I'm writing this from a Super 8 in Cody, Wyoming. Gary and I splurged and put the boys in a separate motel room just for tonight. We figure we deserve a small break.
It's been a long week and I will never forget my Dad's generous gift to our family. He and my stepmother worked over time to be good hosts and show us a good time and because of them my children have had the vacation of a lifetime. However, Dad is still Dad and when we left today a huge throbbing migraine that had plagued me for two days began to fade and tears, and a mixture of relief and grief for all that my relationship with my father isn't ever going to be, set in. More on that in another entry.
I wish pictures could do justice to all that we've seen over the last six days. No matter how many times I clicked, no matter how I held the camera, zoomed in or out, I simply could not do justice to the beauty. Every curve, every rise, every rock, every snowy peak, each formation, produced another "Wowwww!" and another pause along the roadway to snap more pictures.
On the first day we traveled up the state line between Nebraska and Iowa. Though it was really the shortest part of the trip, it seemed to drag on forever as there was little to look at outside of cornfields. In fact, after about four hours of this, my youngest said in an awed voice, "Man! The people up here must really like corn a lot." After a hearty laugh, we explained that Nebraska was known as the corn huskers' state and that they grow most of our nation's corn crop.
Needless to say we were more than a little grateful for the change in terrain brought by South Dakota. Especially the Badlands. Most ESPECIALLY the Badlands.
We were so distracted by them that we arrived at my Dad's place six hours later than we planned to be. A detour through the rock formations turned out to be far more consuming than we expected to be.
I suspect modern art was heavily influenced by these. This one is called the Wall. (A nearby town was named for this one).
And of course, to prove we were there, here are three Paddock boys.
Tomorrow, if I can get to a motel with wireless internet, our first view of the Rockies.