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What can I say? This is Montana. The beauty is ridiculous, isn't it?

More of the same...

Hungry Bear Cafe...two old coots on the right, talking '32 makes and models...

and the "world's best" banana cream pie.

A mine shut down in '43, after 74 men died down below
in an explosion and fire.

The main drag in Red Lodge, Mt.,and Indian Joes, where you can buy skulls and horns, etc.

Fly-fishing in Yellowstone National Park

Bison in the distance out in the park, and up close at the hotel.

The natural wonder of Mammoth Hot Springs

Mineral deposits

Old Faithful from a front row seat, and the satisfied audience.

The cigarette after... (but, actually the streaming
mineral water is pretty, though the crowd is gone.)

10 p.m. outside the Old Faithful Inn, geysers steaming in the distance, and one up close.

An enduring mountain image - Pilot Peak.


What Mount Rushmore would look like in the raw.

Wildflowers and a lake at 9,000 feet in the Bighorn Mountains, Wy.

Also, at 9-10,000 feet it seemed like a good idea to hike up this dirt road to the snow,
but at an altitude we weren't accustomed to our lungs balked and we raced down.

The snow looked like sand traps - BIG sand traps.

Once again, awesome views. Wildflowers on high, and the valley toward Cody.

But you don't come to Cody for the views;
you come to Cody for the cowboys. Sigh.

These boys were among the stars of the rodeo. And a cowgirl, too.

We thought we'd be put off, but the rodeo was actually entertaining
and fun, and like watching skilled athletes in any sport. However...

The flag tribute was appropriate and fundamental

but having the chief of staff of the Army induct ten
new soldiers to "fight for our freedom" was, well, uncomfortable.

Army recruitment station, but no line, even with
free water bottles.

How to wear a pair of jeans.

Rodeo fans.

College student Steve from Klamath Falls, Or., at the candy store, on the left, who said
he yearns to be in the east, "you know, traffic, bad driving."
and "Bruce Willis" and his baby girl at the book store.

I tried on a pair of leopard cowboy boots. The sales lady
said the easiest way to get them on was with plastic bags over my stocking feet!


Goodbye South Dakota,
Hello Wyoming

Devil's Tower, Wy., from many miles away, and then at its base.

Spen, but no alien landing base; if you look closely at the right side of the rock face you will
notice bug-size humans on a climb.

Adorable brown ball of fluff.

Racing the train to the crossing (just kidding); Gillette, Wy., at 1:30 Sunday afternoon.

The Belle Fourche River on the left, prairie grass on the right.

Boots for all the little cowgirls.

Got the shirt, but refused the hat. (nor was he too crazy about posing for this picture). This young
woman on the right gave us good advice about dinner - the historic Sheridan Inn,
and Buffalo Bill's home, below:

The busiest part of town, which is why I
got shooed off right after taking this pic.
The trains
can be heard from one end of Sheridan to the other.


Rapid City - Telly's for breakfast: the room, Mary the waitress,
with Reagan standing watch outside.

Morning at the Alex Johnson Hotel

Lovely ceiling at Alex Johnson Hotel; curious detail inside chandelier.

Roaming Custer National Park, baby burrows and big horn sheep.

Another approaching storm, with the back edge of same from underneath.

The great American two-lane road.

Earlier, in Black Hills National Forest, truck driver goes right off the side of the road.

Deadwood, late afternoon.

Big Al's, one of a dozen gambling saloons in Deadwood. This cowboy sang salty lyrics, but what's
with the smiley face?

A very cold, very tasty, rose and lime martini at Kevin Costner's restaurant, Jakes.
I assured Spen I would have only one.

On the left, The Mint, famouse for housing John Wayne's truck. On the right, The Bullock. Duh.


The long and (not) winding Iowa road, and a nearby view.

Site of our lunch in Sioux City, Ia., and Spencer's (insides) undoing,

but the view of ancient prairie from Stone National Park was lovely.

Crossing the wide Missouri, and finding completely new terrain on the other side.

Spencer and "Doc" Farber on the campus of U. South Dakota in Vermillion.

Local color. They don't have to wear helmets; explains a lot.

The endless grasslands, and the approaching storm as we head toward Rapid City, SD. (plus dead bugs on windshield)

Midnight, Alex Johnson Hotel; exhausted, pizza, sleep for Spen, diary for me.



On the left we arrive in Dixon, Il, on the right Spencer sits on Ronald Reagan's front steps.

On the left is the "Truckomat," obviously; the middle is the open road, and the right is some of the road warriors ar rest.

Two faces of Perry, Ia - the old and the new.

The front desk at the Hotel Pattee, and one view of the "Africa" room.

Dinner at David's Milwaukee Diner.

Essential Perry, Iowa, at sunset.

Perry in the morning. The hotel front on the left, and rush hour on the right.


Segway lessons (Spencer on left) and a self portrait, in the mirrored window of a museum, before the tour began.

Recovering from a Segway ride; the outside of famed Billy Goat Tavern under Michigan Ave; the menu at Billy goat

Our "cheezeborger" chef at Billy Goat, coming soon to Bethesda, Md.

Some bad luck with our rental outside the Museum of Contemporary Art...

Two views of the Chicago beach at Lake Michigan; both reminded us of a little bit of Nantucket ...

The very popular "American Girl Place," a mecca for girls. Feeling frisky,
I went in and asked, "where's the American Boy place," and the clerk,
straightfaced, said, "Around the corner and down the block. It's called

The chefs at work in Charlie Trotter's relatively small kitchen. Nonetheless, they get it done. Need sauce pans?

A morning view of Lake Michigan, and the view west toward Iowa, the Dakotas and beyond.