What an awesome trip!!!
We went to see Bonnie via I-94 into North Dakota. Stopped at the Teddy Roosevelt Nat'l Park which is badlands. We didn't go down into the badlands, just looked over the overlook where there is a visitor center. There was a storm brewing which gave the scenery a really pretty hue. There were people way down in there. We watched some dingbats take their picture by a sign that warned of a dangerous overhang on the cliff. You could see where it was cut away. We moved right along before tragedy struck. Fortunately it didn't happen, but it could very easily have.
Then we went down the Enchanted Highway just out of Dickinson. It's a 30 mile stretch from the Interstate to Regent, ND. There are now 7 metal sculptures along the route. Gma and I went there several years ago and there were 6 sculptures. We heard about them building a new one with fish and I wanted to see if it was finished. It was and is really neat. These sculptures are all made of scrap metal. Each one has a pull out and signs that give all the dimensions and what kind of metal are in them. Didn't get lunch there as the little cafe was closed. There was a bar where we could have eaten, but we decided to go on. Ate in Bismarck at a Perkins where Dad, Eddy and I ate when we were caught in Bismarck in a snowstorm one time. It was the only place where we could get food as they were open 24 hours at the time. The workers were stuck there as nothing was moving. People couldn't get home and others couldn't get to work to relieve them. We had to slog through lots of snow to get there. We had stayed at a motel right off the highway and the Perkins was roughly a block away. I digress.
We stayed in Jamestown. Pat and I had a night cap in the motel bar. Next day we got rained on most of the day. If the highway had been 50 feet farther over to the west we wouldn't have gotten wet. It just rained on the highway and to the east. It would rain really hard, then let up some, at times even sunshine, then just pour down again. About the time we got to heavier traffic near the cities we were out of the rain. Thank goodness. Got checked in our hotel right across the street from the Mall of America.
Took the Bleys out to supper at the Bonfire. Really good steak and cooked properly. Got a good visit with the guys as they were leaving the next morning.
Sunday we girls walked the Mall. Went through the Sea Life display. Wow what a lot of stuff in there. Ate lunch at the Rain Forest and took lots of pics. Wandered all over, tasted cheese in the Wisconsin Cheese place. Shopped in Nordstoms third floor store. That's the affordable one and the girls all got some nice blouses on the sales racks. Wandered all through the playground area. Legoland is always fun. Then we got to have our pictures taken with Sponge Bob and his friends. That was fun. I wanted to do that for Ed. After all that we were super tired that evening. Pat and Jen soaked in the hot tub at the hotel pool. I sat on the edge and soaked my feet as they were really, really tired. Felt good. Pat and I had a nightcap in the hotel bar.
Monday we went to Bonnie's and went to Stillwater, MN in her convertible. They have some steep stairs there to climb up a hill and get an overview of the city and the river. It's on the St Croix River. I told them if we were going to climb stairs we'd better do it first thing or we wouldn't get it done. We did and its a good thing. Was quite a climb, but absolutely gorgeous view. I met a lady on the way down that runs the stairs for her exercise, but she can't do them without resting halfway up. She can run laps on the flat and not break a sweat, but she can't do the stairs without a break and a water. She is 40 yrs old. After the stairs we took a break in a cute little restaurant, then wandered the town, stores, river. Ate at The Rafters. Interesting place.
When we got back we had margaritas and cheese and crackers at Bonnies. That was our nightcap even though it was early.
Tuesday we walked two zoos, the Minnesota Zoo and the Como Zoo. Minnesota is bigger and has more animals, the Como has different animals, but not as many as the other one. We went to the Dolphin Show in the Minnesota Zoo. We ate at Dooley's (I think) in Eagan between zoos. Had margaritas and crackers with cheese again at Bonnie's for our early nightcap. Said our goodbyes then as we were heading home early the next morning via I-90 this time.
Wednesday we stopped in Mitchell to check out the Corn Palace. Ate across the street from it. They have fixed it up quite nicely now. Its been years since I was there and there wasn't much then.
We stayed in Chamberlain that night. Next day we toured Wall Drug just for fun. That place has done some improving too. Decided to ride the Jackalope because I never have. We always went with kids before and the kids rode stuff. Figured this might be the only time I had such an opportune moment for such foolishness. Lots of other adult people had the same idea.
We had lunch in Gillette. Got caught in a fierce hail storm at Wyola. We had to pull over there as there was zero visibility for driving. Pat planned to take cover under the underpass, but it was full of pickups and bikes. We parked on the off ramp until it blew over. Didn't take long as the wind was really blowing it and the hail wasn't very big.
Friday, the 12th, I headed back to Meeteetse as the relatives were all there. Tom, Aileen, and Jenifer were all in Mtse before I left, but Jenifer had to go back to AZ the same day I left for Hdn. Tom and Aileen stayed the rest of the week and Aileen left on Wednesday, the 10th. John and Mary Jo came Thursday, the 11th, the Ed came on Friday, the 12th. Friday afternoon we had a salmon cookout at the Oasis. Joe and Joy came over for that. A fun day. Saturday, the 13th the guys all took the Kirwin tour and enjoyed themselves. Gma and I met MJ for lunch at the Outlaw. Then that night we took them all out for supper at the ElkHorn. They all left on Sunday, the 14th.
Tuesday, the 16th, Gma and I went to Anchor Dam. We had gone last year and couldn't get to the Dam because the road was closed after Labor Day. This time we did take the road around the reservoir to the picnic area. Its really quite a nice area, and the dooby house is very clean with cemented parking right by it. We talked to a cowboy who was gathering cattle there. Actually got to see the dam this time. We couldn't see it from the hill we were on last year as its around the corner of another hill. Coming back from the picnic spot it was very visible and is quite big. There was water in it this time.
This weekend the Meeteetse Trail Regulators are in town. We met two of the women Wednesday after coffee. Friday night, the 19th, is the Taste of Meeteetse so will see them then. Sat is the shootout at the rifle range so will go out to see some of that too.
Saturday the 27th I plan to go on the tour to the Medicine Lodge petroglyphs at Hyattville. Then the month is over.