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I know it’s a bit early, but we want to get on the road. You snooze while I load the van, then we’ll stop for breakfast at County Fair.

Can you believe that we got 2 eggs, toast, and almost an entire dinner plate of crisp-on-the-outside hash browns for $3!!  What a great place!  What? Yes, I dug in too fast to get a photo.  Sorry about that.  Into the van and fasten your seat belt. The rest of South Dakota and Wyoming await.

This part of South Dakota still looks like (and is) farmland, but when we get to Chamberlain and cross another wide river, the Missouri, the landscape will change to more grazing, although we’ll also start seeing fields of cheerful bright yellow sunflowers.

Whenever I cross the Missouri, I think of an American folk song we sang when the girls were little. I’d play “Oh, Shenandoah” on the piano and we’d all sing.  Here’s a version I like, although the lyrics are slightly different than the ones we sang.

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Alisa’s travel theme this week is animal companions.  You know I love horses from my gravatar photo.  However, some years ago, we fostered several rescue pit bulls, a wonderful experience.  Janie, our first dog, had been rescued from being chained outside a crack house in downtown Cleveland.  Despite her experiences, she was a dog filled with love and fun, capable of amazing feats of athleticism and of creating games.  She also loved her Kong filled with peanut butter bread, chewing on a mini tire, or this “bone.”  Her favorite thing was sitting on your lap.  🙂

© janet m. webb

© janet m. webb

From our house to Sheridan, Wyoming is about 1,151 miles, just over 16 hours. Once I get there, I have to drive out of town and up into the mountains another 45 minutes or so. But my destination for Day 1 is Mitchell, South Dakota, home of the world’s only Corn Palace.  Are you ready to ride?

I realized this year that I’ve been going to this place in Wyoming for over 40 summers. When we drove from Cleveland, it was an additional 6 1/2 hours, so this drive seems fairly short in addition to familiar. I love seeing the country change, from the farmlands and cities of Illinois, to the more forested Wisconsin, where I make my first stop in Mauston to stock up on cheese from Carr Valley Cheese.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention our other tradition, listening to the BBC radio production of “Lord of the Rings”, 12 hours or so of living in a different, magical place.  Not long after we got married, I found a set of cassette tapes at Half Price Books for $25, quite a lot to us in those days.  I agonized over whether or not to get it for my husband as a Christmas gift.  You know what I decided.  We’ve listened to it every year since, going to and from the cabin.  One year, our younger daughter and I listened to it once on the way out and once on the way back.  We’re now on the CD version and it’s still wonderful.

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It’s been a wonderful three plus weeks (yes, you’ll hear all about it) and now I’m back in northern Illinois. I’ve missed you!! Hopefully all of you have been doing well while I was taking my Wyoming break. I’ve seen some of you in Instagram when I could get the internet, but now I’ll be able to catch up with what’s going on in your lives and on your blogs.

All to ooften in the last years, August in the Bighorn Mountains has been quite dry, but this year there was plenty of moisture, which meant that wildflowers still abounded. Here’s a cluster that caught my eye and my phone lens while on an afternoon hike on sunny day.

I see that by missing last week, I missed my chance to somehow employ a favorite quote:  “Danger, Will Robinson.  Danger.”  Drat.  Ah, well, we had a good time in Philadelphia despite the less than stellar weather and thankfully no danger there or on the road, other than the danger of a mental blowout when the traffic in Indiana was constantly slowed by construction or other issues.  🙂

This week, the challenge theme is “Reflecting.”  This is one of my favorite shots because it’s both a shot of reflections and a place where I was peacefully reflecting while in San Francisco some years ago.

© janet m. webb