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Motor Coach Tour 2011
Saturday, May 21st
Denver, Colorado
Rapid City, South Dakota

Today's task was to get from Denver, Colorado to Rapid City, South Dakota. Here is a map.....

Tour map V2a

It takes all day to drive along that green line between the two cities. The route was not nearly that straight as shown here but this map gets the point across.

The tour really starts tomorrow in Rapid City but Globus added this option to go from Denver when access by air to Rapid City became a problem with a huge reduction in flights caused by the purchase of Northwest Airlines by Delta. Both served Rapid City and after the amalgamation there ended up being quite a few fewer flights there. As noted yesterday Tour Director Jack called this day one of the longest airport transfers in the world. We did not stop to see anything along the way. There were washroom stops approximately every 90 minutes etc, etc, etc.......

Here are a few pictures taken along the way.

Invesco Field in Sun Last Hotel Window View in Denver
Early in the morning (6:35AM to be exact) as the sun rose showing Invesco Field in the sun. Somewhat later in the morning (7:50AM this time, just before we were to leave) a sunny view looking west over the Convention Centre.
WWV Antennas Highway View 1
Heading north out of Denver you go through the town of Fort Collins, Colorado. The US National Bureau of Standards has a short wave radio station here that does nothing but broadcast very accurate time signals. The antennas off in the distance in front of the mountains are probably that station. Any one who has had a clock that automatically sets it time by radio has probably received the signals from here.
I think the coach was probably out of Colorado by the time this picture was taken.
Highway View 2 Highway View 3
More of the scenery in southern South Dakota The next few pictures show the scenery as we progressed towards Rapid City.
Highway View 4 Highway View 5
Highway View 6 Highway View 7
The animals in this picture are Elk. The first of many we will see as the tour continues.  
Highway View 8 Highway View 9
  The first Bison of many more that we will see.
Gas Station Sign 1 Highway View 10
Between the time the previous picture was taken (11:41AM) and this one was taken (2:27PM) there had been a major rain storm that was so bad that we could hardly see out of the bus windows (quite a challenge for bus driver Lee) and lunch.
This was our afternoon "potty break" stop.
Gas prices are per US gallon.
Here , as we make our final dash towards Rapid City are more Bison. The gap that you can see in the distance and in the picture are the well known "Buffalo Gaps". These are were the Bison would move from the foot hills of the Black Mountains to the open plains. The Black Mountains are directly behind us in this picture.

Highway View 11

Here is a better view of the "Buffalo Gaps" mentioned in the previous picture.

Here are a few notes.

Lunch on this day was in a very small town in South Dakota whose name I cannot remember. The town was so small that the only place to eat was a very small Subway Fast Food Restaurant. The weather did not cooperate, it was pouring rain at the time but luckily we were able to get quite close. I think it had just about stopped by the time we came out. It was a good thing that there were only 9 of us plus driver Lee and Tour Director Jack making this part of the tour. (We get more in Rapid City.) There were a number of the locals there too. It was a busy little place on a Saturday noon hour in a very rural town in southern South Dakota.

Since we have seen our first Bison this would probably be a good spot to point out that what look like Buffalo to most people in North America are actually Bison. Buffalo exist only in Africa and not in North America. Bison and Buffalo are not related and their genenomes are apparently quite different. Even though the names are often used interchangeably it is not correct to do so. If they are in North America and look like Buffalo they are Bison. I will try to keep this straight as I go through this site.

The coach left Denver this morning at approximately 8:30AM (I think it was) and arrived at the hotel in downtown Rapid City at approximately 4:30PM. Shortly after arrival Tour Director Jack had us signing up for the optional excursions available on this trip. There were only two on mine and some additional ones for those going all the way to Las Vegas. I signed up for one in Jackson, Wyoming.

There was a welcome reception where those of us who came from Denver were to meet those that had come directly to Rapid City. There were 8 more there but there were 7 others who were stuck at the airport in Minneapolis/St Paul due to some severe weather that had occurred there right around the time their connecting flights to Rapid City were to leave. It would become an ongoing saga throughout the day tomorrow following how these people were making out in there efforts to get here.

After having some dinner I had a quiet evening at the Radisson Hotel Mt. Rushmore Hotel in downtown Rapid City. The hotel is about 26 miles or approximately 42 kilometres from Mt Rushmore.

On to May 22nd and the Crazy Horse Monument and Mt Rushmore.

Back to May 20th

Created: August 2, 2011
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 11:32 AM