Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Buffalo and Jewels

Sunday: The campfire ripped and roared from 9:30am to 6:30pm. We clambered on rocks and hiked in the woods of Orville campground in Black Hills National Forest. We read and we wrote and we ate.

Monday: We slept in 90 minutes past the 4:45am MST alarm to wake us up to go to Custer State Park for the Buffalo Round-Up. The camp host had advised us we'd better get an early start to beat the crowd of 10,000 that show up annually. He also informed us that this was the same buffalo round-up that was filmed for the movie "Dances With Wolves". It turns out it was a good thing we slept in. Had we arrived earlier, we would have had to wait even longer than the three hours we stood in a field surrounded by buffalo chips (poop, that is) before any buffalo appeared at 9:30am. The whole demonstration was mediocre at best. We did get to see a few hundred buffalo and a few dozen cowboys from a few hundred yards away. One man behind me exclaimed after the fifteen-minute show "We traveled 2,000 miles for that?" My thoughts exactly. At least it was the perfect opportunity to don my (Chris' actually) sweet suede cowgirl (cowboy) hat. On the drive out of the park we were able to see a few buffalo up close grazing near the edge of the road. [Chris' note: "I thought it was pretty cool to see the hundred of buffalo charge down the hill and through the valley."]

After buffalo come jewels. Actually just shiny, pointy calcite deposits covering cave walls 379 feet underground. After exactly 19 consecutive phone calls to the reservation department, we purchased two tickets to take an 80-minute tour of the shiny guts of the South Dakota. Jewel Cave National Monument is the second longest cave in the world and remains a steady 49 degree Fahrenheit year-round. One fun fact our tour group learned is that Jewel Cave smells just like burning wood! Several people throughout the tour remarked on the unusual barbeque or campfire smell apparent in the cave. Chris and I laughed as we bashfully admitted it was surely the campfire odor we carried in our hair and clothes. However, for the other people who didn't ask, I'm sure they'll be telling their friends how strange it was that the cave smelled so much like a barbeque.

After Jewel Cave, the Dod escorted us out of South Dakota (it's been real, SD) and into Nebraska. We quickly discovered that our constant companion The Atlas is missing pages 135-150 inconveniently leaving out most of NE, all of NV, NH, NJ, NM and some of NY. Fortunately, we had just enough of the Nebraska map to direct us to Wildcat State Park (Me-ow!!) The wind was a-roarin' and there wasn't another tent or RV to be found. So, we opted to stay indoors and cook a feast of a fajita dinner complete with avocados, fresh tomatoes and chipotle cheese. Ole!

Tuesday: Woke up around 8:30am to another brisk day. If the wind doesn't wake you up, a quick knife-jab in the hand will. (These bandages sure are coming in handy, BFFs. Today's bandage, alligator-themed!) Chris cooked a delicious sausage and pepper frittata for breakfast, then we were on our way for an errand-filled day in Scottsbluff, NE. First stop, windshield wipers. The ground wire for the wipers' motor was rusted out so we had it replaced by a SBF (silent but friendly) mechanic. Next stop, laundry. Quick Tip: Laundromats are the perfect charging stations. We plugged in our laptops, DS, cell phones and camera while we attempted to wash the campfire smoke out of our clothes. Six loads, twenty quarters later we were finished and on the way to give the Dod her first real car wash. She appreciated us brushing her grill and getting out all those flies, moths and butterflies she's been eating.

Scott's Bluff
Laundromat / Charging Station

After a quick stop at for lunch we headed down through Nevada, took a quick trek through Wyoming and found ourselves in colorful Colorado. My unaccustomed midwesterner eyes look at distant mountain peaks and see clouds.

Well, here we are at Wal-Mart once again. We had to take a picture of the Dod in this parking lot. One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong... Can you tell which one?

Thank you to everyone who has left us a comment or sent us a email. We love hearing from you. If you have a chance, send us a message or post a comment.

Love from the Dod


  1. Chipotle cheese sounds disgusting... I hate chipotle.

  2. Those bandaids definitely came in handy when I sliced my finger taking a drunk shower at Devil's Lake as well!!!! Miss you guys!

  3. Hey there Traveling Love Buggs,

    I love your photo's and your excitement and your love of life! The photo's are wonderful and I feel like I'm right there with you when I read your posts! I love it!!!!!
    Missing you both!
    Aunt, Kiki xoxo Meow-Meow...

  4. Happy October!
    Just thinking about you today.
    Can't wait for the next post!
    xoxo Love ya, love ya, love ya! xoxo
    Aunt, Kiki

  5. Love your pictures! The commentaries are great.|
    The Dod is sooo cute.

    miss ya