Crazysister at the Big Heads

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Buffalo Bill and the Devil's Tower

Imagine this ... the perfect location for a KOA in the shadows of the nation's first National Monument, Devil's Tower in the Black Hills of Wyoming. For those of you old enough to remember, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind was filmed at this site. As I write this blog, we are seated by the fire pit that happens to be right beside our campsite. Miss Wendy, Katie, and Nathan are making smores! (Katie's first) This KOA will probably be everyone's number 1. It has the view, the space, the food, the internet, and the fire pit ( we haven't seen the showers yet... but hey... we have smores).

Crazysister, Jeanie, and Grayson are enjoying the nightly outdoor showing of the movie, Close Encounters... how cool is that... with the tower in the background. The Devil's Tower is a rock monolith 1,257 feet high. Originally, our plan was to drive to Custer, South Dakota... , but of course, we moved a little more slowly than we had planned. I think Uncle Bud is getting used to that after a week. We started the day with the 'all you can eat' pancake breakfast at the KOA in Cody(for $2 !). Katie had to visit Dudley, her trail horse, one last time. Then, we headed over to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center and Museum. This museum is super nice... like Smithsonian quality! It housed one of the nicest Natural History Museums that I have ever been in (including DC). There was the Buffalo Bill museum itself. We saw an art exhibit that chronicled the expedition of Lewis and Clark. The building also housed a museum on the Plains Indians and in another wing was a collection firearms of the western days. In the garden courtyard were statues and live performances by "Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley. " Basically, it is the museum for all things western. They even have a research library downstairs. Everyone was very impressed. I had a very hard time getting Katie and Miss Wendy out of the science classroom with all of the specimens. The Big Heads bunch in the truck and camper actually headed out before I could drag Katie out of the museum, and the plan was to catch up with them down the road. Well, as things turned out, the camper blew another tire. This time on the passenger's side. 2 blown tires in a week... but at least Grayson and Nathan sure can change a tire now.

We traveled through Big Horn National Park where we saw more beautiful scenery. We reached an elevation of over 10,ooo feet. We went through a town called Emblem that had a population of 10 (yes ten). Other small towns we drove through included... Basin, Manderson, Worland, and Buffalo. We turned off of interstate 90 in Moorcroft. The interstate highway was red... I guess that they used the red rock native to the area. It looked wild. From Moorcroft it was a 30 mile drive up to the Devil's Tower. I saw more deer in that 30 miles than I have seen in my entire life in Caldwell County. Uncle Bud says that they are not whitetail deer like we have at home... I can't remember what he called them, ... and he is already asleep. I think that he likes to get a few hours of sleep before we all start making the camper rock.

People keep asking how we are getting along... 8 people in such close quarters... but you know, we have had enough things to laugh about that it has gone rather smoothly. I do have a 9 year old girl that is very homesick for her Daddy. This morning she said that she didn't need to see Mt. Rushmore... she just wanted to see her Daddy. By the afternoon, this had changed to... "If I could see my Daddy ... or ... visit Laura Ingalls Wilder's grave and other Little House on the Prairie things... I would choose my Daddy." This folks has reached an epic level. I needed to gage the seriousness of this situation so I asked her, "Katie... what if you had to choose between being able to take Dudley the trail horse (which she talked about all day) home - or - being able to see your Daddy - Which would it be? She still said ... Daddy! I might be putting her on an airplane in Sioux Falls.

Tonight at dinner, we were discussing what we think is most important in a KOA. The things ranged from scenery (Uncle Bud) to the heated indoor pool in Dubois (Katie). We will make a list of things that we liked the best and rate all of the KOAs that we have stayed in. If I were to start this trip over again, I do know a couple of things that I would change/add...
1. don't count on your water shoes (that you wear at the beach)... you need cheap plastic flip flops for the shower.
2. have a little "tackle box" with your bath/shower necessities - you won't have enough room in there to put on your underwear much less have an oversize suitcase.
3. bring beach towels... they are easier to identify as yours... because everyone has beige and yellow bath towels complete with bleach spots.
4. the little car adapters that take a regular outlet plug ... are the greatest- bring more than one.
5. I highly recommend a GPS . Those things are amazing!
6. A book called The Next Exit (Barnes and Noble) $14.95. This little book tells you what is on every single exit on every interstate in all 50 states. It takes the guess work out of ... when is the next Cracker Barrel...

In the morning we will be heading to the "Big Heads" and Crazyhorse Memorial. We plan to stay at the KOA in Custer, South Dakota.


sherrysummer said...

Finally, you are going to see "the Big Heads". I am excited! The KOA list of what to bring and not to bring is neat. Experience is the best when it comes to that. The book The Next Exit sounds like a must to have when traveling! Gotta get one of those. Have a super day! Catch you later.

Katie, glad you like s'mores...they are yummy... Just think of all the "Little House on the Prairie" episodes you can watch next week and all you can tell about the place they were written. Hugs!

Nancy said...

Kim, I have enjoyed your updates so much. Here's a treat you can try next time they are available: roast marshmallow peeps. They are good by themselves (one friend said they were like creme brulee), but on s'mores....yum! It doesn't even matter if they are stale. (We found the bunnies also "taste like chicken.")

Thor said...

I miss my Katie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katie, I want you to hang in there and enjoy the rest of your trip! I am so jealous of you being able to go see all the places you have been to. You have been to some of the very few states I have not visited yet.

I want you to see it all so you can tell me all about it when you get home, okay?!!!

Know that I love you so very much!!

Your proud Daddy.