Road Trip 2009

Road Trip Blog

Dead Presidents and Caffine

Posted by arpithicus on June 16, 2009 at 4:43 AM

 I have to be honest Mount Rushmore was not on the top of my list of one of the attractions that I was very excited to see on this trip. I thought it was going to be pretty anticlimactic but I was completely wrong. Kat was extremely exited about this part of the trip and I should have followed her lead. The monument was remarkable to say the least. It was damn near jaw dropping. The faces themselves are 60 feet tall and carved out of solid granite. It took 100’s of workers 14 years to develop one man’s dream of a national monument that would last the test of time, far longer than any other man made structure in the great land. We not only checked out the monument itself but we also hiked the presidential train around the beautiful state park and took in a video about it’s creation which was very informative. All in all we were all extremely elated about visiting this national landmark.


 After snapping at least 100 pictures between the two cameras we were off on the arduous journey of exiting the state of South Dakota, driving through the state of Wyoming from top to bottom and then getting to Denver to spend the night. Again, I was not looking forward to the 7 and ½ hour drive that we had in front of us but once more I was surprised on this 6th day of our fantastic trip across this country. After several days of flat farmland and nothing to look at but corn, cows, and interstate Wyoming was a magnificent welcomed surprise. Towards the end of South Dakota the landscape suddenly changed from farmlands to what the state referred to as Bad Lands. I disagree with South Dakota on this one completely; this area offered such marvelous landscapes to digest while I guided faith westward. Just before leaving the state of South Dakota for the last time on our trip we stopped at the minuscule town of Edgemont. Shortly after the beginning of today’s expedition we became conscious that we were no longer on the normal tourist path and gas stations and rest stops were becoming more and more sparse so we pulled into a gas station and filled up. Across the street from the gas station we filled up at was a small general store that had a bathroom that we could use before we jumped back on the road. We hit the general store up and stocked up on drinks and beef jerky before piling back into our trusty rig.


While we were preparing to get back on the road a local approached us and started a conversation. I affectionately named this man Dakota and he looked like you would expect a resident of South Dakota would look like. Dakota talked to us for a little bit and we found out that he was originally from South Jersey and has lived all over the country in his long life time. It kind of upset me to think that my jaded Jersey attitude led me to believe that he was either going to ask for something or rob us when he approached but instead Dakota bullshitted with us for a little bit and offered us a map of South Dakota as a souvenir. It just goes to show you that not all people are bad just most of us from Jersey are. Following our conversation with Dakota, we were on our way. About 10 miles down to road we approached the State Line of South Dakota and Wyoming, which was designated as such by a small street named State Line St. and a tin sign welcoming us to Wyoming. As we came up to this small road side town we noticed small holes peppered throughout it. I instantly recognized these holes as bullet holes and we realized we were deep in the heart of Cowboy country. A little anxious about the next 330 miles or so we pushed on with reckless abandon.


As stated earlier although Wyoming had absolutely no attractions to be seen, it’s natural beauty and constant heavy doses of caffeine kept me driving for about 6 hours. The scenery was insanely diverse, from farmland, to step hills, to mountains, to rolling green hills, and back to farmland. I was amazed that one stated could house such breath taking landscapes. We spontaneously took pictures throughout the trip and loved every minute of driving through this country side. As we were taking pictures we knew that there was no way to capture the breath taking scenery that we were seeing with our minds eye first hand but we had to try. This leg of the trip may not have had as many road side attractions as the others but Wyoming solidified the justification for this trip in my mind, this country is so much more than Walmarts, McDonalds, Malls, and Bars. This state has burned so many images in my memory that I would never have seen if it was not for this trip. The moral of this blog is that Road Trippin’ is worth the price of admission.


We exited the state of Wyoming and entered the “Colorful State of Colorado.” Our final destination was Denver for the night but as driving through Colorado we saw a billboard for Cracker Barrel about 18 miles out of the city so we decided to stop and chow down on some yummy breakfast foods at 10 P.M. Unfortunately, Cracker Barrel was all sorts of closed so we settled for a Perkins which is pretty much a Dennys for you south Jersey readers or a Friendlys for all of you North Jersey follows. We got back on the road and headed South to Downtown Denver to the 3737 hotel to check in and try to get a Coors on draft in Colorado before we head back to the room for a well deserved night of sleep.


When we arrived at hotel 3737 we learned an important lesson. You get what you pay for, this hotel is in no way in Downtown Denver and it was absolutely not the best hotel we stayed at. It is all part of the adventure though, so we found a bar called Harvey Thunderbird Lounge which was a wonderful little dive bar where we had a Coors light and shot some pool before going to back to the hotel room.


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1 Comment

Reply Larry
1:06 PM on June 16, 2009 
Hey what's up guys? I was checking out your site and your photos look wonderful. I have always wanted to check out Mt. Rushmore and jazz in the Windy City. I will check in daily and I'm glad you're having a wonderful time. "Hi to Kat and Benni" and did you guys climb the Presidents' heads and get chased through a corn field by a prop plane yet? (if you don't get this ask Kat or Benni, he definitely should). I'll talk to you later and looking forward to hearing about the trip upon your return.

PS. It's official, Bk is mine. Her chip is registered under my name! Talk to you soon.