My close encounter with Devils Tower

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The first National Monument. Devils Tower.

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Devils Tower, WY

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In the Driftless Region..

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_IGP6252_4694 Hiking the one of the trails at Pikes Peak State Park in Iowa

When Zebulon Pike arrived here in 1805, sent by the U.S. Government after the Louisiana Purchase in search of strategically valuable locations for military posts, he advised that this area was a prime location for a military fort. In the end, the fort ended up in Prairie du Chien. I guess the government thought it would be a little easier to build a fort on prarie lands, rather than these bluffs 500 feet above the Mississippi River.

I think my daughter would agree with them. When I asked her if she was emjoying the hike, she answered unequivocally that she absolutely hates hiking. We hiked along a trail that features sculpted mounds that were created by Native Americans between 800 and 1200 C.E. These are known as effigy mounds, and are said to have been formed in…

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Pikes Peak State Park

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On the travelogue…

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Our daughter’s Aunt lives in La Crosse, Wisconsin, but her boyfriend lives up in De Soto, near his family’s  homestead along the Mississippi River.. After a long day of touring landfills and fish hatcheries, we ate some dinner and headed over to his parents place. While we were there we went down to the barn and visited with Sunny, their horse. This horse is seventeen years old if I remember right. I need to get in the habit of taking better notes. I’m real loosey-goosey like that. An absent-minded blunderer. I don’t know what breed of horse it is, or even if it’s male or female. I do know that whenever Mrs. Kumlin scratched Sunny just right, the horse made these Mr. Ed-esque movements with its mouth that were  hilarious to watch. Penny was cracking up. There might not be anything better than listening to your child laugh hysterically. Those…

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Sunny in De Soto, Wisconsin

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The Pop top Tour made a stop in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

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Here is a look at what we did with Aunt Jackie in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

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La Crosse, WI

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On to the next chapter of our lives. Check out my travel blog. I promise I will show you the good things about this country. Maybe some of the bad too.

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Tonight I left my camera charger in the van. It was hot today, I was tired, frustrated that I’d been so absent-minded (like I always am), I sulked out to the car festering in my self loathing and disappointed self, stuck the key in the lock and popped the door open and voila! Let there be light!

I instantly felt a deep appreciation for my family who have given so much of their time and thought to my family’s existence. We chose this life, we took this risk, we stuck our necks out and went for it, and fell flat on our face right out of the gate.

We’ve spent the last two months healing and moving between houses and working on the van. When that light popped on, it dawned on me just how much love went into this VW . I was frustrated, then I saw the light…

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Thank You, Now Let’s Get on With This.

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I am not normal. My family supports my adverse reaction to the status quo. That’s why we are embarking on this journey. I’m scared to say that we’re getting ready to start, because I don’t want to jinx it. Every time I think we are about to get going, something goes wrong.

The most recent issue turned out to be that we ordered the wrong replacement canvas for Betty. Turns out our 1982 Vanagon has a top from a 1985 or later version. A simple glance at the top before we ordered it and we could have avoided this latest delay. That seems to be the theme of this trip though, a constant test of patience. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

It’s better than the alternative I suppose. The boring everyday routine. Our lives as a family unit have been hard lately, but not even close to boring…

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Bring on the Road

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Prepping for The Pop Top Tour

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We spent some time with Betty recently to see the progress being made on the van and participate in some of the tear down. I cut the old ratty canvas from 1982 off the pop top, helped Dad while he got the top realigned, and basically watched the real mechanics do their job. When it comes to working on my own vehicle, I am about as boot as they come.

The say Forest City got its name from the dense forest that used to cover the area. The last census, performed in 2010, listed the population as 268. A man by the name of Joe Baldwin founded the town in 1857, before the Missouri river changed course and turned westward. Forest City was a popular shipping center along the Missouri before that, but when the river altered its course it left the town two-and-a-half miles inland.  Between 1861 and 1867 this…

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Scenes from Forest City

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