Sunday: Got a later start to the day – it was just nice sleeping in for awhile. In a warm cabin & sleeping bag, and then a nice hot shower. First we went to Wind Cave National Park – where we had to wait about 1.5 hours to go on a cave tour. They don’t let you go explore the caves yourself because they’re pretty elaborate and one could get lost. The tour guide talked lots about how the caves where found, who first explored there, and stories of early tours given. The lights even got turned out and we stood in pitch darkness for 60 seconds. It was long enough for me — I was close to saying “ok, let’s turn the lights back on”. Initially we had stood just inside the cave to make sure no one was going to freak out. After Wind Cave we took the back route to Mt. Rushmore. It was a really good thing that I was driving because there was switch-back after switch-back for awhile. Along with these one lane tunnels (good thing I had measured our clearance before leaving the house… just in case and after out snafu). A couple of the turns where complete circles and then the road would separate for awhile. It reminded me of the Nintendo game, Mario Cart. While on these roads we saw some buffalo, deer, mountain goat (we think) and donkey’s. We came around one corner and there were donkeys in the road stopping traffic. Then we realized the truck in front us, the lady was feeding the donkeys out of the truck. Then she proceeded to get out of the truck and feed them more. The goats then started sticking their heads in the driver’s side door and you could hear the couple trying to yell at them to shoo them away. They threw the food they had been feeding the donkeys and drove off. But they threw the food in the middle of the road and they were still blocking traffic. The couple in the red truck then pulled over and further fed the donkey’s…. I have a great picture of about 4 donkeys trying to fit their heads into the truck window. I think maybe the couple felt odd that people were stopping to look at them…. I was clearing taking pictures. Mt. Rushmore was pretty cool… I was glad we had stopped. It was Jeff who wanted to stop because I would of probably missed it again… they are always showing specials about it on the travel channel or the history channel, so I figured I’d seen plenty of times. By the time we left it was nearly 6pm. And the Alpine Slide I wanted to go on in Keystone was closed for the season (bummer). We drove for about 3 – 3.5 more hours and stayed in another KOA in Wyoming (can’t remember the name of it right now). It was out cheapest lodging yet – I don’t think they were actually open for the season yet – the cabin had a TV in it. It took us most of the day on Sunday to finally figure out what time it actually was… with the spring time change and us driving through time changes.
Monday: Got out about 8am today. Which was fairly early for us on this trip. Running late seems to be the common theme of this trip. Somehow this trip actually seems longer than when me & Alisha did it in the truck, probably because we start late so we end the day late. We got into a Motel 6 in Missoula, MT today about 4:30pm – Jeff’s gotta watch the championship basketball game. We have about 6 -7 hours left to get to Bellevue and we thought about going for it but Jeff wanted to see the game and I figured right about 10pm (midnight Michigan time) we’d be wishing we had just stopped somewhere. We had all kinds of weather today. It started sunny, went through the 1st mountain pass where snow plows where actually out. There wasn’t a lot of snow but it was slushing & icing mostly – but still yucky to drive through. The continental divide was actually in better shape than the first pass – we made it over about 40 mph. After that it was CRAZY windy – worse than in South Dakota. We could only go about 60mph since the wind was blowing us around so much and I think in some spots we were driving directly into it. Right before we had switched off the TV in the cabin this morning the weather man was talking about the storm in the Rockies – both of our heads shot around to listen better.