Mount Rushmore Road Trip Prolog

14 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


As you might have guessed from the title, the main reason for this road trip was to visit the Mount Rushmore Memorial which I had never visited.  During my North Country Road Trip in 2017 I visited various northern museums from Fargo, ND west to Missoula, MT (mostly along the I-94 corridor).  Then after heading south I visited many museums from Idaho Falls, ID to Omaha, NE (mostly along the I-80 corridor).  That was a great trip, but I completely missed a lot of the major points of interest in the middle of South Dakota.  A lot of those points of interest, for me, were located around the Rapid City, SD area, which included Mount Rushmore and much of the Great Plains history in and around the Black Hills National Forest.  That left a big hole in my knowledge of the central South Dakota area, and I wanted to rectify that situation.   For these road trips I try to see as much of our beautiful country as I can while visiting museums of all types along the way, but I can’t see it all in one trip.  So as a result, I plan my trips for a maximum of 14 to 16 days duration.

My wife, DiVoran, has a grade school friend in Pueblo, CO that she keeps in touch with, and she also has cousins in Canon City, CO near where she grew up.  So for this trip, I made plans to start by flying into Denver, CO.  This would put me in the relatively close proximity for a visit with friends and relatives.  Southwest Airlines cooperated with that plan by having roundtrip non-stop flights from Orlando to Denver and return (free) with my Rewards Points.  DiVoran says, “I love it when Bill travels. It is not my passion and I couldn’t withstand the pace of visiting multiple museums in a day and all that daily driving for two weeks. The thing I like best is that Bill sees to it that everything in the house and with my car is in topnotch condition before he departs.  It’s kind of like a deal between us.  I enjoy just drifting along in my everyday routine.  He calls every evening from his motel and we catch up on our days activities and before I know it, he’s home again.“

As I planned this trip, I had been keeping a close eye on the weather.  I was concerned that the temperatures in the higher elevations and northern states would be getting cold anytime now.  Once a route had been established and reservations had been confirmed, I was pretty much committed to the plan.  However, as the day for my trip drew closer, I became a little apprehensive about what the weather was going to be like.  The southwest part of the country had been dealing with record high temperatures, but now there was a freak cold front heading southeast out of Canada.  Then I got the bad news.  The weather in Denver was forecast for 90 degrees on Monday and 35 degrees (with snow) on Tuesday.  And here I was flying into Denver on Wednesday.  How was this Floridian going to handle the cold weather?

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

One Response to “Mount Rushmore Road Trip Prolog”

  1. divoran09 October 14, 2020 at 4:16 pm #

    you got how I feel exactly, thank you my love


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