Showing posts from August, 2006

when the rooster crows at the break of dawn / look out your window and i'll be gone

July 11, 2006 341 miles. Not much eventful today, and a lot of just driving. We made one important decision ... there is a campground for sale right outside of Custer SP, the Spokane Creek Resort, and we are going to buy it and live happily ever after. Come visit! On our way out of the Black Hills, we stopped at Jewel Cave National Monument. You know the difference between a Nat’l Park and a Nat’l Monument? Nat’l Parks need to be sanctioned by an act of Congress, and any ol’ President can designate a Nat’l Monument. (Excepting, of course, our current President - he’s too busy destroying the environment to bother with preserving it. Ha ha ha. Cry cry cry.) Many Monuments are later promoted to Parks. We went on the “moderate-level” guided tour of Jewel Cave. It was really beautiful; it reminded us both separately of the Goonies cave. Definitely worth it, but we were both pretty ready to get under way and put some serious miles on the car. So we did, and drove through Wyomin

where the streets have no name

July 10, 2006 110 miles. The air was wonderfully cool last night, and woke up refreshed and not sweating for the first time in a handful of days. We even slept in just a bit. Nice. And we took our time getting ready, so by the time we headed out, it was lunch. Hooray! We enjoyed a delicious lunch buffet at the Game Lodge, the former “Summer White House” of Coolidge. Then we hit the scenic road. We’d gotten a tip from the rangers, and in mere moments we rounded a curve, and were surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of bison. It was truly amazing, and I shouldn’t even try to capture it here, because no words exist for the childlike, giddy, quiet, intense, joyful wonder I felt. (Okay, actually – I just came up with six words; but you know what I mean.) And the herds just kept going and going for, like, 2 miles. Astonishing to see these beautiful beasts up close. If I were allowed, I could have petted them from the car. It was slow-going, because they were everywhere, all over the road, a

don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy

July 9, 2006 194 miles. There was a major windstorm all night, and I barely got any sleep. It was crazy and incredibly disconcerting. Shoogs (of course) slept like a baby on valium. I guess it stressed me out - I kept looking out the tent window to make sure nothing was blowing away. Which is an overreaction, to be sure, but the middle of the night in the middle of a prairie brings strange thoughts to your head. After tossing and turning all night, another all-you-can-eat brekkie swept my cares and weariness away. It’s actually a bit amazing how quickly humans can adopt a regular routine. After 3 days, it was as if we’d never eaten breakfast anywhere else. I’ll miss that little place. Lovely folks, and damn good pancakes. We headed to Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where we had already reserved space on a 4-hour spelunking cave tour. We were so excited; I mean, it’s like a childhood fantasy to go cave exploring. Not that we were allowed to go off on our o

kyrie eleison down the road that i must travel

July 8, 2006 Day 8. 91 miles. So I started to tell you about Mr. Florida who gave us his leftover cooler detritus last night. He was adorable and hilarious, and the type of guy you’d want to talk to at every party ... for about 10 minutes before he wore you out, and then you’d have to fake a nosebleed to get away. He had some very interesting things to say. Which is good, since he had no apparent interest in our stories. He’s a self-proclaimed “critter guy.” Loves the critters, and he and his 11-y.o. son seek them critters out. “Have y’all been to Custer State Park?” he asks. “Naw,” we respond with vague un-enthusiasm, as we give each other ‘that look.’ (We don’t care about STATE PARKS. STATE PARKS are lame. How great can it be if our fine institution of a Wash, DC govt. hasn’t seen fit to endorse it?) Well, he goes on and on about it. “Pronghorn sheep coming out your ears!” “You can see bison brushing their teeth!” So we thanked him, assured him that we’ll check it o