It was just a couple of days ago, or was it yesterday, that I was literally running through the streets of New Orleans to try to get to the Mississippi River for a clear view of some clouds I spotted while taking a walk near the French Quarter.
My inner-clock/calender may have popped a spring and needs some tending to.
Back to the Road Trip
The most direct route for us to get from Yellowstone to the wedding in Ohio would have been through the Eastern gate.
Mount Rushmore was sort of on the way.
A little to the north, maybe an extra couple of hours, tops.
But after taking the detour through Yellowstone, we really didn't have a minute to spare.
So we headed toward the Northern exit and buckled in for a long drive, through South Dakota towards one big granite carving.
There were amazing cloud formations along the route.
It's hard to get out of Yellowstone, around every turn, there is one more piece of amazingness.
There were cars pulled off to side of the road with there heads craned up looking at....
A Big Horn sheep.
Skye was saying how she which had seen one literally minutes prior.
Google maps had given me a time estimate that made visiting Mount Rushmore seem almost plausible.
However it was based on the crazy speed limits they have in states like Wyoming and South Dakota.
Limits I would usually bend or push, but not while pulling a trailer.
Also not at night on a road-way rich with deer, literally dying to become road kill.
You know the road is dangerous when you get a warning from the gas station attendant, which went something like, "You know you don't have to go as fast as the speed limit might be and you don't have to stay in the right hand lane when there's no one else on the road. If you know what I mean"
For several hours that night, Skye was on deer patrol and our speed was down to around 45 MPH in a 75 MPH zone.
We got to the hotel near the monument a little after 1 in the morning.
We needed to peel out early if we were going to see the rock and make it to the wedding.
5 o'clock in the morning came rather quickly, particularly since I hadn't changed my watch and 5:30 was really 6:30. OK, so we wouldn't be watching the sunrise quite like planned.
Actually we did make it to the monument before the sun broke the horizon
Jon Danniells September 6
Watching the sun come up on George, Thomas, Teddy and Abe; no one else around; beautiful, serene and surreal — with Skye Danniells at Mt. Rushmore- Black Hills SD.
Jon Danniells September 6 near Rapid Valley, SD
Last leg; 1200 miles, around 20 hours of driving not including pit-stops; wedding is at 11 am Saturday. Here we go!!!
Jon Danniells September 6 near Granada, MN via mobile
Since heading out from Oregon Tuesday night we've now logged 2000 miles, Only 770 till we get to the wedding. This has been an epic chapter of a road trip that started a couple of months ago in Baton Rouge
September 6 near French Island, WI via mobile
Crossed over The great Mississippi River into Wisconsin I get such great energy from that mighty ol' river
Jon Danniells September 7
We've arrived. We left Tuesday night drove 2757 miles, with side-trips to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore and have around an hour to get cleaned up for the wedding. I'm tired. — at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Ashland.
Skye took the following series of Mount Rushmore pics.
The last time I visited Mount Rushmore was just a few days after 9/11.
It was eerily quiet and empty. Not many people were traveling around the country at the time, imagine that.
At 6:30 am there were even fewer people. The park technically opens at 6 am, but none of the shops or service start up until 8 am.
It was magical and beautiful and awe-inspiring.
And then the park maintenance man rolled in and started up the leaf-blower.
Get Me to the Wedding
We would blast through several states, drive practically all night.
I had to put a bag of ice on my knee because it was aching so bad from being in a fixed position for so long.
But we made it to the wedding on time.
We pulled into the hotel parking lot with 45 minutes to go before the ceremony. Enough time for a quick shower but not for a nap.
I fell asleep a few times during the service and could only make it through around half an hour of the reception before I had Cindy cart me back to the hotel.
Some shots I managed to snap off before we hit the road.