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14 Blog Entries
10 Trips
62 Photos


Starting Point ` Columbus, Ohio
lafayette, indiana
The Windy City
gavindanger's Travel Blog
gavindanger's Travel Blog
E. Bethel, Minnesota
Badlands, South Dakota
Denver, Colorado

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Gavin and Kayla's whirlwind tour 2010!

Wide Open Spaces

Keystone, United States


When we first drove up through the Badlands, Gavin and I were both speechless. It's something everyone should experience in person, because pictures do NOT do this park justice. There is a unbelievable amount of variety in the terrain at this park. For the first couple miles of the "Badlands Loop" it's completely rock, dirt, and sand- then you drive a couple more miles and it's lush, green hills. What amazes me most is how the landscape looks now, compared to hundreds of years ago. The erosion has created these oddly shaped, beautifully colored mountains. We saw all different kinds of colors coming through the mountains, depending on what time of day it was.
There are all different kinds of animals that roam this park, including prairie dogs (which I saw for the first time there- holy cuteness), bison, all different kinds of birds, and deer. At one point during the loop (the loop is a 60-70 mile drive around the perimeter), a bison came up to our car about 15 feet away, needless to say I couldn't get a photo because I was so frazzled!
Onto the Black Hills which was a completely different experience. It's really amazing to see the change in scenery through our country. The Black Hills is a dense forest for miles and miles which is only an hour away from the badlands which is like I said, a dry desert like park. While we were in the Black Hills we stopped and saw two monuments and a cavern. The first monument we saw was the infamous Mount Rushmore! Although we only observed from afar because we both refused to pay ten dollars to park near it. The next monument we stopped at was The Crazy Horse Memorial. Now for those of you who don't know what that is (don't be ashamed, I didn't either!), it's the unfinished sculpture of the Native American Chief Crazy Horse on his horse pointing to the land where his fellow men were killed. The story is one that every person should hear and learn about especially in this day and age. The memorial is not yet finished because the sculptor who took on the project died in the 80's but his family lives on and has promised to finish the amazing piece of art he started. I'm certain my description won't do it justice so please please please go to the website and read about it .http://www.crazyhorsememorial.org/about/ . Come on.....just do it!!
The cavern that we decided to go to was called the Wind Cave, which is located in the Wind Cave National Park right outside the Black Hills. It's called the Wind Cave because of the way the wind blows through it. The inside of the cave is constantly trying to balance our the barometric pressure to coincide with the outside of the cave, ergo Wind Cave! Really amazing place to visit as well.

Til next time!

permalink written by  gavindanger on June 8, 2010 from Keystone, United States
from the travel blog: Badlands, South Dakota
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On the top of ze mountains!

Denver, United States

Greetings from Denver Colorado!!
We just got here yesterday and so far I'm loooving it here. I'm sure that partly has to do with me getting to stay with my best friend I haven't seen since Christmas, which was just what I needed. bring on the road has been such an eye opening experience for so many reasons, but every now and then it's really great to see a familiar, friendly face. :).
And before I forget, if I see one more anti- Obama billboard on the highway I may set fire to it. He's our president now....GET OVER IT IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT. He's been in office barely a year and he's cleaning up after 8 years of @#$#$^%^&^! I support our president and for those of you who don't....weeelllll........

permalink written by  gavindanger on June 8, 2010 from Denver, United States
from the travel blog: Denver, Colorado
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Madison, United States

Out of all places who would've guessed I would fall in love with Madison, WI. When Gavin told me she wanted to go there, I just assumed we would see dairy farms and more dairy farms. Little did I know Madison is packed with culture, art, great food, and warm, eclectic people. We stayed with a friend that Gavin met in Tuscon last year at IDKE. Our hosts and their friends were so accommodating to us, showing us an in depth look at Madison and the places around it.
Now onto the good stuff...THE FOOD!
During our stay in Madison we went out to eat 3 or 4 times and that wasn't nearly enough. Most of the restaurants there have an array of vegetarian items, including delicious sandwiches, pastas, salads and soups. Also the restaurants that do carry meat items make sure to advertise in the menu when they are locally bought. Amongst the great restaurants there are local markets all throughout Madison, carrying the best local vegetables, fruits, cheeses and breads. Every Saturday morning there is a Farmer's market downtown by the capitol that has all the fruits and vegetables of the season along with crafts, art and apparel.
All in all, two thumbs up Madison!! Thanks to all who took time out of their schedules to show us the city, it was a week well spent. :)

permalink written by  gavindanger on June 2, 2010 from Madison, United States
from the travel blog: Madison
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Minneapolis, United States

Howdy from the north!
Currently Gavin and I are staying at my Uncle Jim and Aunt Jodel's home, which is about 40 minutes outside of Minneapolis. It's so great to see family along the way, to remind us that we're loved and supported. We got here on Sunday, and Monday afternoon they took us down to the Twin Cities. It was Memorial Day weekend so everyone was outside playing, grilling, and enjoying the lovely weather. First we all went to the conservatory in St Paul, and then walked over to the Como Zoo. I hadn't been to a zoo since I was a kid so I really enjoyed myself. Then Jim and Jodel drove us up to St Paul's downtown, and Minneapolis's as well. The architecture in Minneapolis is so unique, I've never seen a city play with shape and color like that. We parked and walked over to the Walker Museum sculpture garden, which we both really enjoyed. Most of the sculptures in this garden are made out of brass and steel but the detail in them makes them look quite lifelike. It was the perfect day that ended with the perfect meal.
Jodel made her family famous "Snow on the Mountain." Which is basically a whole bunch of goodness piled on a plate. Fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheese are piled on top of basmati rice, topped with soy sauce. Needless to say, it was delicious!!
I'm so glad we had the opportunity to stop here and spend time with them. They're such amazing people that I am blessed to call my family.

permalink written by  gavindanger on June 2, 2010 from Minneapolis, United States
from the travel blog: E. Bethel, Minnesota
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No words...

Pittsburgh, United States

Currently, G and I are sitting in a family waiting room in a hospital in Pittsburgh waiting to hear how her father's heart surgery went. We've been here since late Monday evening. We decided last week, that it would be best for us to leave Chicago and come here to help as much as we could. I feel so lucky that we are currently both unemployed, and are able to stay here for awhile.

His mitral( sp?) valve is leaking into one of his lungs and the fluid buildup is preventing him from breathing properly. They're going to replace his valve with a steel one, and if the surgery is successful he will feel so much better.

There's another woman in this waiting room, that's been waiting here for her husband for over 24 hours. A second woman just walked in, who looks like she's been through hell and back. She's trying to sleep sitting up, but it looks like her tears are keeping her awake. Seeing the love, the uncertainty and the exhaustion in their eyes is gutwrenching. I feel unworthy that I'm sitting here next to them, during some of the hardest times of their lives.

I think we'll be here for another week or so, and from then who knows. One of us will post after we decide what's next I'm sure.

permalink written by  gavindanger on April 15, 2010 from Pittsburgh, United States
from the travel blog: Starting Point ` Columbus, Ohio
tagged RoadTrip, Gavin, GavinDanger, Kayla and KaylaMcdermott

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Open heart surgery

Pittsburgh, United States

G's father had open heart surgery so a detour was in order.

permalink written by  gavindanger on April 13, 2010 from Pittsburgh, United States
from the travel blog: Detour
tagged RoadTrip, Gavin, GavinDanger, Kayla and KaylaMcdermott

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First Major City

Chicago, United States

Well we had to leave much sooner than anticipated, however we got to see a lot of Chicago. Downtown, Uptown, Andersonville, Boystown, Pilsen, Hyde Park, Wicker Park, Riverside, Musems, Comedy Clubs, Public Transit, Straight Bars, Queer Bars, Good Food and Amazing People!!!

permalink written by  gavindanger on April 1, 2010 from Chicago, United States
from the travel blog: The Windy City
tagged RoadTrip, Gavin, GavinDanger, Kayla and KaylaMcdermott

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first stop

Lafayette, United States

permalink written by  gavindanger on March 31, 2010 from Lafayette, United States
from the travel blog: lafayette, indiana
tagged RoadTrip, Gavin, GavinDanger, Kayla and KaylaMcdermott

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Columbus, United States

We decided to stay one more night due to our late start today. I cried for the first time as one of our friends drove away earlier. I had no idea how much I love it here. Thank you to all who have helped make this trip possible and cheers to 2010!

permalink written by  gavindanger on March 28, 2010 from Columbus, United States
from the travel blog: Starting Point ` Columbus, Ohio
tagged RoadTrip, Gavin, GavinDanger, Kayla and KaylaMcdermott

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One day left

Columbus, United States

We are going out with some friends tonight then bar hopping the night away. The sadness of leaving has set in and we will miss our friends, family and chosen families (especially). Still the joy out weighs the sorrow that we feel. So excited to start this adventure of two little girls!

permalink written by  gavindanger on March 27, 2010 from Columbus, United States
from the travel blog: Starting Point ` Columbus, Ohio
tagged RoadTrip, Gavin, GavinDanger, Kayla and KaylaMcdermott

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