have been away from home since we eloped 39 years ago.
Took off to South Dakota to look at the stone faces of Mount Rushmore, dodging tornadoes in Nebraska on the way. Managed to get to York, Nebraska on the first day of travel. The Data for Extreme Weather team (Storm Chasers) were there with their equipment and we got some good shots of their tornado vehicle.
Stayed up in Wall, South Dakota the next night and managed to visit Wall Drug if you know what that is.
Got to see and drive the Badlands Loop as they are named properly so and ever so great to see.
Next day we drove to Mount Rushmore and saw the stone faces on the side of the mountain.
On the way back to the main drag, we came upon a park called Bear Country and the girls (The Mrs. and my old sister) said they would like to see it. Dang near choked when the young girl said forty-five dollars but it was worth it after we finished looking at all of the bears, elk, puma, badgers, wolves and otters. Saw a Magpie for the first time as well.

On through Sturgis, South Dakota and stayed over in Spearfish, South Dakota for the night on our way to Billings, Montana.
Detoured the main road and went to the Devil’s Tower, which the girls wanted to see too and it was nice. Drove into rain, sleet, then it started snowing about the time we got up into the clouds thick as Goose Creek fog. Mercy day, I did not like driving in that but managed to come out on the other side of the mountain into a clearing and could see.
There is an Indian tale about Devil’s Tower and they enjoyed the visit in the wet weather.
At the tourist center @ Devil’s Tower, they had all sorts of junk and what knots. On in the back of the store they had a big old cured rattlesnake in a wooden glass box. Got old sister to come back there and look at it. She shuttered and grunted when she saw it.
Asked the store clerk where they got it and she said TEXAS. That made me smile.
On to old cousin’s house for a few days to visit and talk about all the relatives. Her momma and my momma were twins so she and old sister were tight growing up, like Mutt and Jeff if you savvy the drift.
Bird country in that part of Montana and they like the birds as much as we do with feeders and all. More nice shots of some winged friends.
One day we stopped to have lunch (this was preplanned) in a restaurant/casino and just enjoy each other’s company. As we were being seated, I went one server and asked if she will be our server and she was. I told her to bring us an order of Mountain Oysters and just sit them on the table and do not say anything about it. So she did.
Old cousin told me to order them ‘cause she was ‘fraid the girls would get mad at her. I was used to that so I placed the order and they all dug in when the fried morsels arrived.
They were served with a red horseradish sauce and were right tasty.
Hated to leave good company but our trip was ahead of us, so on to Yellowstone National Park from the Northeast entrance though Red Lodge, Montana.
We tried going through Beartooth Pass a couple of days before but it was closed due to an avalanche. After three days, Beartooth Pass reopened and through it, we went. 10,947 feet up and a site to see. Have heard talk of the little or lack of oxygen up that high and trust me, it is a fact. Just crossing the road for a photo opportunity and coming back wore me out. Tuff on a fat boy I tell ya.
They had over a hundred inches of snow up there this year and we rode through where it had been cut out. Talk about a big wow!
Yellow Stone National Park was pretty and populated with lots of grazing buffalo and Yankees.
One can usually tell a Yankee with his Bermuda shorts on with T-shirt and black socks with sandals or tennis shoes. Tacky, Tacky!
One of our twins said, “The old geezer goes to see the old geyser.”
Down through the Teton Mountains and into Jackson Hole, Wyoming where all the rich folk stay, we hung a westerly direction through Idaho just to say we been to Idaho.
Headed down country, we entered Utah and Idaho a couple of times on these side roads, just a looking and looking. Talk about a neck ache.
Drove the loop through the Flaming Gorge Recreational Area and it too was neck ache country.
Antelopes galore and many other animals through out the trip. How ever, the road kill caught my attention and especially the 30 dead skunks on the trip. Eight others were smelt but not seen.
Lots of coons but the three badgers caught my attention too, as did the cougar lying on the side of the road, two pheasants, fox, numerous deer and antelope.
Crossed the 44th parallel and the Continental Divide on occasion, seeing things we will never see again but always remember hopefully!
Highest gas was $4.29 and diesel was @ $5.19.
Bunch of rocks, mountains, snow, and beautiful country but when I saw that pheasant cock stand up in a grain field in Montana that made my day.