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Mt. Rushmore, 2010

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Alda NE heading East

Kansas City, United States

Debbie's Blog: if you have not noticed yet, I am blogging as we travel and then Randy is adding photos at our stops for the night, thus keep checking back for updates to the blogs and pictures to accompany the blogs!!!

So we have just left the KOA in Doniphan NE and we are heading to Kansas City MO to get an old cache so that our team can complete a challange cache in Ohio. Long Story but I won't go into it here. We plan on making a few stops along the way to see some more roadside attractions so I will blog those then. We got a late start this morning (let the kids sleep in a bit and made pancakes for breakfast so we are a bit behind) so we are not sure where we will land tonight. We are going to try to make it to St. Louis MO with an ETA in Columbus sometime tomorrow, but we will see.

Just made a quick gas/photo stop in Milford NE to see the wooden teepee hotel-now defunct and largest covered wagon. Campground Wooden Teepees http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/3773
World's Largest Covered Wagon http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/846 Gassed and on our way to Lincoln NE

UPDATE: So arrived in Nebraska City NE to see the Tombstone in Shape of Desk http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/10950 and John Brown's Cave and Secret Tunnels http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/14639 and on the way to get onto Interstate 29, we passed through the corner of Iowa and saw the Sapp Bros Giant Coffee Pot http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/9673 The secret tunnels were part of the underground railroad and was the only stop in NE. It was cool. The Tombstone was neat but as stated above everyone just wants to go home so the stops are shorter and not as much fun as before :( We are now in Missouri on our way to Kansas City.

UPDATE: So we stopped twice in Kansas City- once in Kansas City Kansas for a cache to claim Kansas, and once in Kansas City Missouri to get a cache for Randy's cache challange. Boy is it HOT outside. Yikes, the sign said 93 degrees!!! Now back in the RV to head to Kindgom City MO to camp for the night. We sure do cross the Missouri River a lot on this trip. The river is really flooded in spots. This will be our last night of camping, family time and vacation before we hit Columbus sometime tomorrow night. :( We are staying at the Hanson HIlls Campground. We hope to have a fire and cook outside tonight.

permalink written by  Teambobcats on June 18, 2010 from Kansas City, United States
from the travel blog: Mt. Rushmore, 2010
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Last Night on the Road

Kingdom City, United States

Debbie's Blog: so we found this AWESOME campgroundhttp://www.hansonhillscampground.com/
a few Miles off the interstate. The people here are so nice, the campground is quiet, rugged, peaceful, and beautiful. The drive here was a bit scary but once we arrived, all of our worries disappeared. We got to our site, and the office provides fishing poles to fish with, so while I cooked dinner over on the grill *bbq Chicken and roasted potatos* Randy, Lynsie and Gunner went fishing.

Both kids caught fish and released them back into the pond. We then ate dinner and went swimming because it is still 90 degrees outside. The kids and I took jumping pictures into the pool. I think they turned out great . After a bit of a struggle, we finally got a fire burning and made a dessert, pecan pie, over the coals. Now were are just siting here enjoying the fire and listening to our neighbors set off fireworks. Besides the fireworks, the evening has been peaceful. You can hear the frogs croaking in the pond and the crickets in the trees. We can also see a lot of stars. What an awesome end to an awesome vacation. I am so very glad that we did this. So I guess we will jump back in the RV tomorrow to drive the approximately eight hours home to arrive in Columbus sometime in the evening. We will, of course, see some Roadside american attractions on the way home. Good Night.

permalink written by  Teambobcats on June 18, 2010 from Kingdom City, United States
from the travel blog: Mt. Rushmore, 2010
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Trip to Alta NE

Glendo, United States

Debbie's blog: so we spent the night in Glendo Res. State park ( http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/Site/SiteInfo.asp?siteID=6 ) with Uncle Jim. The storm that we took pictures of passed us by and we ended up having an incredible evening. We went into Glendo to have dinner with Uncle Jim at the only restaurant in town that was open (population of Glendo is 224). Dinner was actually pretty good- I had Chicken fried steak. After dinner we headed back to the campsite to sit by the campfire with Uncle Jim and swap stories and learn about the Lambert history. The campsite was beautiful and sat on a bluff overlooking the lake. It was extremely enjoyable. We partook in a few margaritas and then headed to bed.

We woke up this morning to heavy winds. We invited Jim over for breakfast in the camper b/c the winds were to heavy to eat outside. After breakfast, we got ready to start our trip home, but not before Jim gave us some fish he had caught earlier in the week. Yumm!!! We then drove a bit more through the state park and then headed on our way to Julesburg CO to get a cache. The winds are so strong that we just passed a semi truck on its side in the middle of the interstate. We think this is due to the strong winds. This should be an interesting trip to NE if the winds don't calm down. Our ultimate destination for today is Alda NE. We will lose a hour today so who knows how far we will get. We do have a few stops planned, such as one in Julesburg CO to get a geocache and claim another state, and of course a few roadside america attractions such as Monument: Where Brothers Were Pinned Together By An Arrow http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/16183 Great Platte River Road Archway http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9790 We may also make a few stops along the Oregon Trail to take a few historical pictures.

UPDATE: So we stopped in Geurnsey WY to see some history regarding the Oregon Trail. We saw the ruts and the signature wall. Way cool. Got two caches as well. Now on our way again and just crossed into Nebraska!!

Oregon Trail Ruts http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/Site/SiteInfo.asp?siteID=29
Register Cliff http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/Site/SiteInfo.asp?siteID=33

UPDATE 2: We continued our journey to get to interstate 80 and made a stop in Julesburg CO to claim a geocache and see a museum. http://www.townofjulesburg.com/
Also got to walk from Colorado to Nebraska to claim a cache and then had to walk back to Colorado to get a pen to sign the cache and had to walk back again to Nebraska to put the cache back into the hiding place. Whew, I was tired after all of that walking. Got back into the RV and headed to Interstate 80 to try to get as far as the KOA campground in Doniphan NE (near Grand Island NE) because the kids "want to go home"!! :( Along the way we passed the The Great Platte River Road Archway Monumenthttp://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9790
and landed at the KOA around 8:30 pm. It was such a long day we ordered Pizza which was delivered to our campsite-pretty cool. After Gunner took a dip in the pool and hottub we headed to bed. We are going to head to Kansas City MO tomorrow and then see what happens from there. I guess we will arrive home by Saturday!!!

permalink written by  Teambobcats on June 17, 2010 from Glendo, United States
from the travel blog: Mt. Rushmore, 2010
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Glendo, United States

Debbie's Blog: I sit here typing this entry as we travel across Wyoming, heading into a storm with lighting. It is so beautiful because Wyoming is so flat you can see for Miles and watch the storm approach. We just left Lost Springs, Wyoming - City With Population of 1
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/11197 which was pretty corny but cool.

Our day started in South Dakota where we eat our last breakfast with G and G Utpadel- blueberry pancakes YUMMMMMM!!!!. We then gave Dad his father day gifts which included a traveling gnome for him and some lights for their trailer. I then proceeded to brake the gnome before it even left the campground- Sorry DAD a new one is on the way!!1

We left and headed to the Jewel Cave National site to find out that we were going to have to wait two hours to take the next tour because the earlier tours were sold out. We decided not to take the tour but got two geocaches here. We loaded up and headed to Wyoming and to visit with Uncle Jim. On the way to Glendo, we passed the area of the national forest that was burned a few years ago. Sad but neat looking. We also finally got to see some buffalo!! We also saw a lot of antelope with babies on the plains. Way cool. We ate lunch on the road and we are now stopped at a gas stop about 1/2 hour from Uncle Jim's stop. More later

UPDATE: we just stopped at a wayside to watch the lightening from the storm. So cool. Lots of photos taken and even some video. Recorded lightening strikes over beautiful countryside. What a great way to watch a storm1!!


permalink written by  Teambobcats on June 16, 2010 from Glendo, United States
from the travel blog: Mt. Rushmore, 2010
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Custer, United States

Debbie's Blog: so we woke up this morning to...... SUN. It was the first time we saw sun in three days. It was wonderful. We finally had a chance to dry out the camper and us. We ate eggs in a hole, bacon and mini french toast for breakfast before we set out for the day to see our sites. We all crammed into Grandpa's truck and took off to see Crazy Horse monument. Chief Crazy horse

You can actually see the monument from the road, but we paid our admission fee and went into the park/visitor's area. WOW this Indian's head is HUGE. You can put the entire Mt. Rushmore sculpture in the Indian's face. We saw a movie about the sculptor, did some shopping, took some photos, drank free coffee, got a rock and took off to the next stop, Mt. Rushmore.

The drive to Mt. Rushmore was breathtaking. There were a lot of pull off stops where you could see parts of the carvings but you really did not get the full effect until you arrived at the top of the drive. It is quite a site to see. We again took in the sights, took photos, ate ice cream, took a hike for a closer look, shopped and then headed back down the mountain. The gnome of course made the trip and had his photo's taken as well.
On the way down we stopped for a geocache located at the entrance sign to Mt. Rushmore. Here, Randy almost broke the camera, but it managed to survive with only a few scratches. Dad and I sat this geocache out so we did not get to see the actual event.

From here we headed to Hill City to see the Ornate Junk Metal Horse http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/23782 and got a few geoaches. While here we stumbled upon this Teddy Bear Town store that had the world's largest collection of teddy bears in the world in it, over 6500 different bears. It was really weird, fascinating and incredible to see, all at the same time. It is actually in the guiness book of world records. We then took some photos with the gnome and then headed back to camp for the evening. Randy and Lynsie took off awhile later to get a few more geocaches in Custer while G and G Utpadel, myself and Gunner relaxed by the fire, and planned the day for tomorrow. Sadly, G and G Utpadel will be heading a seperate way than us :( Fire was nice, smores, popcorn and taffy were enjoyed by all. Now off to bed to get ready to hit the road tomorrow to see Uncle Jim in Glendo Wyoming.

permalink written by  Teambobcats on June 15, 2010 from Custer, United States
from the travel blog: Mt. Rushmore, 2010
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Keystone SD

Keystone, United States

Debbie's Blog: so our journey has taken us to Keystone SD and we are currently at the Spokane Creek campgrounds. It is a nice campground. It RAINED ALL NIGHT!!! We found out the the skylight over the shower in the bathroom and over the bed above the driver's seat all leak!! It also got very COLD last night- I think the weather page said it was only suppose to be in the 30s over night. I heard the RV furnace running a few times during the night. Slept fairly well, but up at 6am, I think due to the time change. RV is cold so I am going to turn the furnace up a bit more. The rain actually stopped for a bit but now has started again. Randy has checked the forcast and it is suppose to be high in the 50s with light rain all day. Hmmm, what shall we do today. Maybe we will try to see the sites in Keyston, listed here OR maybe still try to do Mt. Rushmore. Tomorrow is suppose to be Sunny and warmer so I am thinking Rushmore may wait one more day :( More to come later. G and G are taking us to breakfast here at the campground (cinnamon rolls and biscuits and gravy- YUM) and I am sure we will discuss our day at breakfast. Later!!!
While in Keystone we thought we would visit Cosmos Mystery Area
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11605 but TOO expensive: National Presidential Wax museum -http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11603- too expensive : and Big Thunder Gold Mine
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/16439 but maybe not

UPDATE: so we did not try to do the monuments in the rain but instead decided to go to the Boglum museum and tour. It was excellent and a great introduction to Mt. Rushmore which we plan on doing tomorrow

permalink written by  Teambobcats on June 14, 2010 from Keystone, United States
from the travel blog: Mt. Rushmore, 2010
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Keystone and Custer sites

Custer, United States

Debbie's blog: Ok so it RAINED all night and now all day. We decided to forgo the Mt. Rushmore and Crazy horse stops for today because a forecast of sunny and warm is set for tomorrow. So we will go see those sites tomorrow. We did spend a leisurely morning eating breakfast and then set out on an awesome, hairaising drive through the black hills with corkscrew and hairpin turns, and also one lane narrow rock tunnels. Incredible views and sites. We went back to Keystone and did the Borglum museum (carver of the faces on Mt. Rushmore) which was neat and informative. Then we had buffalo burgers for lunch and then off to have a fudge shop, some shopping, and then to a taffy shop. Grandma U purchased two large bags of assorted taffy flavors (35 flavors in all I think). We then set off to the RV and headed to set up camp in Custer, SD at Beaver Lake Campground for 2 nights.
We arrived at the campground at a decent time of 3:30ish, set up camp in the break in rain, had snacks, waited out the rain and then actually had dinner over the campfire tonight!!! We then played "guess the taffy flavor" with Grandma Utpadel the taffy nazi at the helm!!! It was fun. We then made hobo popcorn and smores. The fire is nice and warm and guess what?? THE RAIN HAS STOPPED!!!! We are finally enjoying the camping experience again. Nice relaxing, non scheduled day finally!!!
Tomorrow, in the nice weather, we will hit Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse, and maybe a few geocaches.

Plan on visiting tomorrow!!

Chief Crazy horse

Mt. Rushmore-Both Day and night views

Possible trip up to Devils Tower

permalink written by  Teambobcats on June 14, 2010 from Custer, United States
from the travel blog: Mt. Rushmore, 2010
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Ridem Cowboy

Murdo, United States

Debbie's blog: the the next stop was actually 15 Miles past the town of Murdo South Dakota with a visit to The Original 1880 town with real cowboy feel. It was a blast. It was still raining a bit, but we did manage to get a break in the rain for about 1/2 hour to do our thing. We got all dressed up in period clothes and ran amok around the town, shooting pictures everywhere we went. We robbed a bank, got sent to jail, hung out in the saloon, robbed a train, sat at the Mayor's desk and much much more. It was more fun than one can expect to have in one day. We also saw the the items that were used to film Dances with Wolves, which was also filmed in this town. After seeing all of these items, the kids now want to rent the movie. Rain has returned and we are back on the road, a bit behind schedule, off to see the Prairie dogs, missiles and the badlands. Oops, we forgot another time change, so I guess not too far behind schedule.


permalink written by  Teambobcats on June 13, 2010 from Murdo, United States
from the travel blog: Mt. Rushmore, 2010
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Day 3-almost there

Interior, United States

Debbie's log: the third stop of the day brings us to the Minute Man Missile site which was closed because it was Sunday. We did read the info sign and became aware that a missile launched from this site would reach Russia in 30 minutes. It is still raining. We ate lunch in the missile site parkin glot and then headed to the giant statue of a Prairie Dog and Prairie Dog town. The giant Prairie dog was a picture op and the gnome made his appearance as well. We purchased food to feed the real Prairie dogs, however because of the rain, they did not want to come out and play or eat the food offered. We tried. Now back into the RV to head to the badlands state scenic byway.

So after a quick stop at the Badlands National Park entrance sign, we paid our $15.00 entrance fee and started our incredible, although rainy, trip through the badlands. They are so beautiful. The rain did not stop us from taking one, short, hike and getting a few geocaches and lots of pictures. It was a loop that I am glad we did not miss. Now onto the tourist trap of Wall Drug.



permalink written by  Teambobcats on June 13, 2010 from Interior, United States
from the travel blog: Mt. Rushmore, 2010
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That is a big drug store

Wall, United States

Debbie's blog: We made it to Wall South Dakota and the infamous Wall Drug, the entire drive in the rain. We are WAY behind schedule but who cares we are on vacation. Randy seemed to be the only one not looking forward to this stop but everyone else was excited. G and G Utpadel and Gunner got fresh made donuts and all of the adults had a cup of 5 cent coffee, which was actully good and hit the spot on this cold rainy day. We shopped, Gunner found some bobble heads for his collection and Lynsie purchased a beautiful indian ceramic bowl.

We did the photo ops (this time the jackalope had Antlers), saw a piano playing giant ape, and watched T rex scare the bejesus out of some kids. All and all it was a good stop. We spent way too much time here and at the badland, thus the schedule is capute!!! but no big deal. Now on our way to Rapid City, Keystone and the campground.


permalink written by  Teambobcats on June 13, 2010 from Wall, United States
from the travel blog: Mt. Rushmore, 2010
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