Posts Tagged ‘travel’

After admiring the front of the church and the stained glass, we turn to leave.

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Walking down the aisle, we have time to take pleasure in the beauty of the window, organ, and statuary as well as the arched ceiling.

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Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a few years know how much my sister-in-law and I love the town of Plombières-les-Bains.  You’ll also remember that “les Bains” refers to the thermal baths that caused the Romans to settle here in 65 B.C.

As with most French (and European) towns, one side of the town square is home to a church.  In 1389 A.D, there was a chapel here,  Then as the town grew, a modest parish church was built.  The current Neo-Gothic ogival church was built in the late 1800’s.  What’s ogival?  It means having the shape of an ogive (now there’s a helpful definition!) or, in plain English, a pointed or Gothic arch.  You’ll see examples of this at the front of the church.

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We’ve covered over half of the almost 32 mile Badlands loop and stopped at most of the 14 overlooks along the way.  The eclipse is over, so that light is back to normal.  I’m glad you were able to take the time to drive with me.  85% of people who rated the loop for Trip Advisor gave it an “Excellent” rating, 12% “Very Good.”  I heartily agree.  This eastern part of the loop shows off a bit more of the grassland part of the park.  Sit back and enjoy.

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Designated as a national monument in 1929 and not redesignated as a national park until November 10, 1978, the Badlands has one of the more interesting park names.  Once you’ve seen it, you can understand why the Lakota Sioux Indians called it Mako Sica, which has been translated as “land bad” and as “eroded land.”  French fur trappers called it  “les mauvaises terres a traverser” or  “bad lands to traverse.”  Of course, with modern roads, albeit winding ones, the trip is much easier, one anyone who has the chance should take.  But if you’re hiking, take lots of water, wear suntan lotion and a hat, and stay on the trails.

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Yellow Mounds Overlook

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The van’s loaded, the cabin shut for the winter, and we’re on our way.  Let’s pause at the as we get on the Red Grade Road and take a look at the mountains in the dawn.  Do you see Black Tooth back there, about right in the middle, still with snow?

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The view just as we start to descend is even more beautiful than usual.

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I know. I said we were going to the Badlands today. But I forgot Friday is for flowers, so here is a shot of wildflowers by the first lake.  It’s been so much fun having you visit the Bighorns with me.  We’ll be leaving early tomorrow morning now that we have the cabin ready for winter: brace poles, dust covers, mouse bait and traps.  A friend will blow the water lines and all those sorts of things after we leave.  Makes it easier for us to just get up, finish loading the van and leave.  We’ll drive to Gillette, then stop for caffeine, either coffee or tea, and a bit of breakfast.  You can take a nap if you need to.

It’s been such fun.

I can’t believe we only have a few days left. Where’s the time gone?  We’ve had lots of great rides, seen moose and deer, reveled in all the flowers, hiked, watched the horse, and sat on the porch relaxing.  That’s what I was planning to do tonight, but it looks like it might be a pretty sunset.  Let’s head up to the top of the hill and see what it looks like.

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Phew, the air at 7,000′ has a lot less oxygen than where I live! I’m huffing and puffing like the horses do when we ride up these steep slopes, but now we’re doing the work of the horses.  Thankfully, we don’t have saddles and people on our backs!

Oh, my goodness! Look at that!  It was worth the climb. Look at the colors in the sky.

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