Our Wild West Adventure



Friday July 21, 1989

Left Greenfield at 4:15 pm. After 1 year of planning. We’re on our way!



Saturday July 22

Breakfast at McDonald’s after driving all night. Souvenirs at Old West Museum in Chamberlin, S.D. Bought Mike a Black Onyx and Turquoise ring.

Visited Wall Drugs in Wall, S.D.

Arrived at Spokane Creek Resort campground at 4:15pm; wooded lot with lots of Black powdery soil.


Sunday July 23

Visited Deadwood, S.D. Bought Eric a ring, Bob a belt and a book on “Wild West” people. Ate lunch at Saloon # 10 where Wild Bill Hickock was shot.

Toured Big Thunder Gold Mine, chiseled for Gold Ore in mine and panned for gold after tour.

Visited Mt. Rushmore & took lots of pictures – AWSOME!

Beautiful drive through the Black Hills on narrow, 2 line highways and through beautiful stone tunnels. Nice view of Mt. Rushmore through a tunnel.

Bob, Mike & Eric hiked up “hill” at campground for wonderful view of Badlands, Black Hills & Mt. Rushmore – too steep & rough to go back at dawn for sunrise photo!

Played putt-putt at campground, showered and to bed at 10:30 pm.




 Monday July 24

Up at 5:15 to load up and head to Cody, WY. Breakfast at Sturgis, S.D. Entered WY at 9:00 am, Mt. time. Drove through Big Horn Mts. via  Power River Pass (elev. 9666). Picnic lunch along roadside while waiting for van engine to cool!

BEAUTIFUL scenery!

Arrived at Yellowstone Valley Inn campground at 5:00 pm. Our campground is nestled in the Absaroka mountain range, providing a 360 degree panoramic view of God’s beauty for us. The sunset was gorgeous.


Tuesday July 25

Slept in. To Yellowstone via East Entrance. Saw Bull Moose, pronghorn, bison, cutthroat trout, chipmunk, elk, mule deer & darling yellowbelly marmots. Threw snowballs!

Lunch at rustic Lake Lodge with a large picture window overlooking beautiful Yellowstone Lake. Would love to spend a week at this lodge. Bison grazing in the front yard!

Enjoyed Old Faithful and other geysers & pools. Enjoyed the vast beauty of the park and felt sadness for the huge areas of burned and charred trees and grounds, mostly on the west and south sides. Saw whole herd of bison settled down for the night.

Back to the campground at 10:45 – a full day!



Wednesday July 26

Packed up and off to Yellowstone at 8:15 am. Saw bison & elk grazing together – lots of sage brush in plains areas. One huge bison walked right in front of our van --- hopefully a great picture!

Saw Black bear but unable to get picture due to the forest ranger moving traffic! Saw several herds of bison, elk & moose.

Lunch at Canyon Lodge.

Absolutely breath-taking scenery!

Visited Mammoth Hot Springs – awesome! Have now driven 2112 miles!

Saw loggers cutting burned trees & placing them to help control erosion. Mudslide near West Entrance.

Entered Montana via West Entrance at 5:22 pm. camped at Rustic Campground, West Yellowstone MT. Bought Mike a “Charred Rock Café” tee shirt. Purchased book on Yellowstone Fires of 1988.





Thursday July 27

Left campground at 8:10 am on way to Salt Lake City. Entered Idaho at 8:20 am via Highway 20; much flatter terrain.

Boys are traveling well today – busily drawing.

Lunch at Shakey’s Pizza, Pocatello, ID Entered Utah at 1:44 pm.

Camping at lagoon Pioneer Village & Amusement Park, north of Salt Lake City for 2 nights. Good place for R&R – park is smaller than King’s Island so boys went alone this afternoon and Bob & I joined after supper.


Friday July 28

Slept in today. Need to do Laundry – drove into 2 small towns but no Laundromats in either! Doing laundry at campground with only 1 dryer! Drove into Salt Lake City and ate lunch at McDonald’s (no McRibb sandwiches yet!) Took a walking tour through Temple Square – beautiful & very thought provoking.

Drove out to the Great Salt Lake Beach but no swimming or wading --- water level quite low, smelly & yucky beach.

Played Monopoly after supper.



Saturday July 29

Left campground at 5:30 am. Drove through salt flats & Great Salt Lake.

Desert --- very flat with few towns or gas stations along the way. On Pacific Time after entering Nevada.

Lunch (breakfast food) at Battle Mt, NV.

Arrived at Reno Bally’s campground at 3:00 pm. Wonderful dinner at Jeremiah’s Steak House. Took boys to see casino; they could be on outer level. Gave them money for video games while Bob & I toured the casino – lost 25 cents.


Sunday July 30

Left campground at 7:30 am. Arrived in California at 8:02 am Pacific time.

Lunch at “The Shack” 3257.8 miles so far!

Drove to Eureka via Hwy 299 – beautiful scenery – mountains & evergreen trees.

Arrived at Ebb Tide campground at 4:30 pm.


Monday July 31

Slept in; leisurely breakfast then headed south. Drove through Avenue of the Giants redwoods; picnicked & souvenirs.

Bob, Mike & Eric collected redwood walking sticks in the forest. Camped at Hidden Springs of Humboldt State Park. Beautiful spot among the redwoods.



Tuesday August 1

Left campground at 8:06 am to head south toward San Francisco. Saw the Chandelier tree at Leggett. Couldn’t drive van and trailer through but saw cars drive through. Doe and fawn ran across Hwy 1 in front of van. Saw the Pacific Ocean at 10:55 am.

Lunch at Chez Café in Ft. Bragg. Waded in Pacific Ocean.

Crossed Golden Gate Bridge at 5:14 pm. Arrived at the Landis’ (Bob’s sister and brother in law’s house) at 6:50 pm.



Wednesday August 2

Drove into San Francisco for the day. Rode the cable car; walked through Chinatown. Walked down Lombard St. – the crookedest street in the world.

Lunch at Bobby Ricardo’s. Walked along Fisherman’s Wharf. Toured Hyde Park fishing museum. Saw street juggler; had boys caricatures done. Lyn and Terry took us to an Oakland A’s game; A’s won 2-0.





Thursday August 3

Leisurely morning. New front brakes on the van.

Boys off to beach with Adam and Jay. Lunch at El Burrow.


Friday August 4

Left Fremont, CA at 7:50 am via Hwy 101. Lunch at Chinese restaurant. Went to beach at Santa Barbara. Entered Los Angeles at 4:50 pm – rush hour traffic again!

Arrived at campground at 7:15pm – well out of town & a dusty, yucky place! $20 for nearling nothing! Called KOA to stay tomorrow!


Saturday August 5

Out of campground at 8”00 am --- stopped in Azusa to do laundry & groceries.

Arrived at KOA at 11:15 am. Lunch at Jack in the Box.

Drove to Hollywood. Walked on Hollywood Blvd & saw pink & charcoal terrazzo stars on sidewalk. Saw Graumann’s Chinese Theatre with names & prints in concrete.

Drove to Santa Monica Beach & Pier – rented boogey boards for boys. Great fun & stayed til sunset.



Sunday August 6

To Universal Studio at 8:00 am. Took the Tram Tour which was really neat

 Saw the Conan Sword & Sorcery show, Miami Vice stunt show and Star Trek – Bob was a Klingon!

Dinner at Carl’s Jr.

Entered Nevada 10:04 pm Arrived Las Vegas at 11:00 pm. Checked into the Frontier Hotel & Gambling Hall for 2 nights. Temperature 98 degrees at 11:00 pm!




Monday August 7

Slept in, breakfast then went to pool.

Delicious buffet dinner at Michelle’s restaurant in hotel.

Boys stayed in room and watched TV while Bob & I went to show at the Aladdin – “Abracadabra.” Excellent musical, magic show. Bob won $10 at Black Jack.


Tuesday August 8

Up at 5:30 am. Power off in hotel at 6:00 am.  Breakfast at Denny’s. Apparently a big storm during night – some streets washed out or flooded. Casino had own generator, slots were still working! Crossed Hoover Dam at 9:13 am. Entered Arizona at 9:14am. Toured Hoover Dam – interesting. Saw film of the construction of Hoover Dam, hard to believe they were able to do this!

Lunch at Union 76 Truck Stop in Kinzman. Arrived at KOA campground at 4:15 pm.


Wednesday August 9

Left campground at 7:30am for Grand Canyon, arriving at 8:20 am. Hiked along the south rim; drove east to Dessert View. Awesome views of the canyon; saw lizards, squirrels & raven.

Bought souvenirs at Navajo jewelry stand between Grand Canyon and Cameron, AZ.

Lunch at Cameron Navajo Trading Post – delicious!

Saw Painted Desert and Sunset Volcanic Crater – very interesting. Saw meteor crater east of Flagstaff, AZ . Wanted to stop but it was closing in 15 minutes.

Arrived at A-OK campground, Holbrook, AZ at 6:45 pm.



 Thursday August 10

Left campground at 7:30 am. Drove through Painted Desert & Petrified Forest – very pretty and interesting.

Entered New Mexico at 12:55 pm Mt Time. Lunch at Pizza Hut.

Crossed Continental Divide at 3:35 pm.

Interesting to see so many very long freight trains throughout the west.

The terrain appears much flatter, although the van still indicates a bit of a pull at times.

Arrived at KOA campground Tucumcari, NM at 8:40 pm; beginning to rain.


Friday August 11

Left campground at 6:30 am. Entered Texas at 7:18 Central Time.

Entered Oklahoma at 12:04 pm. Lunch at McDonalds’s, Elk City, OK. Everything much greener now with red soil.

Lost tread on camper tire just west of Tulsa – 30 minutes to change. Land now flat & green with brown soil --- looks like home!

Drove under world’s largest McDonald’s in Vinta, OK.

Entered Missouri at 8:10 pm and arrived at KOA, Joplin, MO at 8:15.


Saturday August 12

Left campground at 5:00 am. Crossed Mississippi River at 9:41 & entered Illinois at 9:42 am.

Arrived in Indiana at 1:23 pm. Sang “Back Home Again in Indiana!”

Arrived home at 3:35 pm. What a wonderful trip, but how good it feels to be back home.

We drove 6943.5 miles and gasoline averaged $1.169 a gallon!