Flotsam and Jetsam

We’re on to the 4th week of our road trip and we’ll be back in Durham soon. I haven’t posted some of the fun things we did/places we visited in the first half of the trip and I will attempt to do that in this post. They are not in chronological order or in any order of preference.

1. Mount Rushmore: We were in the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the week when the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was just ending. The rally is held every year in Sturgis, South Dakota in the first week of August. We saw hundreds of Harleys and biker dudes in their 50s sporting Harley jackets at Mount Rushmore. We even spotted a Harley with a French license plate!

Fun Fact on Mount Rushmore: The work of carving out Mount Rushmore didn’t start until a little before the Great Depression. An appeal was made to school kids to donate towards the project to get more funds. They figured that even if the children contributed just a dime, they would be able to collect $10,000. However, yo-yos made an appearance in the market at about the same time which also cost a dime. It was a difficult choice for the kids! Yo-yos won and only $1,700 were collected in the end.

2. My Birthday: I was in Portland, Oregon on my Birthday. D&M and their kids, TASK, had the day’s event planned ahead for us. It was a perfect day for blueberry picking and we picked close to 30 pounds of plump, juicy and waxy berries. I must have eaten around a pound straight from the bush. We then picnicked at a winery across the Columbia river in Washington state with a bottle of Tempranillo, cheese and baguette. Bliss!

P.S. I think I have a blind spot when it comes to shooting food. I always miss out when the spread is laid out, only to remember when the wine glass holds only the dregs and the baguette is half eaten.

3.  Waterfalls: Multnomah Falls, close to Portland, is claimed to be the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States.

4. Battle of Little Bighorn: We were driving through Montana on our way to Portland when we decided to stop at Little Bighorn where the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians fought with the United States Army in 1876 to fight for their lands. It resulted in an overwhelming victory for the Indians. Unfortunately for the Indians, they won the battle only to lose the war!

Fun fact: Many soldiers fighting in the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment were foreigners who did not even know how to speak English! Of the 793 enlisted men, 473 were native born and 320 were foreign born – the Irish and Germans were the largest foreign born groups!

5. Idaho: South Bend, Indiana to Portland, Oregon is the longest stretch we’ve covered in our trip at around 2,200 miles. Idaho was the last state before we reached Oregon and one of the prettiest!

6. Beaches and Sunsets: I’ve been to a few beaches and seen a couple of beautiful sunsets over Lake Michigan and Crescent City Beach in California. Lake Michigan is the fifth largest lake in the World and largest lake by surface area entirely in one country. Knowing these facts, I was still surprised that it looked so much like a sea.