A Travellerspoint blog

Mt Rushmore and the Black Hills

Mountain time is a killer

What should I do when I wake up at my normal time but it is 4:30 in the morning? You get up and take a long shower and then go for a long walk with your hubby and enjoy the higher elevation and the crisp, clean air! Then when everyone else wakes up you head to do something on your list of things you always wanted to see in person. We went to see Mount Rushmore today. One of those sites that are fun to go to once. Impressively big, a remarkable story on the history of why the four men were chosen, and unbelievable to see the way the sculpture was made using dynamite and little jack hammers. I loved walking up the Presidential Trail and seeing the views of the Black Hills plus of course the different views of the Rushmore.

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I liked the detail of the eyes! And here is one of my favorite pics of Karen and me.
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The view from the trail was so pretty.
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Here is my parting shot of Mt Rushmore from the Canadian side...
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We spent the next couple of hours walking around the little tourist trap, I mean town of Keystone. I especially enjoyed the chainsaw sculptures. Of course I needed to try them all.
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Kim was busy with the Rock guy. And I took time to rest with Honest Abe.
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Then we took the scenic road to Hill City where we were going to catch our train ride. We actually had a few sprinkles here but the guys tailgate anyways and we ate lunch at the depot. Our train ride was on an 1800 steam engine. It ran on oil not coal but still had some cool steam blasts and of course the whistle!
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Here are some pics from along the way.
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The trip home gave us a piece of a rainbow but no rain. Wynn grilled hamburgers for our dinner. He always grills on Father's Day so this was no different. Thank you kids back home in Ohio for calling him and making his day special!

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The bed is calling and day 2 is complete!
Goodnight!
Brenda

Posted by brendagerber07 20:11 Comments (1)

Go West, Gerber's 2017

First day-900 miles in the books

Back again for another adventure with Wynn and Brenda. This trip our traveling companions will be one of Wynn's brothers-Kim and his wife Karen. She was my college roomie back in the day. This will be our second road trip all together. ( our first was to Disney world back when our 33 year olds were around two years old. ) But I digress... Wynn and I drove to West Chicago on Friday night June the 16th. We packed up the van and were on the road at 6 am CST.
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We drove our Dodge caravan for the adventure and everything fit quite nicely! We had an aggressive goal of traveling to Rapid City, SD which was almost 900 miles of driving. We did famously!!
After leaving Illinois, we drove through three states to get to our destination.

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It took us several tries to get all the signs. Wynn thought we could doctor up that last picture, but we finally found the SD sign.
The country side seems so big and there were so many quick changes in the clouds/skies. The horizon seems so far away. Here are a few pics along the way.
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Since we made such good time, we decided to stop in the Badlands, which wasn't originally on our plan for the day. What a wonderful display of God's beauty and imagination. From the scenery to the sunset to the animals along the way. As Kim said, "He gave us quite a show today."
Seeing the Big horn sheep was the icing on the cake and the sunset was the cherry on top. I guess the buffalo at the end of the day was the whipped cream!
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We arrived back at our hotel after dark, ordered a pizza from Papa Johns and hit the sack.

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I didn't hear another sound until 5 am MT, which is my normal 7am wake up time in Ohio. Wynn and I took a long walk (3500 steps for our Dalad friends) until next time...
We are off to start another day

Posted by brendagerber07 06:39 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Over already??

Hello Y'all, ( must be picking up that southern talk)
We spent a quiet evening in the hotel after eating Colleen's delicious skillet lasagna. We finished off the sourdough bread from the French Camp as well. Watching the Cubs play and then hearing the entrance of the wedding party guests after 11 pm made for a quick night. But we were all up early and ready to ride. We packed the bags for the last time and drove the 45 minutes to the Trace entrance. We knew we could not ride the rest of the Trace and then still make an 8 hour drive home in a timely manner. So the group decided that we would drive the first miles on the Trace and then ride the last third. We picked up the Trace at mile marker 391. And we drove until marker 427.

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Wynn drove, I was copilot and the kids were in the back.

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Now ou must know that when I am SAG-ing by myself I pull off at almost every pullout and take pictures. But the first overlook I got about five seconds to jump out, take one pic and get back in before the van drove off without me. It's a pretty pic!

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The next stop was Jackson Falls and everyone did get out and make the steep climb down to the bottom of the falls. There wasn't much water coming down as it has been so dry here, but I still found it beautiful and loved the cave.

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We did see a deer bound across the road and we also saw several flocks of turkeys and a group of grouse. But the foliage is what caught my eye and I never tire of seeing the fields, the bridges and the trees.

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The guys started their ride at mile marker 427. There was a group of gals riding the southern direction and they told us that the road was very hilly and steep so we girls kinda got scared off from riding all of today. We decided to meet the guys on the other side of the Birdsong Bridge.

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The view from the bridge was beautiful. Somehow we all pictured the bridge being a bigger deal. But really the spectacular view of the bridge is from down below. The girls rode the last two miles to mile 440. It was nice to ride altogether one last time. When we reached the 440 mile marker, the guys surged ahead to the actual terminance of the Trace. The girls turned around and rode back to get the van. So we had four miles of very hilly road to ride. We looked good, if I do say so myself.

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Once we got to Hwy 100 the guys were gracious enough to direct us into the Loveless Cafe.

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The wait to eat was 1 hour and 40 minutes so the group decided to move on up the highway. We ate at a Wendy's instead...poor substitute for the breakfast we were all looking forward to! . But the trip has come to a successful end. 444 miles, 1flat tire and NO crashes!
Hope you enjoyed the ride from afar. Now we have the eight hour drive home from Nashville. I wonder what the next adventure will be for Wynn and Brenda. Time to start planning a new trip. My trip to Disney with Scott and Jenna and the girls next month will be a FB album, not in the blog because Wynn is staying home to work and take care of Sharia.

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(Thanks, Janis, for finding us these shirts way back in Natchez on the first day of this journey!)
Farewell, From Brenda and the ponies

Posted by brendagerber07 11:37 Comments (3)

Turkeys, Eagles and Fawns, O My

Boys only ride today

It is easy to tell that we have been riding 6 days in a row. How, you might ask? Because all the girls were in the van and all the boys were outside on their ponies - doing a 60 mile ride into a north wind on a hilly adventure. They still averaged 14.8 mph and all three of them completed the journey.
(with 1800 feet of climbing. Dan said it felt like 18,000) The wind was at least 15 mph and was gusting, especially when crossing the long bridge over the Tennessee River. The guys were feeling a bit goofy this morning for our daily start up pictures.

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Colleen did the driving on the SAG today and Evelyn and I did running commentary and took the pictures. I love seeing the low bridges along the way and also really like when we can get a close up of our guys on the bikes.

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The farther north we ride the more we see the foliage changing. The colors are starting to be more dominate and I constantly was telling Colleen to stop so I could get a shot of another pretty scene along the way.

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I do have to say that the restrooms along the way on the Trace are some of the nicest and cleanest that we have seen anywhere in our travels. Well maintained and always a welcomed sight!

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Typically we try to pull into a rest stop before the ponies get there and have the van set up so they can refill water bottles, get a banana or cliff bar if needed and then quickly get back on the road while we re-pack the van.

Today we got to cross the Tennessee River. The bridge was under repair, thus the orange barrels, and was down to one lane. Our poor cyclists couldn't get across the .8 mile structure before the light changed to allow the southbound traffic to begin. There were two cars behind our cyclists and it made quite the mess on the bridge. We were glad when everyone was safely across!

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We are always looking for wildlife as we drive through. Today we were fortunate to see a small fawn at the side of the road...no picture was taken in time. We also couldn't get the bald eagle that took off from a side field and soared into the sky over us. But we were able to stop in time to get a few shots of the wild turkeys.

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Whoops, how did those last two pictures get in this paragraph?? Anyway, today we finished the ride through Alabama and headed into our last state, Tennessee.

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Today we saw a lot of creeks and riverbanks. There were some really serene spots. I love the combo of running water and falling leaves.

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And as much as I love Sonic, this cup has no business here. I will say that for the most part, we have seen a very small amount of litter along the way.
We met some interesting folks along the way today. There was a group of seven riders from Idaho that was taking a tour together in honor of their SAG driver who couldn't ride this time because of his ALS. They were an animated group. (Probably thought the same thing about us.) We also saw some folks from NC and another couple of local riders out for a day ride.

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Once again here are a couple of pretty scenery shots at the end of the day. We ended at mile marker 386 today. The stopping point was at Meriwether Lewis memorial and the monument marking the Natchez Trace. A nice end to the ride today. Tomorrow is the anniversary of Meriwether's death.

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We had a 40 mile ride to our hotel today. We are staying at a Fairfield Inn on the west side of Columbia, TN. Today was a city wide and maybe even county wide garage sale and it took a very long time to get through the traffic. Thankfully there is a five mile closing on the Parkway so we will be taking a different way back to our starting point for tomorrow - our last day before driving back to home. Today was the last full day of riding. Tomorrow we need to finish the 8 hour drive home since we have those in our group that need to work on Monday morning. So, the decision has been made that we will drive part of the Trace and then ride the last 20-25 miles to the end of the 444 mile Parkway. More on that tomorrow...

Thanks for following along. I hope you got to see a little of the beauty and catch a small amount of the excitement we felt doing this journey together. Wynn and I are so thankful for this group of friends and fellow cyclists. God is good!
Brenda and the ponies

Posted by brendagerber07 16:21 Comments (4)

Alabama

Frank Lloyd Who??

Dear readers,
I have decided that my riding time is done until we all ride into Nashville together. It was very rewarding to ride the past five days, but I do not really want to slow everyone down on the long inclines promised tomorrow. Today we rode from mile marker 266 to mile 320. The ponies were restless to get out of the gate...but where is Greg? Bathroom again!

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Having had a good breakfast, we needed to drive about 20 miles to get back to the Tupelo Visitor Center. We started riding at 7:45 am and finished up at 12:30 pm. The team averaged 14.6 mph with several long inclines ( 1600 feet of climbing) . We rode across a long bridge and also though fields of cotton. Wynn actually met a car with one of our Ohio friends driving south on the Trace. (Randy and Susie Lane - hello!)
Today I am going to include a lot of pictures that I am going to label, "Scenes along the Trace."

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Was that too many pics? There are just so many beautiful scenes and these are just a taste of what you see. Quiet roads, wildlife, water, trees, grasses, caves, mounds and just peace! What a wonderful time of year. In another week, it is going to be bursting with color. But I am loving it anyways!

We ate lunch on the steps of the cave and then took pictures at the state line.

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Finishing up our trip for the day, we had to drive about 30 minutes to get to our hotel, A Hampton Inn and Suites in Florence, AL. We got into our rooms early and got cleaned up before heading out to tour a Frank Lloyd Wright House, the Rosenbaum House. It was all straight lines, so much wood and small, narrow doorways. It had fallen into disrepair as the Widow Rosenbaum grew older and fell behind on repairs. She gave it to the city of Florence as long as they would remodel it.

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After the tour of the home, everyone agreed that they were hungry. Wynn found a little place called The Pie Factory. We had three 16" inch pizzas, a meat lovers, a traditional pepperoni and sausage and an Italian favorite.

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We turned on the Indians and enjoyed seeing a four run lead before heading home to the hotel to watch the game together in the lobby. The evening will end shortly. We even saw a little schnauzer on our walk through the town.
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Wynn and I will head to Walmart to finish up the grocery runs! Of course we are all cheering on the Tribe and are excited to be up 2-0.

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So goodnight from Florence. Tomorrow we will enter Tennessee and the last miles of the Trace. I can't believe it is Friday night already. See ya tomorrow!!
Brenda and the ponies

Posted by brendagerber07 16:43 Comments (2)

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