Sunday, July 14, 2024

bad god's tower – Dakota Vacation blog post #8

 Without wise leadership, a nation is in trouble; but with good counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14, Living Bible)

I usually try to write an inspirational post on Sundays, but today I only have the verse above. We read it in my Friday morning Bible Study, and we could only shake our heads. God sure knows what He’s talking about.

Anyway, I wanted to keep sharing with you about our vacation to the Dakotas. Not much I can say about Devil’s Tower.

Except that we had to wait in line in our car for 45 minutes to get into the parking lot.

And you wouldn’t find me ever climbing up the side of it.  

Also, the name that the area Native American’s gave it was Bear Lodge. One of the early white explorers claimed that they called it bad god’s tower. It’s unsure if they had just gotten the wrong translation or they just wanted to call it something else. But from bad god’s tower, the white man came up with Devil’s Tower. 

I’m just glad that I serve the good God – the only God.  

Friday, July 12, 2024

Unexpected Adventures in Driving - Dakota Vacation blog post #7

 Day 3 on the road, and in the middle of nowhere, we had the most fun.

First thing in the morning, after leaving our motel in Bowman, North Dakota, we ran into road construction.

The flagman who stopped us with his big sign was hanging out, listening to his own tunes. Finally, a car with lights on came through the construction, leading all the vehicles that had been waiting on the other side.

The woman driving stopped her car by the flagman, waved the other vehicles on, and ran to the port-a-potty.

When she came out, the first flagman grabbed his roll of toilet paper and ran into the outhouse while the woman stood with his "stop" sign. When the guy came out, he struggled to put his yellow vest on over this coat. He might have been Native American and was wearing some kind of skirt over his jeans and shirt, and he couldn't get the vest over it all.

          Leaving him to struggle, the woman jumped in her lead car. When she had turned her car around, we read the sign on the back of her car. "Pilot Car. Follow me." The guy turned his sign around telling us to go "SLOW." And so we finally took off after the pilot car.

I can't describe how hysterical the whole thing was. You had to be there.

Our next stop was the tiny town of Buffalo, South Dakota, to stretch and go potty (the road crew had inspired us). We stopped at the Conoco at the far end of the village, as it was the only promising business.

          Well, it was obviously the place to be, as not only did it offer gas and snacks, but there was also a shower in both the men's and women's restrooms and a small room with "CASINO" in neon lights above the door. Inside, it looked like there were maybe four slot machines, along with storage for the convenience store.

          We had already seen a pheasant and a mule deer in the fields along the road. Next, we saw some buffalo in a pasture with some beef cattle, and later a few different mule deer, that mule deer fawn I shared previously, and lots of pronghorn antelope.

          Our goal, however, was Devil's Tower, and I wanted to cross into Montana, not only to say we were there, but also because it was the shortest route. Right, Chris, how did that work for you?

          Google Maps took us from Buffalo to Camp Crook. Just past that, the road turned south and followed the Montana border to the town of Capital, supposedly.

          When the road turned to gravel just outside the one-horse town of Camp Crook (what a perfect name for it), there seemed to be a lot of nothing.

          That dirt road turned south after a little bit, but it just seemed so desolate. Of course, by then, I had no cell coverage to check the route, and I could only see what the satellite was sending me for a map.

          After crossing a cattle guard, it felt like we were driving down some millionaire rancher's private drive, so we turned around, backtracked to Camp Crook, and took the road south from there, hoping to stumble on Capital, Montana.

          We did, but the road continued to be gravel until we got to Albion, Montana. According to Google Maps, that would cover 35 miles and take us 47 minutes. I'm not sure how long it took, and even though it felt like forever, the scenery was beautiful. We crossed at least a half dozen cattle guards, passed herds of cattle, drove through a herd of cattle that didn't want to get off the road, and saw lots of wildlife. And Hubby and I had long and deep conversations. 

          We had traversed the Enchanted Highway earlier in the trip, but this route had been the true enchanted highway for me. 

Probably not so enchanting for our poor vehicle though. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Teddy’s Park – Dakota Vacation blog post #6

I'd love to go down a long rabbit hole on this post, but I'll leave it to you to pursue further information on the 26th president of the United States. 

Theodore Roosevelt was elected vice president under William McKinley in 1900. This would be McKinley's second term, but his first vice president had passed away the year before. After six months as vice president, Roosevelt became the 26th president in September of 1901 after President McKinley was assassinated.

During his two terms in office, Roosevelt established the United States Forest Service, five National Parks, 18 new U.S. National Monuments, 51 bird reserves, four game preserves, and 150 National Forests.

Before going into politics, though, Teddy owned a ranch in the Dakotas. As a child, he had been in ill health, suffering from uncontrollable asthma, but he made up for it by working to be as fit as he could. When he was in his twenties, he headed to the area around Medora, North Dakota, to hunt buffalo. He fell in love with the land and invested in a ranch there. 

In 1935, sixteen years after his death, the area near his ranch was designated the Roosevelt Recreation Demonstration Area. In 1978, many more acres were added, and the area became known as Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

It's as beautiful a place as I have ever visited. I hope to return one day to explore it further.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

God has got this. Keep the Faith

Lord, have mercy on us. We have put our hope in you. Protect us day by day and save us in times of trouble. When you fight for us, nations run away from the noise of battle. (Isaiah 33:2-3, Good News Translation)

A couple things on my mind this week. We celebrated the Fourth of July – Independence Day. I listen to the news and wonder if everyone knows what that means anymore.

Seek good and not evil – and live! You talk about God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, being your best friend. Well, live like it, and maybe it will happen. Hate evil and love good, then work it out in the public square. Maybe God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will notice your remnant and be gracious. (Amos 5:14-15, The Message)

When we were in South Dakota the first part of June, Hubby and I walked the streets of Rapid City, where there was a president on each street corner.

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. For the Scriptures say:

“If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:8-12, New Living Translation)

And what are we to do with all the nonsense surrounding who might be elected president in four months? As a friend told me earlier this week, God has already got it figured out. We have to trust Him. 

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8, New Living Translation)

Keep the faith. 


Friday, July 5, 2024

All God's Creatures - Dakota Vacation blog post #5

I’d been blogging about our vacation to the Dakotas in chronological order, but I thought I needed to veer off the tracks for this one. We saw such a long list of wildlife on this trip that I couldn’t wait any longer to share them all.

At our first stop at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the group of people next to us at this overlook kept talking about the lone buffalo they saw. I took a picture of the area where they described him as standing, but I never did see him.

Until later, when I cropped the picture on my laptop. We saw lots more buffalo over the next couple of days, so I’ll bore you with more pictures of them later. 

The first wildlife we saw, though, was actually earlier in the day. We were so excited to see pronghorn antelope out in a field. Little did we know we would see dozens more.

Same with prairie dogs.

We saw a fair number of mule deer too.

At first I thought this was a white-tailed deer because her coloring was like the ones we have back home and the mule deer we’d seen were so grey. But look at those ears.

Here is the white-tailed deer we saw. Don’t know why I couldn’t get her in focus. Probably coz my camera didn’t care because I’ve taken hundreds of pictures of these deer in my own backyard.

A rabbit. We have a half-tame rabbit in my yard at home too. 

A stupid turkey. Again, like, I never see them at home. But I’m counting everyone here.

Canadian geese. About the last place I’d expect to see a pair of them. 

Fish in a stream. I’m thinking brook trout.

A turtle. Again, not that I was looking for one.

And here are my most prized finds. Fourth most exciting sighting – feral horses in Theodore Roosevelt Park.

In third place, a somewhat mangy (and radio-collared) bighorn sheep along the side of the road.

Sweet number two is this tiny mule deer fawn. We’d just seen a doe running away from the road and didn’t think too much of it. Then we drove past something brown in the ditch. I told Hubby to slowly back up and there was the precious little baby. 

Number one best find. Driving on a dirt road in Custer State Park, a vehicle was stopped ahead of us, definitely looking at something. So, just like the first picture of the buffalo, I started snapping pictures of I didn’t know what. I did capture them, but it was too blurry when zoomed in.

We finally asked the people what they were looking at. And once they told us what we were looking for and where, I was able to zoom in my camera and capture the beauties.

 Never thought we’d see any elk. We also saw a muskrat the first day and a pheasant on another day. Oh, and Hubby reminded me that we saw vultures circling one day. But I'm not going to count the robins and other common birds we saw. 

That makes – what? – 16 different species? Not bad, not bad at all. 

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Another Prayer Walk

As you go on your way, may God go with you. May He go before you to show you the way; May He go behind you to encourage you; Beside you to be your friend; Above you to watch over you; And within you to give you peace. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 Another prayer walk at the Chapel in the Hills in Rapid City, SD.