Wyoming to Minnesota

A Mazda Miata convertible is a very small car.  With my purse, my camera, my knitting, and a kleenex box on the floor of my side of the car, there was only one place I could put my feet, and then I couldn’t even squirm when I was uncomfortable.  Driving highway 90 through Wyoming and South Dakota includes many hundred miles of road that look almost the same – flat, hot prairie.

Day 4 of this trip from Berkeley to Minnesota took us from Cody, Wyoming, to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.  We drove through some beautiful mountains in Wyoming, and stopped to visit Devils Tower, a striking rock formation in eastern Wyoming, a favorite place for rock climbers.  Nearby was a colony of prairie dogs.

It was dark when we arrived at Mount Rushmore, so we began day 5 visiting the four U.S. presidents carved in the mountains.   For a couple of days we had been seeing signs advertising Wall Drug, so we stopped there for lunch somewhere in the middle of South Dakota.  During the hot afternoon, we drove through the South Dakota Badlands, with its fascinating rock formations.  After we left the Badlands, we put the car top back up, and turned on the air conditioning.   Aaaahh, how nice to have air conditioning.

Sometime after dark we crossed into Minnesota, finally arriving in St. Peter at 10:30 p.m.  My flight back home left the next morning at 9:00, so I have not pictures of Minnesota, even though I drove 5 days to get there.

Yellowstone National Park

Early in the morning of Day 3, we crossed into Wyoming to spend the day in Yellowstone National Park.  The temperature was below freezing, and fog and mist followed the river and the road.  We visited many hydrothermal areas and saw countless geysers, bubbling mud pots, steam vents, and mineral deposits in a rainbow of colors.  We also saw several herds of buffalo – and one walked right by the car and was bigger than the car.  We drove east along the southern road, and then north as far as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  Leaving the park, we drove east and spent the night in Cody, Wyoming.


A Long Drive

During the last week of September, I drove cross-country from the Bay Area to Minnesota, about 2,000 miles.  Most of the trip we drove with the convertible top down, and I took most of the pictures from a moving car, holding the camera up above the windshield.

Day one we drove through the Sierra Nevada mountains, stopping for lunch in Reno, Nevada.  Then for the long drive across Nevada deserts, with temperatures in the mid-90’s, we closed up the car and turned on the air conditioning.  We spent the first night on the Nevada-Utah border, sleeping in Utah but having breakfast in Nevada.

Day 2 we drove through the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, stopped along the edge of the Great Salt Lake, and spent time in Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  We took pictures of the Mormon Temple, heard a noon concert at the Mormon Tabernacle, and had lunch at an outdoor restaurant.  Then we drove north for the rest of the day, through Utah and Idahoe, stopping for the night in West Yellowstone, Montana.  During the night, there was heavy rain with thunder and lightning, but by morning the storm was over.  All that was left of the storm was frozen raindrops on the car.   See the next post for our day driving through Yellowstone National Park.


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