Starts with a visit to ShopKo... A favorite of the Lanham Girls. This is a Eugene, Coeur d'Alene, Newcastle SD sort to place. It contains Payless and some frozen flowers out side in a nice covered garden spot. (34 degrees and snow when we left Newcastle.)
Head up some crazy construction filled road to the Jewel Cave. They think it is 5000 miles of cave but only have explored 169 miles. They find 5 or so miles of cave a year. We opted for the one hour 30 minute version. 765 stair steps, up, down, up up, down up ....
MEB was so happy to be in the deep dark place. We always to a cave on our trips. Shoshone Ice Cave was the first. This cave was amazing. Lots of Calcite Crystal covered walls, slimy rocks and lots of dripping. Really was an experience.
Headed to Crazy Horse. Meb was not too disappointed when it was covered in a blizzard. We had had a great meal of Buffalo and donuts. Yes donuts. They are very popular. Wall Drug a donut and cup of coffee 5 cents.
We went to Mt Rushmore. It remains an amazing place. I woke up to them one morning while eating my cereal in a little box. The sun was just hitting their faces. I was 5 and they were huge. I visited again in the late 80's and they had shrunk in size. This time they had grown. My camping place is gone and a huge parking complex has been built but they remain amazing in so many ways.
Wall became our destination for the night. A road trip with less than 200 miles but then we had been deep in the earth, saw wild turkeys, dear and buffalo and a spare antelope.
It seemed no fun to return to the freeway. Highway 14, 44, 74, 385 and all the other little roads. Mostly paved, always a driving challenge and so interesting are behind us. We continue to marvel at what is the vastness of this country. To have left St. Louis and traveled to the West Coast with no map and no clue what lay ahead was a feat of amazing courage. To walk across with a wagon train and a cow, some chickens and pregnant makes you think about what courage it takes to make big changes in your life.
Meb is amazed every day. She is filled with wonder and questions and insight. More times than I can count, she has gazed in wonder at a pile of rock and said "Mom I am so glad we did this."
We are making another layer of calcite crystals over what has been barren rock that has been the last 2.5 years of our live. These new shiny Crystals are our new reality, This is the present, finally covered in shiny new future.