North & South Dakota (and a tiny bit of Wyoming)

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

Jan and I made a day trip with her sister Carolyn and her two grand daughters, Renae and Ziann to see Devil’s Tower, it’s not far across the border from South Dakota.  They live in Belle Fourche. It was a bit misty and cloudy, but I think it made the tower pictures more interesting!
This picture with the two rangers gives you a sense of the tower’s massive size!

Renae is on the right and Ziann in on the left.
A couple of days after our Devil’s Tower adventure Jan and I had lunch with Caroyn in Spearfish.

Ta’Tanka Story of Bison Museum- Deadwood, South Dakota

This museum was put together by Kevin Costner over many years. It is the story of the Lakota Indians who he got to know quite well while filming “Dances with Wolves”, and their relationship to the Bison. Ta’Tonka means bull bison.

Ta’Tanka is the third largest bronze sculpture in the world! It consists of 17 individual pieces depicting the ingenious way the early Lakota Indians were able to kill so many large Bison with only bows and arrows riding horses bareback, it’s aptly named “the Bison jump”. I’m sure there were plenty of Indian and horse casualties as well in the process! They would herd them toward a cliff and drive them over the edge! It sounds cruel and inhumane to us, but it was a matter of survival for them at the time. If you’re interested you can learn more at .

Theodore Roosevelt National Park- North Dakota

This park is beautiful! The terrain is varied and there’s a multitude of colors in the rock set off by all the green of the prairie grass and trees! The views seem to go on forever!

But the main attraction for us was the abundance of wildlife, including these Bison!

This poor fellow didn’t make it. We saw him on one of our hikes. It’s obvious he didn’t die in vain though, the scavenger animals make sure of that!
Just past the dead bison, we saw “evidence” that there were also live bison on this trail!
And critters that make use of said evidence! The Dung Beetles!
Our favorite though were the wild horses! So majestic!
Don’t panic, the colt is not dead, he’s just napping!

Some of the lesser in size wildlife, but still interesting!
The fields were teaming with these prairie dogs!
And of course ending with a purple flower!

Enchanted Highway- North Dakota

This was the brainchild of a local artist who thought that putting up a series of giant metal sculptures randomly alongside the byways of the North Dakota rolling plains would entice tourists to venture further into North Dakota. As is obvious by this post it has worked at least once!
As you can see in this picture with our truck in the background, they are quite large!
By this one of the deer, he also constructed this maze for people to enjoy!

We saw one of the locals checking out the giant fish!

These rolling hill plains seem to go on forever: it’s like a gigantic rolling lawn!

As you can see, these are made from whatever scraps of various metals he could find. According to what we read, before he decided to do this he had never built or welded any thing in metal before! He was self-taught!
This picture Jan took of me was the last picture my trusty Nikon D7000 took before it decided it was done. Not to worry, I’ve replaced it with the newer model D7500; I figured 10 years and 60,000+ pictures was pretty good for one camera!

Quick Spring Trip to Southern Arizona

Hotel Gadsden- Douglas, Arizona

We stayed in Douglas Arizona at this great old hotel, The Gadsden Hotel! This was their grand lobby. We were there checking out different RV parks while our trailer was in the shop.
From the grand lobby this was the even more grand stairway to the second floor!
Amazing detail! This hotel was originally opened in 1907. It was recently purchased by a young couple who are slowly bringing it back to it’s original glory.
Beautiful stained glass skylights!
The front desk
The original shoeshine both and telephone booths
There was a beautiful grand piano in the lobby as well!
The sweeping chandelier in the lobby.
The all original ornate entry to the lobby tavern.
The dining room! They had good food too.
The breakfast room fireplace. The fire has been updated to a modern gas unit, but has kept the old charm.
They had framed copies of the original floorpan drawings that were hung in the rooms. 
And pictures of how it looked back then.
This was a mosaic the original owners wife had done for the dining room. The picture was inspired by a postcard she had picked up in Italy.

Hotel McCoy-Tucson, Arizona

While in Tucson we found this quirky little hotel. It was run by a young couple and was very 60’s-70’S! We will be staying at a near by park Sept. 29th-Dec 19th. We suggest you visit us and stay here!
An old school motel from the 60’s reborn!

The most interesting part of this Hotel was the beautiful artwork murals everywhere! 
This one was outside our room. Even though it’s a GM truck (Chevy or GMC), it’s still appropriate I suppose!

Colorado Stay Beginning July 2020

Paint Mines Calhan, Colorado

It’s pretty easy to figure out why the name is “Paint Mines”!

It was amazing to us that this was out here in otherwise mostly flat or rolling hills and grassland of the Colorado plains!

Black Forest Equestrian Competition with Aneka

While we were staying at Falcon Meadows out east we attended Aneka’s performance at the Black Forest Saddle Club competition. This is Jan and Mary giving Aneka some last minute pointers (haha)!
Amber and Rich doing the same!
Aneka doing what she loves most; going fast!

Pikes Peak with Steve & Mary

While at Falcon Meadows with the Bergman’s we decided to make a day trip up Pikes Peak. It was a perfect early fall day for it!
On our way up we saw this accident. Somehow this poor fellow’s car fell down the mountain to the street below. It appeared that he had parked near the edge and didn’t secure his parking brake or something; ruined his day I’m sure!
Beautiful views!

The extensive new additions to the top of Pikes Peak and the tram were still in progress. It’s supposed to be done now so we’ll need to check it out before we leave Colorado!

Cherry Creek Reservoir Campground

After Falcon Meadows we went to stay at Cherry Creek Reservoir, one of our favorites! Bryce, Laura and Reeve came to visit us there. Reeve and Laura had fun playing Corn Hole.
Reeve sporting his new dinosaur bike helmet we got him!

We also had some other visitors while staying there.
These guys were definitely not shy or afraid of us campers!

And they were very friendly with each other too! The Magpies obviously liked hanging around the deer!

USAF Academy FamCamp

After Cherry Creek we moved to the Air Force Academy, which ended up being all winter, not what we had planned but this primo spot we ended up with made it much more bearable!

Day Trip to Victor and Phantom Canyon

The fall colors were starting to show. For some reason I like RED!

Downtown Victor was pretty much deserted. We suspect due to Covid and end of their season.
Here’s a nice fixer upper mountain cabin!

When we left Victor we decided to go out the back side and check out Phantom Canyon. As you can see it was a dirt road, I saw truck dusting in my future!

The dirt road through Phantom Canyon also involved a couple of sketchy tunnels!

We made it through both unscathed, other than lots of dust!

Our (Unplanned) Winter Stay in Colorado Springs

The end of October gave us our first taste of winter at the Academy.

We passed the time and kept sane by doing day trips to Cherry Creek, Chatfield and Pueblo State Parks! It made our yearly pass a bargain!
The geese don’t seem to mind the lake being mostly frozen over!

Sunset on our way down 83 to the Springs.