Couer d’Alene and The Pickup

We made it through Wyoming. Wow…
The hot winds and cool breezes made driving interesting, and enjoyable.

About a half hour into Wyoming Ben took over, and drove us to Billings Montana.

I drove there to Superior Montana… It’s a stand in for the Rambo First Blood movie. We ate at Jackies, for 6 bucks each we ate an amazing breakfast.

Ben drove from Montana to Couer D’Alene, Idaho. It was the steepest mountain I have ever driven down. When we reached Couer D’Alene, we went to the Visitors center. With the lay of the land, we decided to get two rooms at the Couer D’Alene Resort. We talked them down from 159 a night to 119 a night.

With fresh showers and a nap, we headed to the Couer D’Alene Brewery. food is amazingly good. Unfortunate that the idiot landlord is shutting the down to open a wine and spirits bar in it’s place.

We parted ways and met for breakfast, which was fantastic… And I drove to Seattle Tacoma Airport where we picked Mr Abercrombie, and met up with Matt and Erina.

thanks to you for the hospitality!

Less than 72 hours

After Rushmore we headed towards crazy horse. Just a few miles from Rushmore we found a lake at 5000 feet. Naturally fed this lake was perfect. We jumped in, chatted with other cross-country tourists, and cooled off before heading to crazy horse.

If you want to find the lake it is at 43 degrees 53.595 minutes North 103 degrees 28.816 minutes West.

We packed up and hit up the tourist trap of the 21st century, crazy horse. I am not going to say much more than call it a huge tourist trap.

Maddog and I cruised from Mount Rushmore to Rapid City. It’s shabby sheik and ended up at the Firehouse for a decent ribeye steak, and a birch beer.

Ben enjoyed it so much he picked up two growlers of beer, and they are on ice to save for future celebrations and libations.

With dinner done, we fixed up the van with a hot rack. A bed which is long enough for one person to sleep and the other to drive.

ready to go We drove through the rest of south Dakota, all of Wyoming, we passed over the Continental Divide at 5am, and I finished driving in Superior, Montana.

Superior is the kind of town which First Blood was filmed. Wow, I had to take a photo, it was cloudy, chilly, and quaint. We decided we had to eat, and found Jackie’s which was a hole in the wall diner. It was great, I had BGE – biscuits gravy and eggs.

Maddog drove from Superior down perhaps the longest steepest grade I have seen, wow it was cool. We ended up here Idaho, Couere d’Alene.

We visited the visitor center, and I managed to get us into the casino hotel resort for two rooms at 119 a night. It’s normally 159 a room.

We chose a room as it looks like a localized tornado struck a 8x4x6 space…. I think, following current naming conventions, they called this a maddog-Pablo phenomenon.

More adventures to come after a nap!!!

PS I almost didn’t read the sign that said 6 ft clearance to the rushmore parking garage!

Ok… Ok… We are a bunch of tourists

We are the type of people that head East to go West…. Trust me it’s faster than the alternative…..

We left the Badlands and drove 160 plus miles to Rushmore and are sitting at 5200 feet eating a sandwich before taking obligatory pictures of picking Roosevelts nose.

Rushmore is a must see, and fantastic.

Note, I am posting pictures of the badlands and Rushmore tomorrow…

We are off to crazy horse and firehouse brewery for dinner…. It was the 1000 signs on the side of the road and the fire engines…. Who doesn’t like fire engines!

The Z was good

About 5 minutes ago, the only thing making noise out here was me. Now an owl, turkey, cricket, a few birds and others have joined the chorus

I awoke at 3:30, silly animals… The coyotes or wolves were howling in the distance. I checked our camp which was miraculously still there.

That’s when I looked up…. I was able to see so many stars in the night sky! If it wasn’t in the 40s last night I would have retrieved the camera.

Now sitting here after getting up at 5:30 to see the Sun come up, I can finally reflect on last night.

Maddog and I get to the Badlands and of course choose the campsite without potable water, or water that I would jump in. I see the campsite from the 13 mile road and think well that desert looks promising, let’s camp at the far end of the ring away from the setting Sun.

I grab the two collapsable chairs and we grab our drinks and sit in the shade of Bessy.

After an hour of chill-in, Maddog sees another truck of his dreams; the picture is attached. He wanders over to introduce himself to our other neighbor. Maddog gets the new age brushoff,” I am on the phone, aka my truck rocks and you don’t make enough to warrant my time.”

Maddog comes back, and we begin to think what-the-he’ll, is everyone this bad…. I thought the Midwest was fun, and polite.

Maddog is persistent and greets the next folk who drive in, two burning-man cuties, who instantly hooked on the mountain man charm. I think The collective 6 week beard is what does it. They then drive up a little hill and camp. ( worry not fellow readers He tries tries again)

We get diner started and meet our neighbors to the right, two post-grad dudes with tunes and an idea to play bacchi ball. They bring the tunes over, and we chill, and the first of the two girls arrive and lay down a fun story.

They, one German 26 year old, and one American are on a “road trip” on the way to burning man. You should look on NPRs website to learn more about burning man.

The American girl has just returned to the US after disaster relief in Africa, Peru and Haiti. She previously worked in Alaska at a cannery in Anchorage while going to school, and leaving with one semester left to Graduate.

She is about to work for Raytheon in Antartica and had a brainstorm of going to burning-man. The German girl gets wind of it, and asks to come to the US and join her. She gets a one way ticket, and tries flying over, the immigration officials don’t let her on the plane, and she buys a second flight back to Germany from NY. The German girl now has 30 euro on hand and flies over to begin the trip.

Can you see the foreshadowing? American girl prepaid for burning man, has just enough cash to avoid toll roads and get to South Dakota. She leaves from NY goes to Ontario visits a friend, drives around Chicago, and drives to South Dakota. She only pays for gas, begs for water, and looks for ways to get food. The German girl is freaking out, and overly pessimistic, and brought the moral down for their trip.

She comes to hang out, and we invite both of the girls for dinner. Note, the way Maddog and I pack we always have plenty. They join us for dinner, and we talk. We all rave about the zuchinni.

Mister Opportunity, aka Mister Persistent, cracked the shell, the story told and a good time had by all.

Now to pickup the site and move on!

Posting pics on Monday!


We drove over 1000 miles in 24 hours

We did

We are in Wisconsin

We had Dinner at fuddruckers
Ben is buying new shoes, thank god ( I have never seen more worn shoes )
We checked the oil and transmission fluid, cleaned the windows, aired the van, and did an hour cool down.

We are ready for the next ten to waldrug

Ps I now have a driver’s sun burn left side only