Throwback Thursday #2 – August 8, 2006

We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.

Flashback to our first RV trip in the summer of 2006. On this day 13 years ago, August 8, 2006, the Wandering Dawgs were enjoying the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, America’s first national park.

That day we watched Old Faithful erupt and drove the Lower Loop Road where we saw Bison herds (American Buffalo), waterfalls, and spectacular scenery. It was one of our most memorable days from all of our RV travels.

Old Faithful
Old Faithful (Wyoming)
Bison in Yellowstone National Park
Bison in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
Lower Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park
Lower Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
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Waterfall along Yellowstone Lower Loop Road
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View on Lower Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park
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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Bison at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Wandering Dawgs at Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in 2006

We spent about a week camping outside of Yellowstone National Park and spent most of those days exploring the park.

 

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Wyoming

State 45:

Welcome to the last post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I have only featured 45 of our beautiful United States because our wandering has  never taken us to Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island or Vermont.

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next and final state of my series is

Wyoming

Wyoming became the 44th state on July 10, 1890. The Capital is Cheyenne.

 

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Welcome to Wyoming

The Wyoming welcome signs feature the copyrighted symbol of a Bucking Horse and Rider that has been used on Wyoming license plates since 1936. According to legend the Bucking Horse and Rider is based on the early 1900’s horse Steamboat, “the horse that couldn’t be ridden”.

My husband and I are huge fans of the Longmire mysteries by Craig Johnson. I’ve read all of them except his latest The Western Star (I’m on the waiting list at the library). Set in the small fictional town of Durant in Absaroka County somewhere near Sheridan and the Montana border, the stories feature Sheriff Walt Longmire and a wonderful cast of characters. With beautiful descriptions of Wyoming and the Bighorn Mountains, page turning mysteries, and great dialog Johnson’s books are hard to put down. Boy Howdy!

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Bighorn mountains in Wyoming
Storm over the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming
Storm over the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first national park and is one of the most popular national parks in the U. S. The national park covers over 3,000 square miles. We spent several days exploring and as we drove through the park we stopped to explore the geysers, natural formations, hot springs, rivers, waterfalls, lakes and so much more.

Yellowstone is famous for it’s wildlife. Huge bison herds roam freely through the park and often stop traffic. Elk and many other animals are frequently seen.

If you love waterfalls you won’t be disappointed in Yellowstone.

Our time was limited in Grand Teton National Park but we were able to take in the majesty of the spectacular landscape.

On one of our trips we left the Black Hills of South Dakota and traveled into Wyoming to see the Devils Tower. As we drove along we could see the tower jutting up from the prairie. Our campsite at Devils Tower KOA had a great view of the tower.

As we took a hike around the base of the tower images from the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” popped into my head. There were climbers on the tower and some had made it all the way to the top.

We enjoyed our stay at Peter D’s RV Park in Sheridan on our way to Alaska in 2013 so much that we stopped there again on our return trip. With a view of the Bighorn mountains, a historic town to explore, and dinner at the Wyoming Rib and Chop House it was a worth a return visit.

On our return trip from Alaska, we drove south from Sheridan through the high plains where we saw ranches, several herds of pronghorn antelope, and prairie dogs beside the road. We spent a night in Casper, Wyoming at Ft. Caspar RV Park where we visited Fort Caspar on the North Platte River.

 

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri     Montana     Nebraska     Nevada      New Hampshire     New Mexico      New York     North Carolina    North Dakota      Ohio     Oklahoma     Oregon     Pennsylvania    South Carolina     South Dakota     Tennessee     Texas     Utah     Virginia   Washington     West Virginia     Wisconsin

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – South Dakota

State 37:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state in my series is

South Dakota

South Dakota became the 40th state on November 2, 1889. The Capital is Pierre.

Our travels have taken us through South Dakota a surprising number of times. The Corn Palace in Mitchell and Wall Drug Store in Wall are two fun places to take a travel break along Interstate 90.

Like so many other people, we made the Black Hills our primary travel destination in South Dakota. There is so much to see there we couldn’t do everything we wanted on our first trip so we returned five years later. In addition to the spectacular scenery, the highlights of our visits were Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Custer State Park, the wildlife, Deadwood, Wind Cave National Park and Badlands National Park.

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Mount Rushmore National Monument
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Crazy Horse Monument in 2006
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Crazy Horse Monument in the summer of 2011
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Five years after our first trip to the Black Hills, we camped at Game Lodge Campground in Custer State Park. We loved being close to so much wildlife.

Custer State Park is home to herds of Bison, also known as American Buffalo. Many can be seen from the scenic Wildlife Loop Road. Some also like to hang out in other parts of the park and we often saw them near the Game Lodge Campground. There were many calves when we were there in early June. As we drove through the park and on the drive through Wind Cave National Park we saw bison, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs wild burros, and even white tail deer. This collage of the bison and other wildlife we saw in and around Custer State Park shows just a small sample of the wildlife that is there.

Just driving through the Black Hills is an adventure and there are several scenic drives to enjoy. Iron Mountain Road and the Needles Highway are both narrow, steep, curvy roads with single lane tunnels. There were spectacular views from the Mount Coolidge Overlook at the end of another narrow road. Another day the views were spectacular as we drove through Spearfish Canyon but I forgot my camera that day!

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Along the Needles Highway in Custer Sate Park
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Eye of the Needle on the Needles Highway
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Needle Tunnel
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Mount Rushmore from one of the tunnels on Iron Mountain Road
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View of Crazy Horse Monument from the top of the Coolidge Overlook in Custer State Park

Deadwood is famous for being the town where Wild Bill Hickok was shot by Jack McCoy in the Number 10 Saloon in 1876. In the new Number 10 Saloon visitors can see a reenactment of the shooting of Wild Bill and there are reenactments in the street with gunslingers. We took the drive to his grave in the nearby Mount Moriah Cemetery.

We discovered a couple of delightful campgrounds outside of the Black Hills during our South Dakota journeys. The owners are hard working and helpful at the Belvidere East KOA. Blondie enjoyed the dog park and we loved the Indian Tacos at their restaurant. The sunset was great, too.

Sunset at Belvidere East Campground
Sunset at Belvidere East Campground

Mina Lake State Recreation area near Aberdeen was a perfect place to chill after our time in the Black Hills. The park was practically empty and the camp hosts were friendly and helpful. They even brought us some pheasant appetizers one evening.

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Mina Lake State Recreation area near Aberdeen

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri     Montana     Nebraska     Nevada      New Hampshire     New Mexico      New York     North Carolina    North Dakota      Ohio     Oklahoma     Oregon     Pennsylvania    South Carolina

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Kentucky

State 15:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is the Bluegrass State –

Kentucky

Kentucky became the 15th state on June 1, 1792  and the capital is Frankfort.

When I think of the Bluegrass state I think of horses, bourbon, and Colonel Sanders famous Kentucky Fried Chicken. We never got a chance to visit the original Kentucky Fried Chicken but we did get to experience horses and bourbon and a whole lot more.

Late one fall we set up camp at the Kentucky Horse Park State Park near Lexington. Seeing these magnificent horses was the highlight of our visit to the area.

Kentucky Horse Park
Kentucky Horse Park
Kentucky Horse Park
Kentucky Horse Park
On the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
On the Kentucky Bourbon Trail

One very overcast day we left the horse park for a scenic drive by many beautiful horse farms and a tour of the Wild Turkey Distillery located right beside the Kentucky River.

Bridge over Kentucky River at the Wild Turkey Distillery
Bridge over Kentucky River at the Wild Turkey Distillery
Wild Turkey Bourbon is aged these barrels
Wild Turkey Bourbon is aged these barrels

Until we visited the Elk and Bison Prairie in the Land Between the Lakes I never knew that bison once roamed in this area of the United States.

Elk and Bison Prairie in the Land Between the Lakes
Elk and Bison Prairie in the Land Between the Lakes

The Land Between the Lakes has been a perfect stop over for us several times in our wandering. It doesn’t get much better than camping near a body of water and Canal Campground in the Land Between the Lakes is one of our favorite Corps of Engineers park.

Sunrise over Lake Barkley, Kentucky from Canal COE
Sunrise over Lake Barkley, Kentucky from Canal Corps of Engineers Campground
Rushing Bay on Kentucky Lake
Rushing Bay on Kentucky Lake

Located in central Kentucky, Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system known in the world. There are many options for guided tours of the cave. Above ground the scenery is beautiful with hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas