Our Trip Out West 2005
This was a sad short trip
Aug. 3rd - Randy got us up at 3:15 AM. for us to leave for South Dakota and beyond. Around 12:18 PM we stopped for a sandwich in SD. At 2:00 PM we stopped at a wayside and our van had a bad squealing sound so we opened up the hood to see what was going on. To find out our air conditioning pump pulley had gone bad. So no more air till we could find out how much it would coast to get it fixed. After this point we had hit rain on and off till we got to Rapid City, SD. We went to find the cafe Millstone Family Restaurant where we was to meet up with Bob Morgan. It wasn't hard to find at all and when got there I gave Bob a call. Mary Kay answered the phone saying he was not back yet from the Dr. so she gave him the message for me that we was in town. We sat down and ordered coffee till Bob came. It wasn't to long and Bob and Mary Kay Morgan came in. We started to talk about rocks and collecting areas. We ordered our food and talked some more. Then Bob gave me a real nice Fairborn Agate and I gave Bob Thomsonite and a Geode from the Sheffler Geode Mine in MO that I had collected there. After we eat and talked for a while we said our good bye's and was on our way to check in at the Redwood Motel in Watsa, SD for the night.
Aug. 4th - Today is dad's 87th birthday (Happy Birthday dad) When we got up at 6:00 AM we went to Wall Drug for some coffee and grub. After looking around a bit we headed for the Bad Lands to see it again. Randy didn't see this since 1962 when we was last there as a family trip. At one place in there we seen a lot of the prairie Dog holes. The we was headed to Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park next. We seen buffalo and some deer in the Custer State Park. At Custer, SD there was a lot of bikes for this was the time of Sturgis bike really. We stopped in to a rock shop to see what they have but they was to high so we went on to CO. We took hwy 16 to hwy 85 in WY to I-25 to get to CO. We got in to Loveland, CO around 6:00 PM and found a restaurant too eat at. We had a great meal and coffee. We ended up at the Best Western Motel for the night.
Aug. 5th - We got early and had the breakfast that you get when have room there. At 7:30 we took off on Hwy 34 to Estes Park, CO. From here we took Hwy 7 down to the old mining towns of Black Hawk & Central City, CO. From hear we went on to Idaho Springs, CO and then to Leadville, CO. We stopped at the Mining Museum for a tour there. Boom days was going on there at the same time we got there so we didn't stay long fighting the crowd around there. We left there for the campground to see if we could exchange a day for we was in a day early. We got there at 2:30 PM MT. and the host said yes we could do that. After we got camp set up we went to the hot springs down the road to get some ice and bread. When we got back to camp it started to rain a little.
Aug. 6th - I got up early but I wish I didn't. I asked dad how he sleeped and he said he didn't sleep at all last night because he was having a hard time breathing up there at 9,700 feet. he said he want to go home so I decided to pack up camp to get him out the mountains. I told dad I want to stop in to the ghost town of St. Elmo first and go to the Rock Shop owned by a gal named Cindy that Jim Fetty told me about. So by 7:00 AM we had camp tore down and packed in to the van and off we was to St. Elmo. Un the way there we seen the road to MT. Antero and man when they say a 4x4 road they mean it. We got in to the town and man there where a lot of folks there with four wheelers. After I took some pictures for you all to see we was on our way out of Lost Canyon to go to the rock shop to meet Cindy. We got there early for she didn't open up till 9:00 AM so we decided to wait for her. Cindy finally came and opened up the shop. Cindy is real friendly. We talked for a while and Randy was busy looking at things (man she sure has a lot of goodies) I asked her if she had any facet grade gems from the area and she showed me the Aquamarines from MT. Antero that she had. So of coarse as long as I wasn't staying I decided to by some nice ones from here. I also bought a bag of gold dirt from Lost Canyon where we was staying. At 9:30 AM we said good by and I told her to tell Jim that I wouldn't be there. What a sad look I had on my face that morning. We headed for Hwy 24 to go to Colorado Springs for it was the fastest way out of the Mountains. on the way we stopped a gas station for a break and I got some buffalo jerky to chew on and to try and put a happy face on LOL.
I decided to drive strait throw to home. We stopped in Nebraska someplace for supper and man it was not the best food the prime rib was tough and dry. They gave us 30% off the meals. While we was eating they told every one that who ever was heading west might as well sit a spell for some poor biker lost his life on I-80. We seen a group of bikes going that way just a few miles before that. We stopped in Iowa for gas and as I was paying another guy was talking about the accident and come to find out he was at the same area as we was in Nathrop, CO LOL. We got home at 8:30 AM and unpacked the van. I didn't go to bed till 11:00 PM for we had family there visiting mom. All in all it was a nice trip, but to short. KOR