Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

What looks good on the map doesn’t always come out the way you expect, but the fact that the roads are “seasonally closed” should have been a clue. I don’t regret the path we took, but then, so far, Dave has done all of the driving. And after today, he might want to look a little closer at the way I’ve mapped us from one place to the next.

But I do have to say, hidden in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming has some of the most amazingly beautiful country I have ever seen.

When planning the trip, I thought it was practical to plan driving out through the park to our next stop in Gillette, Wyoming (a convenient place to break for the night before going to see Devils Tower and Mount Rushmore tomorrow).

What I didn’t realize is that the route took us back around the park loop nearly 60 miles, past the buffalo who own the road, and out through the East Entrance – a winding route of 27 miles.

But that was the easy part.

As we were driving out of the park, up ahead I could see some beautiful mountains. I was taking pictures of them, enjoying the brilliant colors (volcanic activity during the prehistory of the area led to reddish colored rock formations). Suddenly it dawned on me that our road was headed not just to that mountain but up and over it.

If you’re not afraid of heights and don’t mind twisty turns, I highly recommend heading East on 14 (the scenic byway at Shell to Dayton. It will take you through Bighorn National Forest and it is a phenomenal experience.

Especially if you’re the passenger.

It’s another story, of course, if you’re the driver. One who is not fond of heights.

There are not words to describe the scenery, but it is the first time in my life that I understood the term “majestic beauty.” It was simply breathtaking. My pictures do not do it justice; unless I’m willing to drive it myself, I may never see it again. It will remain, however, one of the bright spots of our journey.

Whenever you get tired of the politics and debating and commercialism that we all get bogged down in, take a road trip through America and you’ll remember why it is we are so lucky to live here.

I don’t know if they make Gillette razors in Gillette, Wyoming but they definitely make cowboys. Good ones, too.