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From the Mountains to the Prairies to the Ocean
Contributed By Tina on 2013-08-05 21:46:52
Land Travel Our last summer trip took us out west and on July 12th after a 2 hour delay in Atlanta due to summer storms we arrived in Denver late in the evening. We spent our first weekend with Dave and Lori and cutie Jack. Saturday afternoon we attended the Irish Festival in Littleton - just love Celtic music - and dined out later in the evening. Nancy joined us for Sunday brunch the next morning but could not join us for our visit up to South Dakota.
Hot Springs, South Dakota is about 350 miles from Denver and much of that distance is prairie. There are prairie dogs and pronghorn antelope to capture your attention here and there but the scenery cannot compete with mountain roads. On the way back to Denver we stayed off of interstate and found the road sides more interesting....
In the Hot Springs location of the Black Hills we visited the Mammoth Site which is an indoor dig site that has produced over 60 mammoths since the
1970's . We also visited Wind Cave National Park and traveled one and a half miles underground in the 4th largest cave in the world! The next 2 nights we stayed in Hill City, South Dakota and we traveled throughout Custer State Park and had up close encounters with literally hundreds of bisons as well as wild burros. These burros will poke their head in your open car window to receive treats if you are offering! We just petted them as we walked among these lovable animals! We traveled through the Needles Mountains and I got to travel through several tunnels that would only allow one vehicle to pass through at a time. Honk before you enter was the name of the game!
Our visit to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial completed our sightseeing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When you first arrive the president's heads seemed smaller than what you imagined ,however as you walk the Presidential Trail and get much closer the enormity of these magnificent sculptures is evident!
We headed south back into Wyoming, stopping at Ft. Laramie National Historic Site and drove where pioneers traveled on the Oregon Trail. We stayed 3 nights in Estes Park, Colorado and hiked some new trails in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Dave and Lori joined us and we wrapped up our hiking with a lovely dinner at the historic Stanley Hotel where the TV version of the "Shining" was filmed.
Our visit to Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota was wonderful in many ways. Our travels took us to such varied landscapes and historical places. We met
many very interesting fellow travelers as well as westerners. And best of all we visited with Dave and Lori....
 
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