Cortez, CO

(Click here for more photographs.)

Our main objective for stopping in Cortez was to visit nearby Mesa Verde National Park.  In Cortez, we parked at La Mesa RV Park.

Mesa Verde - Cliff Palace

At around 500 A.D., groups of Native Americans living in the four corners region began moving onto Mesa Verde.  The four corners area consists of southwestern Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah.  These groups had already developed farming skills and no longer needed to remain mobile in order to follow game migrations.  So they could “put down roots” so to speak and stay put in one place. Continue reading

Rapid City, SD (Black Hills)

(Click here for more photographs.)

The Black Hills area of western South Dakota holds many man-made and natural attractions that adds up to a very appealing place to visit and explore.  To do so, we parked at the American Buffalo Resort just south of the city of Rapid City, SD.

Mount Rushmore

The thing that most people know about this area is that this is where you can find Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  Gutzon Borglum was the chief sculptor who dedicated 14 years of his life to creating this massive memorial to four men who had profound impact in the history of our country.  Their vision and leadership very literally shaped how we came to be the most unique democracy in the world.  In the words of Mr. Borglum, “A monument’s dimensions should be determined by the importance to civilization of the events commemorated.”  Carving began in 1927 and was completed in 1941, just months after Borglum’s death.  The cost was just shy of $1 million, almost double the original estimate.  Nearly 3 million people from all over the world visit Mount Rushmore every year. Continue reading

Bozeman, MT

(Click here for more photographs.)

For a visit to Bozeman we parked at the Bear Canyon Campground a few miles east of town.  Bozeman has a rich history dating to the early 1960’s when the discovery of gold brought thousands of miners into the territory.  One of them, John Bozeman decided to lead immigrants to the gold fields via a series of old Indian trails, which soon became know as the Bozeman Trail.  Those who chose to forgo the mines settled in what became known as the town of Bozeman to establish farms and ranches.

When we visited Yellowstone National Park back in 2015 we explored almost all of the park but did not make it to the northernmost part, Mammoth Hot Springs.  From Bozeman it is a drive of about 1 1/2 hours to the town of Gallatin, MT, which is just outside the northern entrance to YNP. Continue reading