Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 7, 2013

Up and out by 8:30.  Jodi's family was already gone.  Good-byes are too difficult.  I am reminded that we never know how many days are ahead in this life...whether we are 20, 57 or 80...and it's important to connect with friends and family whenever possible.  That's what this trip is about.

Flowers at Purple Pie Place
We took the long way out of the hills through Nemo and over to Hill City, so we could enjoy the scenery and prolong the leaving!  We visited a cute quilt shop there, and found a chain for my Black Hills Gold pendant.  Still no bison visible in Custer National Park.  In the town of Custer, we left Dad for a nap in the car while shopping at Mom's favorite store, A Walk in the Woods.  It's really great for gifts, kitchen decor, and clothing (look for Christmas presents from here family!) The Purple Pie Place is a must stop in Custer.  They had rhubarb growing right outside the door, and served amazing pies/ice cream/sandwiches.

It was fun to share music with Mom and Dad on this trip.  They had
 prepared their CD player in the Lincoln with great classics, including Andy Williams, Manhattan Transfer, Lorie Line, John Denver, and my sister, Janet!  One of my favorite was Barbara Streisand's 1999 album, A Love Like Ours.  It's almost too sensual to listen to with your parents!  

It's a long way back to southwest Nebraska, and storms were building all around us.  We took a short jog off the route to see Chimney Rock, just before the visitor center closed.  Mom had never seen it.  And from the series of photos showing erosion over the years, it would be smart to get there soon if you want to see it!  A display board in the center tells how Native Americans called this geological landmark the Elk Penis, but that was inappropriate for the settlers who passed by on the Oregon Trail and renamed it.

In Ogallala, a storm was threatening, but tummies were growling.  We stopped at Valentino's for pizza buffet, and arrived back in Imperial just before the rain, which turned out to be minimal...three tired travelers, greeted by one happy chocolate lab!  

 A policeman in Lead had warned us of a broken headlight.  On Monday morning, Imperial Napa had the replacement bulb for the Lincoln and our Co-op guys were able to install it in no time.  Dad's cousin Cal came by to say hello, then Mom and Dad headed to Cozad to visit his brother before heading to Kansas.

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