The American story continues


After a few weeks of very hot and sticky weather, we decided that we wanted to go where the sun didn’t shine so hard for a while, imagine that! We were even willing to drive through the rain and snow and so we decided to go back to Halifax instead of Texas so we could ship the van back to Belgium from there on out.



At the Horizons meeting we met Mark Kincart from KLÍM Technical Riding Gear and we hit it off immediately. He invited us to come to Idaho Falls, to the KLÍM headquarters in the United States, to discuss some partnership with KLÍM…more about this in later posts though!

Since we had to go back north a bit, we could not miss Yellowstone National Park this time. We had heard that there were a lot of hot springs, geysers and that it was the first Park in the world that got the title of National Park. We had already seen a fair amount of geysers and hot springs in Iceland, but seeing the first National Park in the world is spectacular on it’s own. The first day we were in Yellowstone, it was already a bit colder than what we had been used to so we were happy to go hiking along the trails of the hot springs and mud volcanoes. Here in Yellowstone the scenery was a lot different than in Iceland because they had a lot more trees surrounding the area.





The Mammoth hot springs terraces even looks like Pamukkale in Turkey, although I think it is a bit smaller than the Turkish one and most of it was dry when we were there. They are hot springs in terrace formation.



That night right outside Yellowstone, we had a lot of rain and in the morning we saw that the mountains that were surrounding us were covered with a white snowy blanket, our first snow in the United States! When we drove back through Yellowstone, we found out that most of the park was also covered in snow. It was such a fairytale scenery and the hot springs looked even hotter with all that snow surrounding them! Snow only means one thing in the end…snowball fight!!! Seb looked like a snowman after my barrage of snowballs that hit him on the head. (no pictures, only video!)





A thing that struck us was that after October first a lot of facilities in the mountains close down. 90% of the campsites are closed (not that we need them, but you see it while you are driving past them), some motels and hotels are closed and even some attractions like the Flintstone park were closed, imagine that! We always wonder where all the people go and what they do after they close down their business for the winter.




On the way to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota we had our first freezing cold night. In the middle of the night I got up to go to the toilet when I noticed that the inside of the windows were frozen. Seb also woke up and asked me to see how cold it was, so when I told him it was -10°C (14F), he almost fell out of bed! Because he didn’t actually fall out of bed and was grinning at me from under his warm blankets, I teased him by saying that if he wanted a picture of the -10, that he had to get out of bed and take it himself…oooh, bad girl, I know!


I am sure that Crazy Horse Memorial must be amazing, but paying 22$ was a bit too much for our taste, so we just took a picture from the van and drove off. Same story actually with Mount Rushmore, and I saw that we were not the only ones that turned back when they saw the price you had to pay to go see it. We just drove past it, pulled the van to the side, swapped places, so Seb was in the passengers seat and could shoot his pictures while I was crawling past the site with the van. We always buy a Park pass when they have it in a country, but we do have to mind our budget and that is why we sometimes skip out on certain things. We can always come back ones we are old and gray and have money enough…




We were driving more and more east and along the way we saw a lot of signs talking about Wall Drug. We had no idea what it was, but after the 40th sign, our interest was spiked and we knew we definitely wanted to see it, whatever it was. By the time we got there, it was 6PM and apparently everything shuts down by that time around there in wintertime… It turned out to be a Western style village and it did make for some real Western pictures. Apparently thanks to all the roadside signs, they attract some 2 million visitors per year! But some shops only open when they feel like it…


The other town that made for some cool pictures was Upton. The sign said it was the world’s best town on earth. Well, I wouldn’t want to offend them, but I did have a different opinion on that… The local bar was worth stopping by apparently if you look at the skid marks on the pavement.





I have to admit that they do know how to capture your interest here in the United States with their signs along the Highway. When we saw the sign to the Corn Palace, we knew we had to see that and we had all these ideas in our head about what it would look like! When we got there, we noticed that almost all the shops surrounding the Palace were…”closed for the season” and that the Palace itself was under construction until April 2015. The outside was still cool to look at, since all the pictures on the side of the building were made up out of corn, but the inside was a lot different than what we had been thinking about…it doubled as basketball court, performance hall and when we were there, as a place to get your flu shot. So when they asked us if we were there for the Corn Palace or for the flu shot, we both said Corn Palace very quickly! They had some more corn based pictures on the inside, but due to the construction, it didn’t really have a wow factor that we had been expecting.





Oct 22 2014

  1. wow knap !!! in zo’n hot tub zou ik ook wel willen zitten ,lekker in de sneeuw
    love you guy’s

    10-22-2014, 8:28 pm Reply
  2. Dad

    Odd, get out of bed, drive up to 80 km/h to see -10° then get back in bed ???

    10-23-2014, 7:59 am Reply

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