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|
|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!