Custer SP and more

South Dakota No Comments »

Sept 2016

My rving friend Nan stopped for a visit. She was only going to spend one day and we (including Linda) elected to go to Mt Rushmore in the afternoon and do the trail around the viewpoints, then stay for the lighting ceremony. I’ve done it several times, so spent more time just looking instead of taking pictures. But, of course, I took some.

Mt. Rushmore Close Up

Mt. Rushmore Close Up

Mt. Rushmore through the window of Borglum's studio.

Mt. Rushmore through the window of Borglum’s studio.

The Mt. Rushmore in the studio that was used as a guide

The Mt. Rushmore in the studio that was used as a guide

A poor attempt at a picture of Mt Rushmore with the lights on.

A poor attempt at a picture of Mt Rushmore with the lights on.

During the afternoon and evening I attempted to convince Nan she needed to stay another day and I’d take her through Custer State Park. She was convinced, and I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful time we had. And did we see buffalo? You let me know.

First sighting of a field of buffalo

First sighting of a field of buffalo

And then they joined us in the road.

And then they joined us in the road.

and on the side of the road

and on the side of the road

sharing the road

sharing the road

yes, they were given the right of way

yes, they were given the right of way

I think they wanted to pay - this is the entrance fee station for the park.

I think they wanted to pay – this is the entrance fee station for the park.

more and more buffalo

more and more buffalo

and more

and more

We literally saw hundreds and hundreds of buffalo.

getting the "eye"

getting the “eye”

with calf

with calf

It wasn't all buffalo - pronghorn antelope

It wasn’t all buffalo – pronghorn antelope

pronghorn antelope

pronghorn antelope

Nan feeding a donkey

Nan feeding a donkey

a Mother's love

a Mother’s love

Field of pronghorns resting

Field of pronghorns resting

and moving

and moving

Prairie dogs with buffalo in the background

Prairie dogs with buffalo in the background

heading into the Needles area

heading into the Needles area

beautiful

beautiful

Nan taking a picture

Nan taking a picture

Making Nan pose

Making Nan pose

tunnel leading to the Needle's Eye

tunnel leading to the Needle’s Eye

Car coming towards us through the tunnel

Car coming towards us through the tunnel

The Needle's Eye

The Needle’s Eye

I had to get to work but I’m so glad Nan and I got to spend this 2nd day together. It was a lot of fun taking her through a couple of my favorite places.

Dayton and the Bighorn Forest Part Two

Wyoming 1 Comment »

June 2016 – Part Two of my trip to Dayton, WY and the Bighorn Forest

This continues directly from my last post.

The Lower Shell Schoolhouse

The Lower Shell Schoolhouse

The Lower Shell Schoolhouse

The Lower Shell Schoolhouse

Lower Shell School House

Lower Shell School House

The landscape changes.

The landscape changes.

Another kind of beauty.

Another kind of beauty.

And another.

And another.

Again there were signs telling the geologic name and era... but I don't remember, sorry.

Again there were signs telling the geologic name and era… but I don’t remember, sorry.

The Beef Trail.

The Beef Trail.

Beef Trail

Beef Trail

Copman's Tomb

Copman’s Tomb

Copman's Tomb

Copman’s Tomb

I think, Pyramid Peak.

I think, Pyramid Peak.

And another area.

And another area.

Bighorn Basin

Bighorn Basin

Shell Falls

Shell Falls

And the scenery keeps changing.

And the scenery keeps changing.

View at Shell Falls

View at Shell Falls

Shell Falls

Shell Falls

Walking down to get a better view.

Walking down to get a better view.

Shell Falls

Shell Falls

Shell Falls

Shell Falls

Shell Falls

Shell Falls

Crossing the road.

Crossing the road.

Back in Dayton, more daytime moon pictures.

Back in Dayton, more daytime moon pictures.

And another.

And another.

I love the Bell Tower with the sun bright above.

I love the Bell Tower with the sun bright above.

After the last morning walk in the park, it was time to head back to SD … and although I didn’t leave lots of time, there was time for a few stops.

Back at the Tongue River Crossing

Back at the Tongue River Crossing

And the Stagecoach Roads

And the Stagecoach Roads

And the Bozeman Trail

And the Bozeman Trail

Later in the day I stopped in Newcastle, WY with every intention of visiting the place the following pictures were taken … but the museum was closed, so I could only walk the grounds.

Part of the Museum Bldg - was the old State Armory/Grand Lodge built in either 1913 or 1918 - can't read it well enough!

Part of the Museum Bldg – was the old State Armory/Grand Lodge built in either 1913 or 1918 – can’t read it well enough!

The Novak Miller Cabin

The Novak Miller Cabin

Dedicated to Pioneer Women

Dedicated to Pioneer Women

The Green Mountain School

The Green Mountain School

The Jenny Stockade Cabin from 1875

The Jenny Stockade Cabin from 1875

I have to go back one day when everything's open -

I have to go back one day when everything’s open –

I had no idea they'd be closed weekends.

I had no idea they’d be closed weekends.

I’d never heard of a restaurant called Wayback Burgers – but I guess it’s a chain. All i know is I was hungry and it was packed. And the food was good. I’m not one for fast food and chains, but would stop at one of these again if I’m ever near one.

OK, from here I headed back to Keystone – hope you enjoyed.

Dayton, WY and the Bighorn Forest

Wyoming No Comments »

June 2016 – Staying in Dayton, WY and sightseeing the area and Bighorn National Forest, etc.

I fell in love with the small town of Dayton, WY. The people were gracious. This is only my 2nd trip since I started my full-time lifestyle in 2005 that I took without my rv. The first was a weekend Peaches and I went with friends in TX and stayed in a B&B. This time, we stayed in a very old cabin in a very old rv park in Dayton. It worked for me. And my first night there, the gentleman in the room next to me was traveling from Europe – his first trip since his wife died. He almost didn’t come and decided she wouldn’t have wanted that. We sat outside and talked quite a bit that first evening.

My car in front of my room.  The door on the right is the gentleman I mentioned above.

My car in front of my room. The door on the right is the gentleman I mentioned above.

The sign, showing it's age - but don't let age fool you - it's old and nothing is new, but the people were super and the room was clean.

The sign, showing it’s age – but don’t let age fool you – it’s old and nothing is new, but the people were super and the room was clean.

Next door was the Crazy Woman Saloon.  If I'd had more time, I would have visited.

Next door was the Crazy Woman Saloon. If I’d had more time, I would have visited.

One of the cute Little Free Libraries.  Love it.

One of the cute Little Free Libraries. Love it.

The Dayton Mercantile.  I wanted to have a meal here but was always out during those hours - did have ice cream.

The Dayton Mercantile. I wanted to have a meal here but was always out during those hours – did have ice cream.

Dino - a memory from my childhood - still outside the gas station.

Dino – a memory from my childhood – still outside the gas station.

Kleber was considered the "Etcher Laureate of the Bighorns".  He lived in Dayton and the cabin was moved to this site during the Wyoming Centennial.

Kleber was considered the “Etcher Laureate of the Bighorns”. He lived in Dayton and the cabin was moved to this site during the Wyoming Centennial.

Kleber building

Kleber building

I really did find Dayton to be a little piece of heaven.  I'll go back.

I really did find Dayton to be a little piece of heaven. I’ll go back.

Dayton WY on a bulding

Dayton WY on a bulding

Warning about a black bear sighted - within a block of here and where I'm staying.

Warning about a black bear sighted – within a block of here and where I’m staying.

One of the statues in town.

One of the statues in town.

Peaches and I walked in this park each day.  It's wonderful

Peaches and I walked in this park each day. It’s wonderful

Dayton's Bell Tower was built in 1911 to be used for fire alerts.

Dayton’s Bell Tower was built in 1911 to be used for fire alerts.

There is an off-leash pet area that Peaches had to herself every time we went in.  But we enjoyed walking the paths more.

There is an off-leash pet area that Peaches had to herself every time we went in. But we enjoyed walking the paths more.

Peaches did take advantage of a romp in the fenced in area, too.

Peaches did take advantage of a romp in the fenced in area, too.

There were lots more birds than I could find.  I could hear them and if I'd had more time would have found more.

There were lots more birds than I could find. I could hear them and if I’d had more time would have found more.

The trail

The trail

It's along water so you know where Peaches headed.

It’s along water so you know where Peaches headed.

It was pretty fast moving.

It was pretty fast moving.

Another of the statues.

Another of the statues.

Another view of the first statue I posted.

Another view of the first statue I posted.

There were quite a few squirrels around, also.

There were quite a few squirrels around, also.

The cg/motel we stayed at had bird feeders and bird baths.  It's always fun to see birds using them.

The cg/motel we stayed at had bird feeders and bird baths. It’s always fun to see birds using them.

Downy Woodpecker, I believe

Downy Woodpecker, I believe

Daytime moon shot.

Daytime moon shot.

The Dayton Bell Tower

The Dayton Bell Tower

Now time to head into the Bighorns. One day to explore them was certainly not enough – but I always do like to know that I can come back and have lots more to see and even repeat.

On the road...

On the road…

All along the road are these signs explaining the formations seen.  Fascinating study of geography.

All along the road are these signs explaining the formations seen. Fascinating study of geography.

This then is the Amsden FM, in the Pennsylvanian Period.

This then is the Amsden FM, in the Pennsylvanian Period.

And we're in the Bighorn National Forest

And we’re in the Bighorn National Forest

Gorgeous Views

Gorgeous Views

And so much to learn.  All of this was under water 500 million years ago.

And so much to learn. All of this was under water 500 million years ago.

Imagine this as under water.  Wow.

Imagine this as under water. Wow.

Stopping at a NFS cg.

Stopping at a NFS cg.

Sibley Lake was named from an 1876 battle.

Sibley Lake was named from an 1876 battle.

Sibley Lake

Sibley Lake

Peaches leading me on a trail there.  It was cold as we had gained quite a bit of elevation; we didn't go far.

Peaches leading me on a trail there. It was cold as we had gained quite a bit of elevation; we didn’t go far.

There were several ducks in the water.

There were several ducks in the water.

I had to stop to take a picture at Burgess Junction :)

I had to stop to take a picture at Burgess Junction :)

Just beautiful

Just beautiful

Now you see why I said it got chilly :)

Now you see why I said it got chilly :)

Yes, that's snow.

Yes, that’s snow.

More beauty

More beauty

and more ...

and more …

Yes, there was gold fever in these mountains, too.

Yes, there was gold fever in these mountains, too.

Medicine Wheel

Medicine Wheel

It's been awhile, but I'm hoping this is at the Medicine Wheel.

It’s been awhile, but I’m hoping this is at the Medicine Wheel.

Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain

Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain

Not recommended for rv's!  I was in my car but the day was getting long and I had miles more to go.

Not recommended for rv’s! I was in my car but the day was getting long and I had miles more to go.

Views at all times were gorgeous

Views at all times were gorgeous

How Bighorn Basin was created/

How Bighorn Basin was created/

Bighorn Basin

Bighorn Basin

Bighorn Basin

Bighorn Basin

The colors are striking.

The colors are striking.

More Big Horn Basin info.

More Big Horn Basin info.

I stopped constantly to take pictures of the beauty around me.

I stopped constantly to take pictures of the beauty around me.

More beauty

More beauty

The original Dayton-Kane Highway.

The original Dayton-Kane Highway.

Bighorn Lake - forgive me - all my pics of the lake are blurry.

Bighorn Lake – forgive me – all my pics of the lake are blurry.

Sheep Mountain

Sheep Mountain

Sheep Mountain

Sheep Mountain

Big Horn Scenic Byway

Big Horn Scenic Byway

The Lower Shell Schoolhouse

The Lower Shell Schoolhouse

This post is so picture heavy already – should have divided things up better – but am stopping now and will do a shorter part two.

Little Big Horn

Montana 1 Comment »

June 2016 – My visit to Little Big Horn, Montana

This is a difficult post for me. It was a difficult visit for me. Even though I could tell some of the signs here have been changed, not all have. And overwhelmingly it’s like old fashioned cowboys and Indians – where the Indians were the bad guys. And me, for whatever reason, from my earliest memories considered them fighting for their lives – which as I aged I saw was the truth – fighting for their way of life, to keep their families and sacred lands, to live their lives. My purpose with this post isn’t to be terribly political, but some places I feel more pain and this is one of those places. Then when people were walking dogs in the parking lot I asked a ranger why they couldn’t walk on the paved path in one area – and was told of course, not, they can’t be on these hallowed grounds. Excuse me, the sidewalks? Some rules anger me…. that was one. The place is acres and acres of land, but all considered hallowed because some of the soldiers are buried on the lands. Yet, we continue to take the Native Americans lands and have no regard for where they have anyone buried.

OK, enough – one reason I haven’t done this post – but on another note, it was heartening to me to see a Native American taking a tourist group through the park. I stayed at one view point to listen to him. I’m sure these people were getting a much different angle of the battle, etc than most others.

Remember the Fallen

Remember the Fallen

One of the things that still saddens me - the officers fell clearing the are of "hostile Indians" ... Or should we say they fell to the Indians defending their lands?

One of the things that still saddens me – the officers fell clearing the are of “hostile Indians” … Or should we say they fell to the Indians defending their lands?

Graves of the fallen

Graves of the fallen

Many stops show what that area held - in this case where an Indian Encampment was.

Many stops show what that area held – in this case where an Indian Encampment was.

And this is where it was.

And this is where it was.

I took several pictures of the area of Reno's stand and retreat.

I took several pictures of the area of Reno’s stand and retreat.

The Crow's Nest - when Custer decides it's time to attack.

The Crow’s Nest – when Custer decides it’s time to attack.

Chasing Reno and soldiers in their retreat.

Chasing Reno and soldiers in their retreat.

The retreat happened here.

The retreat happened here.

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Skipping many of my pictures, I retreat to another battlefield - heading now to Rosebud Battlefield

Skipping many of my pictures, I retreat to another battlefield – heading now to Rosebud Battlefield

Rosebud Battlefield State Park - there's a winding trail for cars - not in the best shape..

Rosebud Battlefield State Park – there’s a winding trail for cars – not in the best shape..

Rosebud Inhabitant Info

Rosebud Inhabitant Info

Rosebud Homesteader Info

Rosebud Homesteader Info

Rosebud Preservationist Info

Rosebud Preservationist Info

About the Cheyenne Warriors

About the Cheyenne Warriors

Sitting Bull's Vision

Sitting Bull’s Vision

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A quote that to this day brings me to tears.

A quote that to this day brings me to tears.

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The Rosebud Battlefield is a National Historic Landmark.

The Rosebud Battlefield is a National Historic Landmark.

Hard to read, but General Crooks troops were halted here.

Hard to read, but General Crooks troops were halted here.

The beautiful lands.

The beautiful lands.

More beauty

More beauty

Tossing a bird picture in for good measure.

Tossing a bird picture in for good measure.

I decided to check out Tongue River State Park

I decided to check out Tongue River State Park

Tongue River State Park - looked like a very popular place for rvers, boaters, etc.

Tongue River State Park – looked like a very popular place for rvers, boaters, etc.

Next stop, Connor Battlefield,

Next stop, Connor Battlefield,

Connor Battlefied Info

Connor Battlefied Info

No clue if this has any significance - other than we know they were significant to the Native Americans.

No clue if this has any significance – other than we know they were significant to the Native Americans.

Let's just destroy a village, shall we?

Let’s just destroy a village, shall we?

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Birds always bring a smile to my face.

Birds always bring a smile to my face.

This and the previous were taken during the course of the day.

This and the previous were taken during the course of the day.

Don’t get me wrong from my opening paragraph. I’ve wanted to visit Little Big Horn for a long time. I knew it would be emotional for me. I’m not sure I quite knew I’d react as much as I did. That’s ok. And it’s more emotional now because of everything going on in North Dakota. It seems to never end.

Next post will be more light-hearted, promise.

Bison, Oh My – Custer SP

South Dakota No Comments »

April 2016 – First visit of the season to Custer State Park, SD

Enjoy the bison, pronghorn antelope, deer and a few pictures of the Cathedral Spires…

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Coming home I was saddened to see this fire - not in the park - but close to the park and Keystone - and dangerous.  Luckily it was put out within a day.

Coming home I was saddened to see this fire – not in the park – but close to the park and Keystone – and dangerous. Luckily it was put out within a day.

There will be a return visit posted – when Nan was in town visiting.

Toadstool Geologic Park, NE

Nebraska No Comments »

April 2016 – Toadstool Geologic Park, NE

I arrived mid-afternoon and left the following morning. I should have stayed another day – it’s an awesome place. It is NE’s smaller answer to SD’s Badlands. The road in and out is not pleasant, but was well worth it to see this place. And I didn’t see very much! A reason to return!

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Maxwell NWR and Storrie Lake

New Mexico No Comments »

April 2016 – stops in NM on my journey north. My friend Linda joined me at Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge. She HATES washboard roads, but made it in just fine, slowly. And it is free – and it’s a nice place. The area for rv’s is not large, but any size will fit – it just depends how many are there.

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I also made an overnight stop at Storrie Lake State Park in NM. The winds were howling so I elected to take an electric site. The picture of a rig is one who elected to go down near the water – in the midst of the winds.

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Usery Mountain – Phoenix

Arizona 1 Comment »

April 2016 – Going back to share the things I haven’t!

Normally when I splurge in the Phoenix area I stay at McDowell Mtn – I love it there. I decided this time to go to Usery Mountain, another of their regional parks, mainly because of it’s proximity to visit with my friends Maurine and Pam, but also because I shouldn’t get in a rut! Following are simply pictures from my couple days there.

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Desert Museum – 2016

Arizona 4 Comments »

3/24/2016
Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ

This is one of my favorite places and I try to make sure I get here at least once a winter if I come to Arizona. It was spring break and packed – but worth every minute! I’m just going to share a lot of pictures – not titling them. There is a section with pictures of info regarding vultures – I found it fascinating – don’t remember it from my many other visits. The flowering cacti were spectacular – the day was beautiful, even if crowded! And don’t miss the two pics of a baby hummingbird.

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No, they aren't real!

No, they aren’t real!

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These next few pictures show a very, very delicate flower with such a fitting name: Baja Fairy Dusters.

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If you’ve never been to Tucson, or have been, but not to the Desert Museum – it really is a must see. If I was here more often, I’d have an annual membership.

Gilbert Ray CG

Arizona 2 Comments »

I rarely stay here,because I usually boondock, but often send others here, as I absolutely love this cg and it’s location – so I decided to splurge.

Birds all around.

Birds all around.

Birds all around.

Birds all around.

Birds all around.

Birds all around.

My Site

My Site

The P Bird, again

The P Bird, again

Birds all around

Birds all around

Birds all around

Birds all around

Birds all around

Birds all around

P Brids again

P Brids again

Birds all around.

Birds all around.

Birds all around.

Birds all around.

Gorgeous Desert Scenery

Gorgeous Desert Scenery

Gorgeous Desert Scenery

Gorgeous Desert Scenery

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

At the same time, the sun is setting in the opposite direction.

At the same time, the sun is setting in the opposite direction.

At the same time, the sun is setting in the opposite direction.

At the same time, the sun is setting in the opposite direction.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

The full moon rising.

Reflections in the sky after sunset.

Reflections in the sky after sunset.

The sun set behind the RV.

The sun set behind the RV.

Night Time full moon picture.

Night Time full moon picture.

Night Time full moon picture.

Night Time full moon picture.

Night Time full moon picture.

Night Time full moon picture.

I’m sure the sunrises were as fantastic, but I’m not known for being outside for those. I was so lucky to be there for the full moon – which was spectacular rising.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Bird disappearing into cactus.

Bird disappearing into cactus.

Bird

Bird

I saw lots of quail, but these are the only two 1/2 way decent pictures. I wasn’t able to get any pictures of the lizards – they were too fast for me this year – both at Triangle T, then here.

Quail

Quail

Quail Family

Quail Family

I talked to a county employee about possibly volunteering here. Most people come back year after year – but I have a chance if someone decides not to return. I’d be in heaven.