We ate at the Rachel Ray-endorsed Corn Exchange in Rapid City and also got to have lunch with awesome blogger Caryn, who is absolutely charming in person. Dozens of inside jokes were birthed and many goofy events transpired. And what road trip would be complete without your best friend's car breaking down in the relative isolation of southwestern Utah? Near a town named Beaver, as a matter of fact. Cindy and I spent five hours in a Dairy Queen attached to a Chevron station waiting for the car to be fixed. In Beaver, Utah. And then? My flight home was cancelled. My rescheduled flight was overbooked, and if not for two kindly strangers who opted to accept $400 vouchers in exchange for their seats, I may still be in the Denver airport right now, curled in a fetal position.
If you're looking for great audiobooks to pass the time on long drives, I recommend The Kite Runner and anything by David Sedaris. Oh! And we stumbled upon Groovefest in Cedar City, Utah, which appears to be an annual event. Let me tell you. If you're into awesome bluegrass (Trampled by Turtles--check 'em out) and don't mind barefoot hippies jumping around inches in front of you and people handing you anarchist primers, you have to catch Groovefest some year. But heads-up: there are no beer tents. So if you can't dance unless you're drunk, you may need to make other pre-festivity arrangements. And now, a small selection of photos from the trip.
Two of roughly a dozen cute lil' bears frolicking at Bear Country, USA. I keep telling myself that their antics were worth every penny of the $13 admission.
The vista through an arch at Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Despite being trapped in a car with me for almost a week at this point, Cindy didn't even push me over the cliff when I leaned in to take this photo!
Red rocks in Utah. We wanted to catch the sunset here later as it was on our way back to the motel, but why break our streak of accidentally missing every sunset because we're in a gas station bathroom or eating at a Chinese restaurant?
Poor Lily Tomlin--I mean Cindy. But it certainly was thoughtful of the Beaver Chevron to place this whimsical oversized rocking chair near their mechanics' bays to distract frustrated travelers from their defunct alternators or blown transmissions. Vomit-colored (and scented) smoke billowing from your radiator? Who cares when you can pose for pictures in a giant rocking chair! Am I right?
I got in last night, but I have barely time to catch my breath because tomorrow morning I'm off again for a family reunion in western Minnesota. Next week I'm not driving anywhere. I am sitting in front of my computer catching up on your blogs until my eyes become raisins, and I will love every second of it. 'Til then, have a splendid weekend!