Just throwing in a few photos from the road for the Patio Boat faithful and the non-FBers among the crowd. In general, photos from my iPhone will go on FB on a regular basis, and wil tend to be quick snapshots of whatever we're up to during the day. Photos from the good camera will go here, and will tend to cluster around touristy things that are worth breaking out the good camera for.
The Day One report -- We left Wolverine Lake around 12:30 pm on Sunday. We stopped in at the original Pizzeria Uno in Chicago for dinner:
Then we headed West on I-90...
...until a thunderous downpour led us to call it a night and stop at the Relax Inn in Stewartville, Minnesota.
Day Two -- We made a reasonably early start out of Stewartville and early in the afternoon we stopped at the one and only World Famous Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota:
After a quick visit to the Corn Palace (the exterior of which is under reconstruction, as you see in the above photo. It'll look better in 2015. I promise.) we got back on the road and arrived at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, in time to set up camp and catch a lovely sunset:
Day Three -- The next morning kicked off with an equally lovely sunrise:
After we broke camp it was time to do a bit of hiking and exploring in the Badlands. Because we look pretty small in some of the pictures below, I'd like to point out that Monique is the blue dot, I'm the green dot, Malcolm is the red dot, and Henry is the white dot:
Then it was on to Mount Rushmore:
After Mount Rushmore we visited its rising "famous dude carved out of a mountain in South Dakota" competitor, the Crazy Horse monument, now in its 66th year of carving. To give you a sense of the scale of this vast undertaking, you could fit all four presidential heads at Mount Rushmore inside Crazy Horse's head:
(To help give this thing a bit of scale, if you look closely at some of the terraces you can see large bulldozers and bucket loaders as little yellow dots in this photo.)
After visiting the Crazy Horse monument we headed down to Wind Cave National Park to camp for the night. But a series of looming thunderstorms on the western horizon led us to instead settle for a quick picnic lunch...
... before beating a hasty retreat to the secure and dry Holiday Inn Express in Custer, SD. Malcolm and Henry were of course heartbroken to have to hang out at the indoor pool and hot tub instead of potentially getting electrocuted before sleeping in the mud. But they covered their disappointment amazingly well. Really, amazingly well. It was quite convincing the way it seemed they preferred a pool and a dry mattress to camping in the rain.
But they're good lads, so I know they must have just been covering their disappointment at not getting to experience camping in a giant thunderstorm, so as not to make me feel that I let them down by chickening out in the face of Mother Nature. Brave, brave boys.
Monique covered her disappointment pretty well, too.