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


Sunday, July 11

10:45 Leave Kalinski home after enjoying their wonderful hospitality.

11:00 Leave Niwot after stocking up on ice, picnic supplies, and taking a photo of Dave standing under an "Old Town Niwot" sign.

12:00 Curtains of rain sweep over distant plains as we drive toward Wyoming.

12:28 Enter Wyoming.

1:00 Rolling lunch, including homemade cookies from the Kalinskis. Thank you!

1:57 Driving along parallel to a freight train. Dave gestures for the engineer to blow his horn and he obliges.

2:15 Buffalo roaming.

3:30 Antelope playing

4:02 Enter South Dakota.

4:47 See Crazy Horse memorial but do not stop. Pushing on for Mt. Rushmore

5:20 Stop at Mt Rushmore. See the big guys just before a rainstorm sweeps in and blocks them from our view. Get the obligatory patch.

7:30 Check into the Bavarian Lodge in Custer, SD. Bailed out on the idea of camping during this stay. Too much driving. Not enough time. Then when we saw rain in the area, that clinched it.

8:30 Ate dinner at the Bavarian Lodge. Pretty so so. No one except Pamela has much enthusiasm for German food.

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