We were heading through our fifth state together (my tenth since I left Wellesley) on our two week, no-frills road trip. The night before, the camp ground manager gave us all-you-can-eat 99-cent pancake coupons, which had all of us looking forward to the morning. The restaurant was a basic diner, with pancakes and a sink in the bathroom where I could wash my face and brush my teeth without any bugs invading my space. The boys and I ate our fill of GIANT pancakes and enjoyed our last meal in South Dakota.
Off to find more adventure, we pointed the Civic towards Wyoming to see Devils Tower. It is a HUGE rock formation that can be seen from miles and miles away, and just sticks up out of the ground all alone. The folk story has it that seven sisters were playing in the area when a hungry bear smelled them and thought something along the lines of how the three of us felt about 99-cent pancakes- ooo, yummy. The ground lifted them up towards the sky, away from the clawing of the hungry bear and kept them safe and protected.
We hiked around the tower as it threatened to rain and I tried my best to take a decent picture of Sam. (Ooo- side note, at the bottom of the tower lived a colony of prairie dogs who honestly freaked me out a bit. See the little dude in the right hand corner? Malicious looking, no? Now imagine several football field filled with those suckers. Scared now?) Afterwards, we pushed on to Montana and nearly did not make it to the next gas station, but the Civic had no problem managing the hills.
Our camp ground for the evening was along the side of Deadman’s Basin where we were lucky enough to find a couple enjoying the cool weather and so-so fishing who gave us water enough to make dinner and clean-up. There were very few other people in sight. We played a few card games before hitting the hay, the grass really, and I tried not to think about how Deadman’s Basin got it’s name.
We ended up in Glacier National Park the following day, shivering from the cold of the snowy mountains. If you have never been to Glacier, go. It was one of the most gorgeous sites I have ever set eyes on- mountain peaks covered in melting snow, green pine trees that freckled the scene, and the strong scent of camping. Although it was only 9.30 p.m., all three of us were cuddled up in our sleeping bags trying to keep warm. We had a big hike planned for the next day- a 12 mile out and back to Cracker Lake- which is where I will start next week’s adventure. Until then, watch out for the prairie dogs and always, always say yes to 99-cent pancakes.