Posted by: themonroefamily | June 29, 2010

From Here To Rapid City, SD

Well, truth be told, Riverton, Wyoming, is, um, nothing to write home about…but Michael did meet a wonderful Vietnam Vet that shared with him that the way to drive, the only way to drive, is through Big Horn Mountains on the way to Rapid City.  Thank you for your service, Hero.

Indeed, we are proud to be Americans...and very grateful, too.

After some hemming and hawing on Kelly’s part, it was decided that was the only way to go–WOW, it was spectacular, amazing and well worth doing!!

No sooner were we out of Dodge, err make that Riverton, than we came across an irresistable SUP’rtunity–we pulled off the road and began investing its possibilities.

Should we invite Vanna White to turn the letters of the sign for added interest!?

It all looked so inviting.....

Michael and Kelly took a close looksee at the lake…a bit muddy, but big and SUP’able just the same.  Michael tested the waters first.  There was a bit of a current, but nothing that would make you pause too much.  As you can imagine, SUP’ing can draw some attention from folks that have never seen such a ‘boat’…and sure enough some local folks arrived just in time to see Michael on the lake.

Michael's going for it, SUP carefully!

We had a wonderful convesation all about SUP’ing and the likes…and then we started talking about snakes..and it went down hill from there!  Turns out that rattlesnakes can and do swim, there were recent flooding (hence the muddy look to the water) and there was a reasonable chance that a snake may have made it into the lake—slam on the brakes, put the boards back on the truck….and move on!  Thanks, folks, for the good info…and the good question that must be asked in the future!

Naish was hea'--even if briefly...

“Alright, back to the task at hand, or wheel as the case may be here….let’s get back on the road and head into the Big Horns!” Michael called out.

Within minutes, the drive became beauuuuuutifulll and the click of the camera was on…

What's that about 1000 words, I'll stop at nine...

Sight seein' with Sgt. Urbanski, Can-Do and Cpt. Camel.

All aboard's that's comin' a board--Big Horn Mountain Pass

Doesn't nature have an ideal way of pulling together so many colors?

The panoramic view of the scenic outlook...

Ten Sleep is a facinating 'lil town with a unique story.

Ten Sleep (Kelly kept on calling it ten sheep…) is a facinating ‘lil town with a great story…and a great sign.  It was a nice stopping point on our travels over the Big Horns…and we got to see Big Horn Sheep up close and personal behnd the fence at a farm along the side of the road (yep, those same sheep we stopped at “look outs” to see ’em…and never did see anything of the likes!)

Driving, driving, driving…clouds forming all behind us, getting gray, make that dark gray in the background….

It's all down hill from here, right?

As we worked out way down the “hill”, it was amazing.

More unique perspectives....

The clouds were Kelly.

Well, when Kelly saw that we were to go through Buffalo, WY, she knew that the WY postcards must have a postmark from there!!

Buffalo, WY...a photo op Kelly couldn't resist.

As we entered the town, we were blessed to see this sign.  We are eager to be able to make a special card for Sgt. Urbanski upon his real return from A’stan.

We look forward to sending to our Sgt. Urbanski--Stay safe, John.

Welcome Home, Heroes!

As we traveled along, the clouds seemed to be building as quickly as can be…inside of a 20 minute meal stop, the clouds trippled in size–that’s something in California that we don’t experience.  At one point, we were “surrounded” by these big ‘ole clouds filled with rain and thunder and lightening.  It was quite ominous, a bit scary and a challenge to drive through.

From Michael's driver's side window...

From Kelly's passenger window.....

From the you get the idea that we're surrounded??

The pitter patter of buckets of rain eventually slowed to a dull drizzle and we safely made our way to Rapid City,  South Dakota.

Here’s a slide show of all of the photos from this day:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tomorrow:  Mt. Rushmore and beyond!!



  1. WOW, you made me cry with that Welcome Home sign and your wonderful words for John. I can’t tell you how deeply you touch our lives by including us in so much. You truly are our friends, our angels but most of all OUR FAMILY!!!

    • Regina, this is one of those pics that I wanted to share with you but keep as a surprise for John for when he comes home, I’m more torn about telling him now…but if you think it would bouy his spirits, then it’s all worth it. Whatcha’ think?

      Love, K

  2. I think with the way things have been over there, he could really use it.! (We won’t fill him in on the “rest of the mission”). 😉

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