Friday, July 28, 2017

Wyoming: Part 8

We packed up our room on Saturday morning and were on the road around 10:30am.

A fun truck we saw on our travels.
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We decided to head a little further south and drive through Colorado on our way home. That evening, we stopped in Denver and ate dinner at the oldest restaurant in the city: Buckhorn Exchange. It opened in 1893!
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We played with Graydon's crazy hair while waiting for our food.
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They had all sorts of stuff on the menu like rattlesnake, buffalo, cornish game hen, and lamb. Bella tried baby back ribs. Andy had elk and quail. I at the pot roast. The boys had basic burgers and chicken tenders. This was the upstairs portion of the restaurant - where we ate.
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When I envision restaurants/saloons from the old west, I always picture swinging wooden doors like these.
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We definitely had some leftovers.
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There were stuffed animal heads on just about every inch of wall space. It was definitely quite a sight!

Our hotel room that night was a suite. Curtis shared the king bed with me and Andy. This is what it is like sharing a sleeping space with him.
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The next day, we drove through the rest of Colorado, Kansas, and most of Missouri. We pushed it that day and arrived at our hotel pretty late. With only a few minutes to spare until the pool closed, the kids jumped in with their clothes on!
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The next morning, we visited the St. Louis Arch!
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It seemed fitting to conclude our vacation to the west at the gateway to the west.
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The main architect for the arch, Eero Saarinen, was also the architect of some buildings in Columbus, Indiana!
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Inside of the old cathedral near the arch.
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Crossing the bridge to Illinois. Just a few more hours and we'd be back home in Indiana!
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We packed a lot in to this vacation and drove across nine states! (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri.) We saw several national monuments and landmarks and enjoyed the beauty (and danger) of nature. It was a great adventure!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Wyoming: Part 7

Curtis has the habit of changing his favorite animal quite often. This week, his favorite became the Bighorn Sheep.
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That morning, we went up to Signal Mountain.
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More animal spotting!
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This was actually just off of the parking lot at Signal Mountain Lodge. These animals seemed very comfortable being near people.
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Curtis bought a little mountain ram.
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Nachos! It's what's for lunch!
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The big adventure later that day was horseback riding. This was awesome. I figured that Graydon would ride on a horse with Andy and Curtis with me; but when we arrived, they put each kid on their own horse! (Well, Curtis got a donkey; but he doesn't know it.)
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I expected that we were going to be in a larger group, but it was just us!
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Here are the names of our horses:
Tom: Stetson
Andy: Cinch
Karen: Buzz
Bella: Sarge
Graydon: Casino
Curtis: Bess
Papa: Kevin
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I've been on trail rides before, but this one was so beautiful.
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Graydon's horse kept stopping  to eat, so our trail guide had to attach a rope to his horse and lead it for a while.
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There were photographers on the trail and they gave us a pretty good deal on photos - much better than the rafting place; so we bought them and I am so happy that we did!
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Our two-hour trail ride ended up becoming almost three! We were kind of a slow group, but we had a great time. Of course, our rear-ends and legs were a little sore after that long ride!
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We went to a rodeo that night. After this, we can now all say, "This ain't my first rodeo!"
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We received a little lesson afterward on how to lasso an animal. The riders make it look a whole lot easier than it is!
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We ended the evening at an outdoor bar area. The spot was perfect for our group and it was a great way to rap up our vacation together.
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All of the excitement from the day finally caught up with Graydon.
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