We're back!! After a mere 2778 miles on the road, we're back in Michigan. This year's family vacation had us heading out west to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills. Highlights of the trip include:
...finding license plates of 48 of the 50 states...the missing two: Delaware and New Hampshire (yes, we really did see Alaska and Hawaii plates!)
...counting a total of 97 Wall Drug signs along the highway between Sioux City, Iowa and Wall, South Dakota...and yes, we did stop at Wall Drugs.
...getting $4.00 worth of gold in our pan at the Broken Boot Gold Mine in Deadwood.
...seeing the "other" Sturgis, Sturgis, South Dakota
...being awed by the carvings at Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse
...twisting and turning our way along Hwy 16A through the Black Hills and Custer State Park
...enjoying the stark beauty of the Badlands
...poking around the shop of Antique Archaeology in LeClaire, Iowa. Mike and Frank weren't in, but their van was in the parking lot.
Of course, I made sure we mixed a little baseball into the trip. We went to two ballparks in Iowa.
This is Modern Woodsmen Park, along the banks of the Mississippi River in Davenport, the home of the Quad City Bandits. We saw them play the Cubs class A team, the Peoria Chiefs. Of course, Peoria lost. In fact, they got clobbered 11-3. That does not bode well for the future!
Want to guess the other park we saw? It's not an active ballpark, but it is probably one of the most famous. We stopped in Dyersville, Iowa and saw...
....the Field of Dreams! WW Jr and I took some grounders in the infield and played catch in the outfield (Quick question...do you "play catch" or like Ray said in the movie, "have a catch" In Chicago, we "play catch."). We also walked into the cornfield, but we didn't disappear. The field looks pretty much the way it does in the movie. The only thing that surprised me were the power lines that ran across the field, following the line between second and third. The farmer who owns the land has made a conscious effort to keep the field from being commercialized. As someone who hates tourist traps, I really appreciated that.
There was a small souvenir shop and they had this Moonlight Graham card. I thought it would make a nice memento of the trip, so I picked it up.
It was a wonderful trip, but now, its back to the grind. School starts in a month!