Thursday, May 9, 2013

Days 29-31: End of an Era!

My body held out until I arrived at Rapid City's Grand Gateway hotel, where I immediately went to bed hoping for some recovery. It worked, because the next day I was up to visit Mt. Rushmore!

I crushed it.

Thing about Mt. Rushmore is that aside from the big guys, there's not a whole lot to do. It wasn't a long visit, even if it took a while to find the place. Right before the park itself, there's an active town that would seem to get all its revenue from visitors to the park. Since I was there before the heavy tourist season, I saw a lot of places closed, lock, and being rebuilt in anticipation. 

I left the next day heading for Omaha, NE, with a stop at Badlands National Park on the way. There are a few more things for a person to do there, and I opted for the Notch Trail, which is about a mile hike over rough terrain: just about perfect for my purposes.

Climbing up this ladder was intimidating. Climbing down it was... worse.

Sometimes, signs tell you useful things.

The end of the trail was pretty easy to figure out. A sheer cliff and a killer view make for decent clues.

Having survived the hike, I drove to Omaha to visit Darcy and the other residents of the "Cunt Castle". I took no pictures to respect privacy but here's the closest thing I found to a town center.

I spent a couple of days just chilling there, taking in the local music scene, and watching the premiere of Game of Thrones. It was a marvelous time! From there I went to Des Moines, IA, where I met up with a fellow Ryan and together we conquered Zombie Burger!

Des Moines is mostly generic fare, but when they decide to be interesting, they kill at it.

And that concludes the picture portion of my travel blog! Entries from this point on aren't going to have the visual attractions, but they'll follow my journey through life as always. I had a great time and owe everyone involved for making it happen. 

See you soon!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 28 - Devil's Tower!

When I woke up the next morning, things weren't right. All my stuff was where'd I'd left it in the room, but contents had shifted in my stomach overnight. Around my second trip to the toilet was when I mused over the wisdom of trying to consume one's body weight in cinnamon roll in a 24-hour period. Nothing was concluded except that I wouldn't be making the best time on the road that day.

And if you can believe it, I didn't take any pictures to commemorate THAT part of my journey.

The drive was lazy, which worked out because I wasn't in the mood to navigate anymore wildernesses. Wildernessi? Gathering of wilderness? I don't know, I just wasn't up for it. I just wanted to get to Devil's Tower in time to do a walkaround in daylight. And so I did! Here it is from afar...

Getting closer...

Some literature on the site...

A giant rock, as seen by J. J Abrams.

It may seem odd that this nub of the planet gets so much attention, but I think everyone feels that way. How many other places can say there's a chunk of rock that just shoots out of the ground for hundreds of feet? It is odd. That's why people like it.

After all that, I needed some refreshment, so I picked up a gumdrop. 
It tasted dry.

I think the next update will be my last for the travel blog, but it's going out with a bang - Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park, and a restaurant that caters to the undead!