Oh my….I think this is the longest week I’ve had in a LONG time. Two Kids…Two Grand-kids….and Two dogs packed in a club cab pick-up….with a house full of supplies….and off we went. I’m not sure what possessed me to think that was a good idea…but at the time….it seemed phenomenal! It actually turned out fairly well….especially considering our vacations are generally a disaster looking for a home! Considering we had seven year old…and a twenty-three month old…we listened to very little squawking. Paity Poo is amazing with Jude for the most part….and she really helped keep him happy…..and the DVD player. (A relic we’ve had for over 10 years!) It is hanging on with it’s last toenail. If fact, the screen is barely attached to the player by the wires! OH…I MISS MY CAR!!! It got hailed on….and in Killough CURSE form….every panel on it has to be replaced…so she’ll be at the dr.’s for at least 6-8 weeks….=[. She’ll come out….and the poor old pick-up goes in! WOW!
We piled in like hogs to a trough….and headed out. Little did I know….we were in for the longest drive through NOTHING in all my life!!! We drove to Denver the first day….and stayed there for two nights. The Denver Zoo was just the most amazing zoo ever! It was very much like any big zoo….only it seemed that they had some of the most natural environments I’ve ever seen at a zoo. What amazed me more than anything was the fact that they are taking HUGE steps to help our environment. They have invented….and patented a device that takes the critter poo….and turns it into electricity. It has cut down on their costs by thousands each year….and moreover, can you imagine the amount of poo that would be piled up somewhere? I realize that you can compost it…but according to the zoo…much of it winds up in landfills across the country. Not only it this device saving that from happening…but it’s by product…is pure compost…so WOW!!!! You really should go to their website and check out all their projects if you’re into this kind of stuff! Now….I am in no way being compensated for this…but I really feel compelled to tell folks about them! ANYHOO….back to the trip!
We cruised up to South Dakota and went to Mt. Rushmore! Can I just say….AWESOME! It just floors me that they did this soooooo many years ago…with so very little technology and tools. I guess our country’s tourist stops and different attractions just get to me. We live in such a wonderful land! BELIEVE me…we saw pretty much….all types of landscape along the way to North Dakota. After Denver….up until we hit Mt. Rushmore….and after it….was the LONGEST stretch of nothingness I’ve ever seen in my life! NOTHING!!!!! No trees….No bushes….NO TOWNS!!!!! No cell service…No data….NO GAS!!!! We drove for HOURS literally with nothing to do but watch the hills of grassland roll by! I tried reading….but I suffer from car sickness if I read too long! Sara and the kids slept…lol and watched movie after movie as the hours and miles went by! All together I think we traveled twenty-one hours each way!
Dave’s trailer made it to Montana….he’ll live right over the border…and drive about thirty miles each morning to work. The living conditions and situation there is just RIDICULOUS!!!! Not only is there no housing there…the landlords and businesses are taking full advantage of the situation! The rent on the tiny two bedroom trailer house he’s been living in….is $4000 a month! That’s just insane….and ROBBERY….may I say….SHAME ON Y’ALL!!!! I believe in free enterprise….but people have to survive…and gas, bills, groceries, rent….EVERYTHING is just unreal! Enough complaining….Dave did get a really cool site. He lives where there are about 21 other travel trailers….and this is a small lot for the location! It sits right on the Yellowstone River!
We went rafting the first full day there! AND we did have fun! We had bought some cheapo rafts….I must say….well worth EVERY penny we paid! We decided that we would tie them together so that we didn’t drift apart….and get too separated. This would prove to be our undoing! lol Of course….NONE of our vacations can go with out ONE fiasco! We all loaded into the rafts…In typical Killough form….we looked like the Clampits! We had our hats and country outfits on….with our cheapo tubes! I had Molly…Sara had Jude…and poor Luke got Paity and Scrap…well…Scrap just jumped from one to the other rafts! Now…to say that Molly was unhappy about her feet being wet…would be understating it…by a LONG SHOT!!! She immediately perched herself on the side of the raft. She wobbled and teetered trying to situate herself on a curved ledge that was wet and slick! Scrap took notes…and before too long was mimicking her!
Things went along fairly smoothly….till we began to drift to the shore. We were moving pretty fast….too fast to just paddle with our hands…because we were too stupid to get oars! This really wouldn’t have been that big of a deal….except there were trees sticking up EVERYWHERE….and none of us felt the drive to have one attached to their person…in a very unmentionable area! So…there we were in our white trash hats and dogs balancing on the edges….kids on laps….paddling like a bunch of lame dogs! We were LITERATELY….up a creek without a paddle!!! I’m SOOOOO glad that there weren’t people…that we could see….present to witness it. We were all laughing so hard we couldn’t really make any headway….so really….we were just making things worse. And the fact that we had tied ourselves to one another….just proved to add to the confusion and misfortune! We’re splashing and rocking along….when it became clear that we WERE gonna take a tree….it was just a matter of WHERE we were going to take it. Discussing it was not an option….Dave and Luke’s rafts headed for the shoreline…and Sara and I headed for the middle….leaving the rope between Luke and I to straddle the tree! So…there we were HUNG on the tree….the current keeping us from righting the situation! We were….still….laughing so hard we couldn’t decide what to do…when all of the sudden the rope gave! When it did….of course we all almost shot away from the tree! The force at which Sara and I began to drift was just crazy! Luke and Paity flipped over….and Dave’s raft was just dragging theirs! Molly….during all of this was…well….panicking….and when the rope gave…she LUNGED into the tree! Now…moving like lightening..I began to scream for Dave to paddle back to get her….as if he could have! But…I could just see my tiny dog….hanging from the tree….moving away from me a the speed of sound! Paity’s screaming….and Dunking Luke while trying to climb his head! I’m really not sure where Scrap fell into this picture! I thought that Luke and Paityn had jumped to save Molly….so….THANK GOODNESS…their situation wasn’t adding to my panic….although…I’m not sure it would have….If we weren’t such goobers….we all would have gotten out of the rafts in the first place and used our feet and arms to paddle away from the trees….but no….we HAD to have a disaster….or I wouldn’t be able to say it was a typical Killough event! Luckily Dave ran upon the shore pretty quick after the break-up….and managed to talk Molly into unlatching from the tree. She swam over to him….and he SAVED the day! I was already so far away I really couldn’t tell what was happening. I’m having to watch the front of me….in case we encountered anymore trees….and looking back to see where my baby was! They managed to get back in the middle of the river and somehow were catching up pretty quickly….I could hear Molly whining for me the whole way!!! lol They never got close enough for me to get her…..so there we were…for the remainder of the float…looking like complete….drowned rat…looser…hillbillies….giggling….and the dog crying like she was being tortured! Thank GOD we just had another 15 or 20 min left till we got to the trailer shore! We no more got out of the rafts….when Dave says…..”So….who wants to go on the longer run?” REALLY?!!!
All in All…we had a good time….but there’s no place on earth…like home!