In 1967 my father bought a Pontiac Catalina and a dingy old travel trailer and took his girlfriend, my brother and me on a road trip. Over the next 8 weeks we drove 13,498 miles, visited 51 parks, and saw wonders like geysers, redwoods, grizzlies, and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. The trip made an indelible impression, cementing my appreciation for the natural world and the American landscape. This summer Pamela and I hope to repeat the experience for our family.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Tuesday, July 13th

7:45 Leave Bavarian Inn in Custer. Long travel day ahead.

9:00 Stopped in Deadwood for breakfast. Thoroughly disgusting--breakfast and Deadwood.

10:30 Stopped in Spearfish, SD to mail home a box full of dried chilies.

10:45 Stopped at Safeway in Spearfish for picnic supplies. Also picked up coffee at Starbucks (integrated with Safeway) so we could wash the taste of Deadwood from our mouths.

12:50 Enter North Dakota! One more to go! (Dave still needs Alaska for his life list)

1:02 Sign in Bowman, ND--Muddy Road ahead. consider alternative route. Ominous.

1:30 Stopped for road construction (yes, it was muddy) and had a nice chat with woman holding stop sign. She's a local rancher who ranches 300 cows on 14 sections. A section has 660 acres for 9,240 acres. She told us how they're eeking by. Have a good crop of hay this year so things will be easier. Gave us a good snap-shot of a rancher's life in North Dakota.

2:00 Welcome to Montana

2:45 Stopped in Miles City for gas and squirt.

5:45 Arrived at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Watched movie about battle and walked to memorial.

6:45 Walked down to Coulee to distribute Laura's ashes.

7:15 At recommendation of woman in Visitor Center, stopped for dinner at Custer Battlefield Trading Post. Experienced one of those memorable travel moments when you stumble upon another world. Made up for Deadwood.

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