Today I woke up and hit the road rather early. My goal was to get to Mt. Rushmore in the evening and be there when it was lit up for the night. Montana is a beautiful state. Click on the picture to load a larger version.
I was in Buffalo Country.
And I had to watch out for rattle snakes!
I finally made it to Wyoming.
Again, surrounded by beauty.
I arrived at Rapid City SD with enough time to check in, grab a bite and hit Mt. Rushmore before it got dark. I have to say, I was quite impressed. I was a little apprehensive that it wouldn’t be all that spectacular and I would be disappointed (like the time I saw the Mona Lisa, which is much smaller than I expected). I was pleasantly surprised at its scale.
A closer view shows the detail of the sculpture.
At 8 PM, there was a service highlighting each of the four presidents. It included a park ranger talking about Mt. Rushmore, a very nice video on a digital screen, signing of the National Anthem, a time to recognize all current and past service men on stage (there were about 100 there) and concluded with the lighting of Mt. Rushmore.
If you ever go to Mt. Rushmore, go in the evening and stay for the lighting. Not only is a great view, the service was well put together. It was modern, yet reflective and patriotic.
After my visit to Mt. Rushmore, I went back to my hotel. My room made me feel like I was sleeping in an episode of Miami Vice. Super 8’s most recent remodel was a FAIL in my opinion. Remember, I was in South Dakota, not Florida! My walls almost glowed after I turned off the lights!
I got an early start on Day Three. I left early and was on the road by 8 AM. I took some amazing pictures! It was pretty clear out and I was able to snap a shot of Mt. Rainier while at a rest area. Click the pictures to load the full pictures
There was a scenic overlook in Washington, that was pretty neat.
I took this pic to show that I was in Idaho, I wasn’t in the state very long since I went through the pan handle.
The last three pics are of Montana mountains.
I have say that I have been in awe of the natural beauty and God’s creation. As I would go around the bend of one mountain, there was another one just as awesome.
I am off to bed now! I have another big day driving through the rest of Montana!
Day Two went much better than Day One! After a great night’s rest, Holly, Nathanael and I walked downtown where I was able to see the world’s first Starbucks (I’m not a coffee drinker but it was awesome to see), Pike Market, (Click the pictures to load the full pictures)
and I ate the World’s Best Macaroni and Cheese (and it was the best I have ever had!). We ate our food in a little park by the water. We caught a tram to the Space Needle and I snapped a pic.
We walked backed to H and N’s department, I got another pic of the Needle from their apartment,
and we relaxed before heading back out.
We went to Red Mill Burgers and I had some of the best onion rings I have ever had.
We went up a mountain and I took a pic of Downtown Seattle.
We then headed to Walmart, which is not allowed in the city of Seattle, so we had to drive a bit to get to one. I was able to replace my phone left in L.A.
I had such a good time with Holly and Nathanael. They were such great hosts and made me feel very welcome. I hope the move back to IN soon!
The ‘Meeker’ Adventure has begun! My flight from Indianapolis to LA was very uneventful. I had a window seat with no one beside me. The flight was smooth and very pleasant.
However, once I got to LAX, that all changed! I had about an hour to get to my next flight, use the restroom and grab a bite to eat. I got off the plane, looked for the boards for my connecting flight and could not find any information. I finally found someone to ask and she told me to go to Gate 32b to catch a shuttle to my next flight. So I went to the restroom, got food and went and sat at Gate 32b. At 8:25 PM, some lady made an announcement for a shuttle for American Airlines flights had arrived. I sat there and continued to eat my dinner, since my flight was Alaska Air. At 8:27 PM, I decided to check in the status of my shuttle and the same lady told me that was my shuttle and I had missed it. I asked her why she didn’t say anything about my flight or Alaska Air in her announcement, and she looked at me like I hadn’t even asked the question. Instead, she told me that I could do a 6 minute brisk walk to my gate. The plane was scheduled to take off at 9 PM. I said ok, no biggie. She gave me crazy directions and off I went. I went through 2 parking garages, the international concourse and after walking 10 minutes and realizing that I was still a ways off, I started running! I had to go outside, which meant I had to go back through security. After sprinting for ever (with a huge backpack on) I made it to the right concourse, and went through security. They had to scan my laptop 3 times and finally I was good to go and run 6 gates to my flight. I made it with no time to spare! I was actually late, but there were like 5 other people that were late, so they were waiting. I got to my seat and got settled only to realize that in the confusion at security, I had left my cell phone in one of the bins. Luckily, it is just a trac phone and I can get another and keep my number and minutes. But it was a heck of a Meeker Adventure. I finally got to be ‘that guy’ running through the airport.
Nathanael and Holly picked me up and we were up until 3 AM yacking in their apartment. Today, Sunday, we are going to the fish market and seeing the space needle! I’ll blog more later!