Friday, July 11, 2008
The Bigger Chill
Carroll and I just came back from an amazing road trip that would've made a fabulous movie, sort of a sequel to The Big Chill.
Here's the pitch: The Bigger Chill
An extended Baby Boomer and Gen X family and friends gather in a lodge near Mt. Rushmore to relax and regroup for the last 4th of July before the elections. Humor, angst and reflections on the meaning of independence (an co-dependence) abound.
Fireworks, of all sorts, explode.
That said, we really had an amazing time. I like a little personal growth with my vacations- although I think it should be used as a spice, not as the entre.
Our main event was to take the 1880's steam train to the side of Mt. Rushmore and see the fireworks there on the third of July. That was terrific!
We also saw Mt. Rushmore in the daylight and it is so much more inspiring and amazing in person than it is in day-for-night shots of Martin Landau chasing Cary Grant over Jefferson's philtrum in North By Northwest.
We also went to Deadwood, visited the Crazyhorse monument, drove through the Custer State Park and saw buffalo, burros, deer, antelope and prairie dogs!
After our lodge adventures, family members departed for New York, Florida and California and Carroll, Tom, Patrick, Alicia and my brave mother-in-law Luvy, pressed on thru Wyoming into Billings and Bozeman, Montana.
Unbelievably beautiful country, especially Paradise Valley, where A River Runs Through It was filmed. Wow!
We climbed to the base of Devil's Tower with our Melinda Dillon look-alike friend Alicia. I only had to send one set of Hagar work from the road during our ten day trip and managed to keep up with e-mail, sort of, via my iPod Touch (I love that thing). At Wall Drug, I met a 6-Foot Bunny and a Jackilope!
If anybody out there doesn't love this amazing country, I encourage you to hop in a car (or hybrid) and go see it. The people are great, the history and the wilderness are so inspiring and breathtaking.
I love America! We're very blessed.
This trip was made possible by my brilliant wife's Carroll's vision, Patrick's Road Warrior epic driving and the heroic efforts of many family and friends to leap out of the box for a week or so.
So how did it end?
Patrick drove us for something like ten hours on the last day, from Billings back to Sioux Falls.
When we finally arrived at he foot of our street we discovered the city had BLOCKED IT OFF WITH BARRICADES and a fresh slick of sticky black oil!
We could SEE our house- but couldn't get there!
Exhausted, we had to check in to a hotel in our own town. But my the next afternoon we were cooling our heels in the backyard at Bunny Hill where several new bunnies appeared. More babies!
GOOD TO BE HOME!