Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sept 2014 Seattle to Iowa

We left the Gig Harbor RV Resort on Sept 14, 2014 - making our way Slowly to Sioux Falls S.D., then south to Iowa to visit family --------- 1560 Miles ----- then to Florida

Love the views leaving Seattle - heading east on I-90
 - - - - - - -                                                                  - - - - - -
saying Good-by to  Mt. Si and Mt. Rainier 

Near Cle Elem / Wenatchee River
 Columbia River
Dust Devil near Moses Lake Wa.
                      - mighty weird wind !!

Heading into Idaho....................with bug guts on the window.....

   1st stop - Couer D' Alene Idaho
We stayed at Blackwell Island RV Park
(we had stayed here on our way to Seattle; and loved the park). Here are a few pics of and around the RV Park; plus of the town of Coeur D' Alene...................

The RV park is behind the trees on the right. Picture taken from the road / bridge - we are on our way to the hiking path on the right hand side of the Spokane River.
 RV Park is across the river -- what's the deal with this sign ??  "Mama, that where the fun is!"

 Cool  Art in downtown Coeur D' Alene -- there are five bronze statues which were created by internationally-acclaimed sculptor and painter Terry Lee, a native of Coeur d'Alene. The moose is based on the story about Mugdy the Moose and Millie the Mouse. There is a trail map to follow to find all of the statues.

Don't know what
this is .... but it's cute

Road between
Idaho and Butte Montana

-- note the bug juice on the window -- founds lots of bugs along the way  !!

Discovered lots of history in Butte Montana- Butte was a mining town. A man named William Andrews Clark settled in placer mining ( mining of alluvial deposits for minerals in an open pit). His claim paid only moderately, so he invested in becoming a trader (driving mules between Salt Lake City and the Boom-towns of Montana)   He soon changed careers and became a banker. He repossessed mining properties when owners defaulted on their loans, placing him in the mining industry. He became one of three " Copper Kings" of Butte, Montana.
Here is a picture of the Berkeley Pit -- As the Pit expanded, any and all buildings that were in the way were destroyed in order to expand - including churches.

 The water has very high concentrations of copper, cadmium, cobalt, iron, manganese, zinc and arsenic. How did the water get in the pit, you ask.... During the years of underground mining, pumps were usedt o keep groundwater from filling the undergrouond workings. The main pump station was located on the 3,900 foot level. The pumps were turned off in 1982 and water started flowing back into the underground workings and into the Pit. By 2012, the water volume in the Pit had risen to 41.2 billion gallons of water. Once the amount of water fills to a certain level, they will start treating the water and beable to use.The water treatment plant has already been built.

Clark's long-standing dream of becoming a US Senator  resulted in scandal in 1899 when it was revealed that he bribed members of the Montana State Legislature in return for their votes. At the time, U.S. Senators were chosen by their respective state legislators. The corruption of his election contributed to the passage of the17th Amendment.  The U.S. Senate refused to seat Clark because of the 1899 bribery scheme, but a later senate campaign was successful, and he served a single term from 1901 until 1907. In responding to criticism of his bribery of the Montana legislature, Clark is reported to have said, "I never bought a man who wasn't for sale."
Between 1884 and 1888, Clark constructed a 34-room, Tiffany-decorated, multimillion dollar home, incorporating the most modern inventions available, in Butte This home is now the Copper King Mansion bed-and-breakfast and museum. We toured the Mansion - it was very impressive -- with much of the original furniture. 

Organ in the main room - for entertaining quests
Front Door Entrance

Staircase leading to 2 more stories - 3 baths, 5 bedrooms plus the servant rooms

Birdcage Shower - ofter referred to as the "human car wash" -- water from the top and along all of the circular bars.

One of the bedrooms

 Here is the front of the Mansion - 2 nephews and 1 niece of Mr. Clark run the B&B and give Mansion tours.

Huguette Marcelle Clark - the youngest of William Clark's children was born in Paris, France, in June 1906, Huguette was known as a reclusive heiress, the youngest child of former U.S. Senator William A. Clark with his second wife, Anna Eugenia La Chapelle. She married once, but divorced less than a year later. She led a reclusive life thereafter, communicating little even with family. She lived in three magnificent apartments, with a total of 42 rooms, on New York's Fifth Avenue at 72nd Street, overlooking Central Park.   In 1991, she moved out of her apartments and lived the remainder of her life, voluntarily, in New York City hospitals. In February 2010, she became the subject of a series of reports on MSNBC after caretakers at all three of her residences had not seen her in decades despite the fact she controlled a net worth estimated at $500 million, including a $24 million estate in Connecticut, a sprawling seaside estate in Santa Barbara, CA.  and her Fifth Avenue apartments valued at $100 million. These articles were the basis for the 2013 bestselling book Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. (available in the library)  She was admitted to Beth Israel Medical Center in NY City about 5 years ago  - she refused to leave, so she stayed there until her death on May 24, 2011 at the age of 104.

  Our Lady of the Rockies - in Butte 

Here is another interesting story about Butte --
It all began as a dream and a promise, to build a statue to Mary --one made by local businessman Bob O'Bill to put a statue of Mary on top of the mountain if surgery performed on his wife Joyce was successful. It was; but it would take six long years for the promise to be fulfilled. Bob initially had the idea of a 5 foot statue. The more people Bob talked to and who wanted to help him and the more people who ridiculed his idea; the bigger the vision of the statue became. All the labor, heavy equipment and materials were donated. DuPont donated the paint ($250 per gal). There is currently only one way to get up via car; and that is to take the tour - the van or bus travels on a dusty and bumpy road up the mountain - time from the town to the top takes 1 hour.  The statue stands on top of a bluff over looking the town and is 90 feet tall. The base
of the statue was poured with 400 tons of concrete in Sept of 1985. Dec. 17th, 1985, a Nevada Air National Guard team lifted the statue in 7 sections with a CHAR Sikorsky Sky Crane (helicopter). Supported by the Montana Nat'l Guard, the US Army Reserves from Butte and teams of civilian workers, the final head-section was placed on top of the statue.

 This is a must see if you are in Butte -- there are plans to build a tram, so some day in the future, you can avoid the bumpy ride...

-- The Lady of the Rockies on top of the bluff - tons of rock needed to be blasted away to make room for her--

You can go inside The Lady - pictures of people who have died, and notes left by people who have visited. Lots of rosaries. 



There is a chapel, and on the bottom of the chapel is a wall with names of over 3,000 women who have died. The project started out honoring Bob's wife; and it turned into honoring all women.


Heading out of Butte towards eastern Montana ---

This is where I had my Maiden voyage for driving our 45 foot RV -- I was a little scared and excited to learn how. Steve was a patient teacher.. No worries- I took it slow at first, and I had fun driving. Now we take turns driving, so it is not so stressful for either of us.  We typically keep it at 65 miles per hour, and travel 250 miles on our driving days, and stay at each RV Park for 2 - 4 days - we are getting 7 miles to the gallon.

Next stop - Garryowen Mt. near Custard's Battlefield

7th Ranch RV Park -
we would stop here again - beautiful valley, owner does horse back rides (which is on my bucket list for next time)

Battle of Little Big Horn / Custard's Battlefield - The white grave markers are where the soldiers died, the dark red markers are located where an Indian died.  In this first picture is a marker with black letters; that is where Lieutenant Colonel G.A. Custer is buried.

 Indian Memorial

Marker to honor the horses who died during battle 
Memorial for the soldiers who died.

Organ     Auto                 and I found my horse !!!!
No rubber wheels on the tractor - Combine is pretty small compared to the ones of today
Steve on the train - the box is wood - Steve is human
Log Cabin 1822
I sat in a desk just like this in grade school !!

Views from our RV Park

 Statues are located throughout the RV Park

Fabulous swimming pool..water was warm, as temp were 80 - 90- It's Sept 23rd - rather unusual high temps.....& We love it!
Crazy Horse Monument
June 1947 - Korczak Ziolkowski started blasting and creating Crazy Horse monument at the request of  Chief Henry Standing Bear. 
  • It is being carved in the round and when completed it will be 641 feet long and 563 feet high.
  • All four 60-foot high heads on Mt. Rushmore would fit inside just Crazy Horse's head. 
  • Korczak and Ruth had 10 children, five girls and five boys. Korczak died in 1982. Seven of the 10 children still work on the project.
White lines indicated the outline of what still needs to be done

 View on the way to Devil's Tower
 Having a picnic with Devil's Tower in the background - nice calm day -- Picnic area was in the park - there is a fee, unless you have a senior pass which only cost $10 (one time fee) -- Oh it's nice to be OLD..... love the perks  :)

We walked the 1.3 mile path around the Tower

  Devils Tower is 867 feet from its base to the summit.
Here's how the Tower received it's name:
Some Indians called it Mato Tipila, meaning Bear Lodge. Other American Indian names include Bear’s Tipi, Home of the Bear, Tree Rock and Great Gray Horn. In 1875, on an expedition led by Col. Dodge, it is believed
his interpreter misinterpreted the name to mean Bad God's Tower, later shortened to Devils Tower.

 Do you see the climber in the pic below ??  The fastest climb ----In the 1980s, Todd Skinner – a Wyoming native - free-soled (climbed alone, without ropes or protection) the Walt Bailey route in 18 minutes.

Wind Cave National Park, is one of the longest caves
in the world, and the first cave to be designated a national park.
Caves are one of the Black Hills most mysterious and intriguing wonders. The known paths in this cave stretch more than 100 miles,

Wind Cave features the world's largest concentration of box work, a rare formation of thin calcite fins that resemble honeycombs.

This Limestone Cave in the scenic Black Hills of South Dakota is the 5th largest in the world and is decorated with  calcite crystal formations, along with the above box work 

Photos Near Deadwood SD -- we did not take the opportunity to hang out in Deadwood - next time I'll go looking for a real cowboy...

  (I forgot -- I married a Cowboy -- lucky ME !!!)

At the KOA Park in Kennebeck SD - population 250 -- Near Chamberlain SD which is on the Missouri River

Missouri River pictures...

South Dakota Tractors do not mess around -
the more tires the better !!!

 We stayed one night at the KOA RV Park in Sioux Falls S.D. Took the RV to a place to have the ABS light fixed - a simple matter of re-hooking the wire - it had come loose on our journeys -- plus had the oil changed on the generator. Now it's time to head to the parents in Iowa !!!  Heading for Nielson RV Park in Harlan - 10 miles from Bette's Dad and 40 miles from Steve's Dad.

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