So, there are some gaps in the record here, including a very interesting stretch of time between New Mexico and our return from the Boundary Waters trip. Hmmm… Black out? Early onset of senility? Lazy blog writer? Lots of factors, actually, not least of which was the need to get to Minnesota by our entry date. What did we do in those weeks? A lot!
We left Las Cruces, heading north toward Santa Fe. After a night in the ABQ (Albuquerque, for the non-Breaking Bad fans), we hit Tent Rocks National Monument for some early morning hiking through an amazing slot canyon. Oh, and we saw a 4 foot rattlesnake stretched out sunning himself on the road. When we piled out of the Jeep to take pictures, he quickly slithered away into the roadside underbrush. Tent Rocks – awesome!
Then we hit Santa Fe just in time for the annual burning of Zozobra, a local event that signals the start of the fiesta season. In a word – bad. Think of the Burning Man festival but without the freaks, revelry, music, and fun. Avoid at all costs!
We hit Colorado Springs for a team reunion party (hosted by the amazing Ventimiglias!) caught up with old but very good friends, then pushed on through Denver to South Dakota to see the Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore. The Black Hills were beautiful and just covered with deer. Seriously, we stopped counting at 200. We even saw a bison!
Long flat slog across the plains of eastern South Dakota, brief detour to see the Biggest Ball of Twine (Made By One Man!) in Minnesota (thanks Weird Al!), on to Ely for our canoe expedition, and that’s been our last few weeks!