Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Badlands

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.


Scotty said...

I hear ya on the Dad relationship thing, Mary; remind me to tell you about my own one day...

Love the photos (especially 'The Wall' one) and look forward to seeing more.


Anonymous said...

Amazingly stunning photographs from your side of the world. Thank you so much.

Debby said...

Oh, I'm so glad that you've 'had the vacation of a lifetime'! Enjoy the trip home! Enjoy the welcome when you get there. Oh. And you might want to call the boy waiting at home sever times during the last leg of your trip, just to make sure that he's got time to adequately prepare for your arrival. It's just healthier for everyone that way. Sudden shocks are not good.


Big Plain V said...

Debby - you really made me laugh (I was once that boy).

Mary - it's a good thing you posted that last picture; I was starting to suspect that you were stealing the pictures from some tourism site.

Of course, now you need to prove that YOU were there.

Mary Paddock said...

Thanks everybody!

I'd love to hear about your Dad, Scotty. :)

Heh. Debby, I don't think the poor kid got any peace the entire time we were gone.

Ray--What the blurry, off center shots weren't enough by themselves?