The Day of the Locusts

Alternatively titled:  Hey, want to see my vacation pictures?


After driving through fields and fields of corn, I suddenly became overwhelmed with this peaceful feeling that no matter what, my morning supply of Frosted Flakes was safe.


We pulled into Alliance, Nebraska, around noon to see Carhenge and grab a bite to eat before continuing on to Mt. Rushmore. (Yes, started in Oklahoma and we STILL weren’t there after driving a day and a half.)

I was in awe driving onto the field where Carhenge is located because the sign said it was a Car Art Reserve.

Felt like we were on safari.




Okey-dokey, now.


Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.


Aptly named The Fourd Seasons.


We rang the windchimes.  Why?  Because they were there.


Have you noticed anything strange about these pictures?  Like maybe the fact that JJ isn’t in ANY of them?  Could it be because Carhenge is located directly adjacent to a ginormous corn (what else?) field that had been recently harvested and the entire ground was teeming with grasshoppers, crickets, locusts, and other flying winged insects that randomly flew all over the place and scared the beejeebers out of two-thirds of my brood?

This stop turned out to be a quick one for two reasons.  1) It was lunch, and Carhenge or no Carhenge, my people choose lunch out of  a bag over life-enriching experiences any day of the week;  and 2) there was no gift shop. We wandered into town and stopped at a gas station to ask where one could get some decent home cookin’ in town and the friendly local said “Well, at home.”

Cue rim shot.

He told us about the Wonderful Kitchen and said they served decent Chinese food so off we went to try the local ethnic fare.


It was at the Wonderful Kitchen where I discovered that Chinese food can disappoint no matter where you are.

After driving for four more hours looking at this view…


…we finally arrived at the westernmost portion of our vacation, Mt. Rushmore, where we were the only whippersnappers around. I wouldn’t say the crowd skewed old, but some of these people were wearing the same class ring as Teddy Roosevelt.


Gutzon Borglum was the architect/designer of Mt. Rushmore, and I think his mama had to dig deep to come up with a name like that.  I‘m sure his elementary school experience was brutal.


I don’t know if I have the words to describe the peaceful majesty that surrounds this place.  The views are stunning, especially since the terrain changes so drastically from plains to rugged peaks.  It was worth every single minute of the drive.

I could bore you with the thirty-nine thousand pictures I took of the mountain while we were on our Ranger Rick Nature walk, but this post is already waaaay too long and only my mother is reading at this point so I’ll close with just a couple of items I found amusing in the gift shop.


Prairie dog salt and pepper shakers.

Still kicking myself for not buying them.

Have a nice day.

23 responses to “The Day of the Locusts

  1. You passed up those salt and pepper shakers?!? Those are the kind of souvenirs I buy. Ones that take me back to the trip, give a story, or provide a laugh. Guess you’ll have to drive back up there and get them!

  2. My sister and I devied up my grandmother’s awesome rock star salt and pepper shaker collection. No prairie dogs, but we got dolphins.

    And The Wonderful Kitchen….ick.

  3. I spent two of the most boring and peaceful years of my life in Nebraska, when I was just trying to figure out how ‘Life in these United States’ was suposed to work. I had the tribe, as it was in those days, at Mt Rushmore the day the two airliners hit the World Trade Center, so we couoldn’t go around the park – it was closed in case the terrorists wanted to blast old Roosevelt off the cliff. The countryside there is fantastic, I’d love to go back when the Nation Park is open.

  4. You are not kidding about that drive to Rushmore. Those SD hills are so beautiful as you drive to the top. But we kept thinking that we might be on the wrong road, because surely you should be able to see those four guys from far away…when all of a sudden, we were in the parking lot looking at a piece of America. Just amazing.

  5. Oh, you should have bought the shakers! Please tell me you did buy the votive!
    I think the fields of grain were beautiful…I guess not after miles and miles and miles of them though.

  6. Your “okey-dokey now” comment made me choke on my Golden Grahams! I guess you picked up some mid-western lingo along the way…

    SO glad to know that I don’t have to worry about there being a deficit in my beloved cereal.

  7. I’ve always wanted to go to Mt. Rushmore. So beautiful!!!!

  8. I love that you were wearing the American flag there!

  9. Yay, America!!

  10. I feel a song coming on ….

    Theeeeeeeerrrrrrre’s a bright golden haaaaze on the meadoooooow …

  11. All I can say is jealous. I tried to talk my husband into driving to Mt. Rushmore this summer and he said I was on crack. Don’t think I didn’t hold you up as an example! 😀

    We are going next summer. We are!

    • We were supposed to go last summer, but with gas prices so high, we delayed until this year. My husband thought I was smoking crack, too. But he’s very glad we did after the fact. He had way more fun than he thought he was going to have.

      Also, tell your hubby that it’s CHEAP. It was $10 a car to get in. We spent more than that in souvies at the store.

  12. I bet that gift shop would mail them to you. 🙂

  13. I tried to get the Hubby to make that drive when we were on our Sabbatical in ’99. Would. not. do. it. So thanks, I feel like I’ve been there. 🙂

    I totally would have bought the shakers.

    Just sayin’

  14. Great photos!! Your drive through the fields of nothingness reminded me of African fields of nothingness. BORING! So glad you saw cool things and did fun things.

  15. My relatives in Maine took us out to their favorite Chinese restaurant. I’m thinking that Chinese food had best be left in the hands of us metro-area dwellers.

  16. And I guess I’m the only one in the world who is appalled by Mt. Rushmore. Faces don’t belong on the side of a gorgeous mountain. What was the sculptor thinking? “What a beautiful vista! Let’s ruin it!”

    Besides, the faces are so big, they creep me out. The Statue of Liberty frightens me, too.

  17. How much do I love those prairie dog shakers?!

    That’s just plain fun.

  18. What a coincidence…I have those exact salt shakers. No wait! I have the jackalope shakers. Looks like you guys had a vacation that will never, ever be forgotten.

  19. Carhenge?? Only in America. I mean, really, do you think you’d find anything like that in Europe? No way…

    Ah…Mt. Rushmore. So very proud of you for taking the trip of a lifetime.

  20. Obviously a lot of us were reading it clear to the end…. We did not want to miss one bit. How else can we get our chuckle for the day! I love all the things you share, pictures & words. I’m glad you had such a great time.

  21. Oh what a great trip it sounds like you had! Our three-week camping trek to Mt. Rushmore a number of years ago still ranks as our number one family vacation e-vah. Even better than the Alaska cruise and the Club Med/trapeze adventure. We still remember the family chant: “Mt. Rushmore or bust. In Aug-Ust.” Even though it was July. Nothing rhymes with July.

    Love the salt and pepper shakers. That would’ve been a key buy. You’ll have to go back now.

  22. Ah, prairie dogs. I sure miss them. Almost. We have moles here. It’s just not the same.

    Isn’t about time for another round of Ask Sus–I mean after we see all your pics?

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