For day 47 we had our final day of vacation. We stayed in the Black Hills area, saw Mount Rushmore again, and went to one last National Park, Wind Cave (34 total). There is a tendancy for places to want to be the best or most of something. We saw this in the South where it seems like every battlefield claimed to either be the bloodiest battle in one way or another or to be the more decisive battle in one way or another. For Caves we were at Mammoth Cave a few weeks ago, which claimed to be the longest cave in the world. Other caves claim to be the first discovered or most visited. Wind Cave claims to be the most complex cave system in the world. I know there are mathematical formulas to describe the complexity of objects but, somehow, I doubt there is a precise formula to support this claim. The process by which caves are formed and the amazing diversity of life which has evolved to life in caves is very fascinating to me, but becoming an avid cave explorer is not on my to-do list. The most interesting thing to me is that Wind cave is a National Park both below ground for the cave, and above ground for the wildlife preserve with a large herd of bison and a huge Praire dog town. Both were fun to see on our way to and from the cave.
We also just spent a relaxing day doing “vacation type things”, like shopping, taking pictures and finding a new and interesting place to eat. We accomplished all those things and decided to call in a fine day for an end to our vacation.
I call it the end of the vacation even though we won’t be home for 3 more days. What’s left is just long distance driving back to our little home in the upper left hand corner of the map. Today we drove through our final state for our trip, Wyoming (19), and made almost 600 miles to Livingston, Montanta. About 800 miles more to get home. Tomorrow we will pass 9000 miles for the whole trip and yesterday we passed an oddity in terms of miles. The odometer briefly read as “123456”.
Home soon but no more new states, new parks, cemeteries, museums or visits with people.