June 30, 2014

First part of our trip--Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado

We are on a roadtrip! A wide ranging one to see lots of family. We set out Friday evening a week and half ago, drove all night (I drove 12 straight hours. I am terribly proud of myself. I also wore very geeky night vision glasses that reduce glare. Justin fell in love all over again. They were an impulse buy at Wal-mart, as I went through the "As seen on TV" checkout aisle. And I tell you this, sacrificing any chance of you thinking I have a teeny tiny bit of style or hipness because they really seemed to help.) On Saturday night, we stopped at Jenette and Leroy Forsbergs to spend the night with my cousin, JoAnna and her companion, Shari Connelly. Then meeting the next meeting at the other Forsbergs, a lovely potluck,  and on our way again, through South Dakota, stopping for a quick supper with Livie on her way back from Hermosa. A night in Rapid City, then a quick drive by Mt. Rushmore the next morning and down through Wyoming to Justin's sister Loy's in Northwest Colorado. From Loy's, we headed west to Las Vegas, which will be a different post. 

We are now in Colorado, where we will hang out for a week. 

And now, a lot of pictures. 

Chicago was really foggy.

Wisconsin and Minnesota farmland seemed even more lovely after a traffic jam in foggy Chicago

Elsie and a wipe. 
Wipes are a really cheap amusement for kids. Washing their faces and hands, washing their dolls face, washing rocks, washing.... anything. 

Busy kids

Elsie fell in love with this little book. We have it hanging around at home, but somehow it is more fascinating when you are cooped up in a car. 

This has been a really wet year, so we saw a lot of farms with corn/crops under water. 

Country intersection

After meeting with the dog

JoAnna and us


Forsberg Farm corn statue

Stratton and Gilbert

JoAnna and Shari

Leroy and Jenette

We had such a nice time with them all!

Katy and Carson Forsberg. With Stratton and Safia. 
Safia was not too thrilled with the picture idea.

Loren and Karen Forsberg 


I have always thought the you had to have hills to have a beautiful landscape, but it was pretty beautiful. 

A sculpture park of some sort that we zoomed by on the interstate


Yellow clover was everywhere in South Dakota

A teepee at a gas station near the Badlands

Subway stop with Livie. The kids were thrilled to see her. 

Jody and Maria, the girls Livie went to Hermosa with. 

Running around Subway's lawn. 

The beginning of the Badlands.

We were planning on driving through the Badlands, but it was approaching dusk, the kids were fussy, and it didn't seem worth the $15 to make our drive 45 minutes longer. Now, of course, we wish we had. 

This is a picture of the torture I inflict on my family. "Yes! Let's get out and do a picture in front of Mt. Rushmore!" And it was before 7 in the morning, the grass was wet, it was cold. Poor things. Here was another cheap-o moment. We had an eight hour drive ahead of us and needed to get going, so we didn't pay the $11 to park at Mt. Rushmore, which gets you a little closer to the heads. Personally, I didn't find Mt. Rushmore as impressive as I thought I would. I mean it is incredible that people could do that to rock, but I just had it bigger in my head somehow. So it was a little underwhelming. (I know! Practically un-American of me. Don't tell anyone.)

Not sure it was worth the cold, the wet, and the morningness. But at least we have a picture in front of Mt. Rushmore. Even if it involves a lot of parking signs. 

But the Black Hills area! Oh my. Gorgeous. Wish we had more time there. 

The profile view. Pretty neat.

A wildflower. A penstemon I believe.

The dirt was so red. 

Some tired kiddos

A really awesome bush, but I don't know what it is. I am not sure if the pink is petal or leaf. 

And then there were these turquoise beetles on it

I really don't know what it is. I have tried googling it, but haven't figured it out yet. 

Sky, sky, and more sky

At Aunt Loy's! Finally!

Walking around

It is really beautiful up there!

Loy got out lots of kids books

Miles and Justin talking

The kids with Reba and Zorro

Morning cuddles

The kids loved all of Miles' trophies

Driving through Utah

A little of Arizona

And some Nevada