Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vacation Recap

This is off topic of the zombie apocalypse, but I wanted to share a few pictures of my family's trip out west this summer.  This doesn't have much to do with the miniatures side of the blog, but I did see a few interesting sights that may be inspiring for scenery... 

In August, we traveled to Denver, Colorado to start our trip, and from there crossed Wyoming to Rapid City, South Dakota.  From there we traveled back across South Dakota and Minnesota to return home to Wisconsin.  We spent nearly a week on the trip (which was just under 3000 miles total distance) and saw some neat places.

Crossing Iowa, we did encounter a military convoy (the first of several on the trip) which can be a pain to deal with, or interesting to see military equipment in use.  At a random rest area in the middle of the state there was an interesting display of a blade from a wind mill/electrical generator.  This would be a bizarre landmark after the apocalypse...
Random rest area in Iowa, with a blade from a wind turbine
Side view of the bottom of the blade
Outside of Denver, I took a few pics from Lookout Mountain (is it a warning?) while a shower moved through.  Its a small mountain, but it feels like you can see forever...
Looking West/Northwest
Golden, Colorado - East of the mountain.
Those plateaus would make a good place to hold up from the zombie apocalypse...

 We went up Pikes Peak on the train, which is roughly a 3 hour round trip.  Pretty nice ride, you can hike or drive to the top as well as the train.  When we got the top, it was clouded over, so not as cool of a view as I had hoped...
Moving up the mountain
Just above the tree line, not quite to the top
Not the peak, but it looked cool
The old train station on the peak
Panorama of the only break in the cloud cover.  (Is that a bunker?)
 After our adventure in Colorado, we crossed Wyoming to South Dakota.  Along the way we stopped at a portion of the Oregon trail, where wagon ruts can still be seen. 
Wagon ruts along the Oregon Trail
Wyoming, near the Oregon Trail
Driving across Wyoming I had a moment where I thought I had crossed into the Sea of Grass of the Dothraki from Game of Thrones.  If you have never traveled the great plains, vast hardly describes it.  The fact that people crossed this in wagons and horses is amazing.
This seems to never end..
This went on for hundreds of miles.
We made our way to Devil's Tower that afternoon...

It looks fake!
 From there we crossed South Dakota, stopping at Wall Drug (a tourist trap, full of kitsch and western memorabilia, but a fun place to stop) and the Badlands.  The Badlands is definitely sci-fi or fantasy terrain.  Very cool if you get the chance to wander around.
Some sort of mutant land mount...
Is it planet K?
Desolate hardly describes it
Wouldn't want to get lost here
  Just outside the park, near a gas station/convenience store I found this (unfortunately closed for the day!):
Apparently I found a WMD site...
If it had been open...
 Crossing Minnesota I did have a brief encounter with a giant.  Turned out to be pretty friendly, even if he wasn't wearing pants...
Archeologists will have a field day some day...
An HO scale layout of the Green Giant processing plant.  Would have been a fun game board...
The rest of the trip was uneventful, and I didn't get any interesting pictures after Blue Earth.  I had hoped for pictures of the Mississippi crossing to use as a reference for my river crossing scenario, but traffic had a different plan.  In the end I settled for crossing and being glad to make it home.

Now to prepare for Zomtober!


  1. That was one helluva road-trip, great pictures !!

    1. Yeah, it was a long trip, by the end I was just glad to be getting home. I figured some of the pictures were at least a bit interesting.

  2. What a great country you live in. Thanks for the insight.

    1. Thanks Irqan! It's always amazing to me how much space is in the middle of the USA. The plains have an 'empty beauty' to them. When you can stop and not see any signs of others, you really feel alone.