A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Monday, August 21, 2017

Today is the Day



The great celestial event, the solar eclipse, happens today.  I selected Nebraska to be the state of choice to view the darkening skies as it is flat and wide open.  Now it was just a matter of the clouds. I have been monitoring the forecast for a week and most everywhere along the path of the dark zone was "partially cloudy".  That won't do.  I want "clear and sunny".  Each day what I wanted was further and further east in the state.  I eventually gave up on the weather.  You cannot control the weather.  But I can control to some degree the mass of people expected to infiltrate the area and with that I concentrated on a remote location hopefully few will make the effort to drive to.  So if the sun and moon are obscured by a cloud I can live with that for I mostly want to experience the totality of darkness in a matter of a few minutes in the middle of the day.  I've put in too much time and thought with this thing, I just want this to get over with so I can continue on with my life. 
Whatever happens, and what images I get I will post when I get to someplace with cell service.  

Our location ended up being just over the border into Wyoming.  It is a small wildlife management lake with only a couple places to camp.  This should be good.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Signs



A little research revealed the plague they are referring to is the Bubonic plague, the Black Death.
Nice.


Hey, I have a little black-footed ferret traveling with me!


At a Sinclair gas station in Cody, Wyoming.  I have never run across these anywhere before.  
What a nice service.  
I have my own glove I use as diesel leaves a lingering smell much more than plain gasoline does.


We are trashing are planet to no end.
The orange peel was surprising to me.


We stopped to see Chimney Rock outside of Bayard, Nebraska.


I didn't remember having been there until I saw these signs which were everywhere.


I also didn't remember a $3 fee which I doubt I would have paid on the previous visit as you cannot get any closer to the feature than the back door of the visitor center.



Saturday, August 19, 2017

Nebraska


We stayed overnight at Bordeaux Wildlife Area just across the border after a long day's drive.



I love Nebraska.




Off in the distance in the above photo later that evening was the most amazing lightning storm I had ever witnessed.  Amazing in the frequency of flashes which I tried to capture in a one minute video.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Leaving the Badlands


The evening before we left a herd of Bighorn Sheep passed through coming up from the canyon below from where we were camped.  I doubt you can see them in this photo but some of the group are right in the center of the photo.


Zoomed way in the picture quality isn't all that good but better than nothing.
Notice a few with radio tracking collars.


A marvel that they can stand on such narrow ledges quite at ease.



The morning we left they had moved in closer to camp.
Taken out the window which you can see the bit of bottom left,
which gives an idea as to how close they were, not a care in the world.










Thursday, August 17, 2017

Down Into the Badlands


Our camp is just outside the Park entrance where we can camp for free on the grasslands.
This is our view just across the dirt road separating camp form the edge of the plateau we are on.
Yeah, I like having the road between us and the edge.


The first day I just had to see if there was a way down into the Badlands.
See if you can find me in the following photos taken by my camp neighbor Angela.

 


It was windy and cool on the top when I began the hike but once down there
no wind and it began to get warm where here I have taken off my outer shirt.






Not zoomed in like some of the other photos which gives you an idea of the vastness 
but I am there, a speck in the very center.


Thank you Angela for these photos.



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bighorn Sheep


Over the years I have been to many places where if lucky you can see Bighorn Sheep.
I have never seen one but here in the Badlands of South Dakota my luck finally turned.

Before we reached the park I thought this herd of Bison would be the luck of my day.


Then maybe I might see one of these.


I never in my wildest imagination did I think I would see this though.




I have to honest with you though and show the only reason I was able to get the photos I did was because they were right by the road and not bothered in the least with cars passing by.
That's okay, I'll take seeing Bighorn Sheep anyway I can.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Badlands, South Dakota


You might say it looks pretty bleak, barren and desolate and I would have to agree.







This one I like the best for it looks like a painting.


And you might think pretty lifeless too, but tomorrow's post will show that's not so.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Good-bye Belle Fourche


This was a lovely place to stay and I am sure we will return the next time we are in the northwest portion of South Dakota.  We were treated with a wonderful rainbow on our last day.


We continued west to Rapid City, South Dakota to resupply Beans food and Johnny food, do some laundry (oh joy!) then stayed at Cabela's for the night.  Cabela's is a major sporting goods supplier and I once showcased it on one of our cross-country trips where we stayed at the main home office store in Sidney, Nebraska.  I tried to find it in my blog but could not.  Sorry.  


All the stores have these displays of stuffed big game animals indigenous to where that particular store is located.  This one being in the Great Plains area of course had to have a bison or two.  In the above photo you see a huge mammoth bison sculpture out front.  Ah, but inside...I bet you never have seen a two-headed bison before.


Okay, it wasn't.  This was the view from the checkout area.  The other bison is resting it's head on the neck of the nearer one but from this angle it looked to be two-headed.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Moon Over the Lake


The evening of the full moon was pretty.


Prettier than my pictures.


I especially like seeing the shine of the moon on the water.



Less than two weeks to the BIG ECLIPSE!