Sunday, October 11, 2009

Last Day of SD Trip

I didn't realize it, but there are MANY caves around the Mt. Rushmore area. We thought about visiting "Wind Cave" but decided we'd had just about enough wind to last us a life time, so instead we settled for "Wonderland Cave". I think caves are so cool. We had a great time checking this one out. Jarom wasn't as fond of the cave as I was. He said it was eerie being so deep under ground. We were pretty deep, about 200 ft. down. Certainly the deepest cave I've ever been in.

After looking at cool cave formations, we hopped in the truck and began the long journey home.

We drove through Deadwood, SD where Wild Bill Hickok was killed and Calamity Jane is buried.

Devils Tower was so close (only about an hour out of the way) that we had to drive over and see it. We're so glad we did. It was amazing! A giant rock mountain just shoots out of the ground out of nowhere. So strange.

Click on this picture to make it big and try to find the rock climbers. There are 4, but the easiest one to see is just above the tallest pine tree and to the right a little bit. He's wearing a bright orange jacket. This gives you somewhat of a perspective as to how massive this rock really is. (The other guys are above him, in the same column/crevice, but they are really hard to see.)

We decided to forgo all strangers, and went directly to the self timer for this shot. I think it turned out great.

We just had to get out and enjoy the prairie dogs for a little while. They were so cute popping up and down in their holes.

This little fat guy was mighty curious about us.

About this time in the day, we started hearing weather reports of a nasty snowstorm due to blow in on our direct route home. We made a change of plans and decided we needed to try to get as close to home as we could, as fast as we could. So we all settled in for a VERY long drive.

Of course as soon as we decided we needed to hurry, our tire had to go and pop on us. Miraculously we were stopped when this happened. Kate was needing a potty break, so we had pulled off the interstate. I was helping Kate in the camper when I heard a very loud bang and the camper felt like it dropped off a curb. I came out to discover a VERY bald tire with a hole blown right out. We were thankful we were stopped when this happened!

We drove all night and got within 2 hours our home. We had made it past all the highest mountain passes (and had beat the snow storm) so we decided to pull over and sleep for a few hours before continuing on.

I just had to click a picture of the colors as we went whizzing on by. The trees were gorgeous!

We made it home and I think this little girl had missed her pets. :) (Not so sure if the pets felt the same way, but that doesn't matter a bit to Alyssa.)

Since brother was the photographer for Alyssa's photo shoot, he wasn't about to be left out himself. Silly kids. It's good to be home!


Mama Williams said...

I love the fall leaves. That is a beautiful photo. Glad you missed the storm and avoided and accident with that tire. Whew!

Lee Ann said...

What a beautiful drive! And crazy about the tire. I've never heard of one popping while stopped! Someone was watching over you!

Wendy said...

What a great trip. Add my "whew" to everyone else's about your tire incident! Glad nothing happened and that your guardian angel has such impeccable timing!

Lula! said...

I'd never heard of Devil's Tower, but's awesome. I clicked on the picture and could only see the dude in the orange jacket. And he's clearly an idiot. Why do people want to climb such heights? I just don't get it.

OK, so maybe he's not an idiot...he probably loves it and felt a supreme sense of confidence once reaching the top.

I hope he spit over the side when he did. Is all I'm sayin'...

OK, going to read more of the Manwarings at Mt. Rushmore!

Jennifer said...

OK you got me finally looking through friends' blogs. I'm such a slacker! I love the pics. I went to Mt. Rushmore and did all that when i was a kid. Gotta take the kids sometime.

The Wolfs said...

how fun for you guys it looks like such a fun trip. Max went when he was young and they took a motor home with them. While driving he went to get something (I think it was an ice cream bar) out of the freezer and a lb. of frozen hamburger came flying out and knocked him out cold! Don't you just love road trips!