"the nicest and the sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple pleasure, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Thursday, October 24, 2013

lost in translation...so to speak...

before I continue to bore you all to death with the adventures of my vacation I must comment on something that was said privately to me.  I was asked in astonishment by a friend, when telling about our trip, "don't you people listen to the radio or read a newspaper?  How could you not know about the shutdown."  In my defense, and apparently I need one, YES we do and YES we knew about the shutdown and as soon as we heard it was a possibility we contacted the National Park Service with our concerns.  We were told "it's only rumour at this point," then "we can't shut down thousands of acres of parkland," and also, "some monuments may close but otherwise things will proceed as normal."  So we decided that since this was our 60/40 trip and had been planned for quite some time that we would go.  After all there is still a lot of country to see right?  Did we have the vacation that we had planned; no.  Did we see the things we had hoped to; no.  Did we have a great adventure; absolutely.

After we left Mt. Rushmore we kept on the road through the park, each time we came to a roadblock we would turn another way and go as far as we could before being stopped.  Eventually we got lost and saw absolutely no one for hours, no roadblocks, no other cars, just us in the wilderness and all it's glory.  I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story;

the bison was casually walking down the street as we came around a corner, we stopped, he didn't and walked right into our car before passing mere inches on the driver's side.  We saw wild turkeys, deer, antelope, and more bison.  It was an amazing spectacle of nature.  They were not afraid of us at all although we did not get out of the car or open the windows.  Simply beautiful and something we would not have seen if we had stayed our course.  The fall flora was not as colourful as I had imagined but the plains were beautiful.
As dusk fell we came across an intersection that looked like it might be a major through way.  We finally made our way back to town, hit the last restaurant open (ten minutes before closing a 8pm) and back to our hotel.  It was a long day and we were anxious to shower and get organized for the next day.  I quickly showered and within ten minutes of finishing up the t.v. went out.  We could hear the winds picking up and knew that the temps had been dropping.  Within the next few minutes the power went out.  We expected there would be some back-up power with some lights coming on but it didn't happen.  It was dark, darker than dark, and cold so we crawled into bed and waited for morning.


  1. Joanne, these are THE BEST vacations!! The ones not planned to death and restricted to 'the plan......at least as far as we are concerned. You are correct, look at what you saw because the parks were closed. And when the power went out......what more could you ask for to test your 'metal'?! See, you are stronger than you thought. Great photos....imagine seeing these on the highway/road? Great.

  2. Sorry you had to justify your trip to someone. But wow. How lucky that they had put in so many roadblocks. You got some great pictures and wonderful memories!
    I am really surprised that the hotel didn't have any emergency lighting. I hope they gave you a credit of some sort.
    *hugs* and have a wonderful Friday. ♥

  3. WHAT an adventure, Joanne! WOW- I love that you just took off and did your own thing. I do think those are some of the best memory makers in the world. I bet it was kind of weird in a strange place with no lights- xo Diana

    ps- I knew you read the newspapers and watched the news....lol

  4. You took some cool pix and had a fun adventure...nothing a tour guide could have planned! This is like reading an adventure novel and I can't wait to read the next chapter! Scary story for Halloween! Love it!

  5. I was loving the pictures, hanging in there with you, thinking how lovely to have a late supper and a hot shower. When the TV went out, I thought Yahoo, she'll either get some extra sleep or have fun playing cribbage with her hubby...or other things. Then you spoiled it all with that dreadful four-letter word...cold. I hope you had a nice warm comforter and some flannel p.j.'s.

  6. A cliff-hanger of a story ! You and my sister took off around the same time, for the same destination, they took their time and visited what appealed to them but found out the government shutdown did change some of the things they wanted to do. But they had a good time and an adventure, kind of like yours. ( no power outages though )

  7. I just read of your ADVENTURE....sometimes the unexpected does make for the best memories in the end...

  8. What an end to a fairly decent, not too bad day. Did you get your hair dried before the lights went out? Hope so. Nothing like wet, cold hair. This is probably not funny considering the temperature probably dropped below freezing. Sorry.


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