Day 9-10: Guernsey State Park, SD and Denver/Colo.Springs, Co

Staying at the Badlands was such a great experience, but it was time to move on to Mount Rushmore. This was something I had been lo
oking forward to
 for a long time. I
 realize that we east coasters (
especially Marylanders/VA'ers) have been spoiled by all the national monuments in Washington, DC, including their beauty and grandeur, but this is one monument that must be visited. As you drive into the park along the hilly and windy road leading to the monument you wait with anticipation because at any moment, around the next turn, you will see the four faces towering above you. The man that built them, Gutzon Borglum, was an highly accomplished artist/sculptor and ran in circles with the elite in the world including President Teddy Rosevelt (the only carved faced that there was some dispute over). He didn't start them until he was 60 years old, and subsequently they were never entirely completed due to his untimely death. We had lunch at the monument (perfect time for me to get a buffalo meat burger). We didn't pick up any souvenirs so the pictures will have to do (I believe they speak for themselves).
We headed back to the van and told "her" (the g.p.s. navigation lady) to take us to Colorado Springs, CO. We didn't really plan on getting there in one day, but we knew we were going to stop along the way at Guernsey State Park. It is in the southeast corner of South Dakota. On our way we went through this small little town that saved us from being stranded on the road. We were on "E" big time and needed gas. We found a gas station in Lusk, SD. Had we not run across it, 8 miles later we would have been pulled over on the side of the road waiting for years (literally, there are no people around, only cattle). This was an old school gas pump (check out the picture). We also stopped at the local grocery store there in town (not a Weis, Giant, Wegmans, Whole Foods or anything like it) and picked up a few groceries for the evening. The funniest part about this was the old camper parked in the grocer parking lot with the words "raw honey" painted on the side of it. Apparently someone lives/works there and sells honey to get by. We also stopped at this mini expresso bar in a parking lot as well. The lady there was really nice and insured us that the park we were staying at for the night was very nice, but still no showers.
We arrived at the park and immediately noticed it's beauty. It was encompassed by a huge lake. But the best part of all was that it was almost completely empty. It was enjoyable to feel alone with nature after being surrounded by a lot of people in the Badlands. We set up camp, as normal now, and had our dinner. I was able to make a fire with the good wood that the park ranger brought for me. It had rained the last few days so all the wood I could find was wet, he was nice enough to bring me some dry wood. I actually ended up taking a shower by mixing cold water with boiled water to make a nice warm water. It was elementary but it felt so good.
This morning we headed out again towards Co. Springs. I am writing to you from this amazing deli, Masterpiece Delicatessen, in downtown Denver. It just opened and the food is incredible. I recommend it to anyone in or going to Denver. I had a reuben sandwich that had the best roast beef I have ever tasted. No, we are not talking lunch meat here. The real stuff that is somewhat shredded into nice chunks and so tender that it falls apart with one bite. And it is bright pink, not brown. Very nice!
So, we are on to Co. Springs to meet up with some old friends. It will be nice to see a reminder of Baltimore.

PS:  Thanks for all the comments.  It really feels like you all are with us!


Anonymous said...

SOOOOO glad to hear form you guys.
You know I have been watching the weather closely and hoping you were safe and dry.The PIc's are amazing, so glad you can take your time and enjoy the beauty. What an experience( except for the snakes) i gree with lela , I probably would have been looking for the airport. Jer ,I hope u used the shovel on that critter! It sounds like u have been somewhat lucky with weather , there are tornadoes in the area where u were last week. Jer, I hope u r remembering your Outward bound skills . Lela, I miss you so much. I love having you around the house.
I guess OJ feels like a queen on a worldwide tour,can u imagine what she must be thinking ? Grandma is coming home tomorrow, she is very excited, it has been a long 8 weeks for her. Please continue to enjoy the journey - the destination will come soon enough.
Love MOM

Anonymous said...

Guys,go to the Garden of THe Gods,Manitou,Co.Garden is a rock formation,Manitou is a real unique town.Not far from Colo.Springs.Love the pixs.Real cheap way for me to see the country.Thanks!Enjoy you travels and keep posting,I love it!


Aunt Mindy said...

Hi Guys, Glad to hear the weather has been your friend. It has been awful here. The schools were even closed here yesterday because of severe flooding. The pictures are beautiful....even though the gas station looks like one I'd see around here..(WV)..Hope one day to see all the sights you've seen. Schools are out tomorrow and Karli can't wait!!Talk to you soon. Be safe. Love Aunt Mindy

Rachael said...

Hi guys! The pictures are great and sounds like you guys are having an awesome time -- I'm so jealous (and also really happy for you) -- I think what you are doing is amazing. Glad that the weather has been some what cooperative and that Orangey is enjoying the trip. Whitey makes us laugh everyday -- I think it is funny that we both named our cats based on their colors -- did I do that first, or did you? I don't remember when you got Orangey. Anyway, work is crazy and great as always (Eric passed on Hello the other day -- he is now one of my favorite reps)and I finally have an office with a window. We still miss you : ) Safe travels and I'll check in again soon.

jeremy s. pomp said...

Glad to hear everything is well in CLE! Our cat's official name is Orangelina so we call her Orange for short. She is almost 4 years old now so we will claim naming her based on color first (but I am sure we weren't the very first). Talk to you soon!

PS: Office with a window, very nice!