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Trip Report Serendipity: Road trip loop from MSP to Yellowstone & back.

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Last September we two 66 year-olds from the UK drove a three week, 3500 mile loop through ND, MT, WY, SD and back to MS. Most Fodor correspondents advised flying to somewhere nearer to Yellowstone. I’m glad that we ignored them, our trip was so full of interest that we are returning for another visit this May/June to see what spring is like. Highlights, in chronological order:

· United Tribes Pow-Wow in Bismarck. The “Feather has fallen” dance was particularly poignant.
· Enchanted Highway on a beautiful sunny morning. We were lucky enough to meet Gary Greff, the sculptor, a very practical visionary.
· Theo. Roosevelt NP, and a short hike in the Painted Canyon. “Watch out for rattlesnakes, poison ivy and a bison on the trail!” Advice guaranteed to spook two elderly Brits. It was a very cautious walk.
· Yellowstone, all the different and unfamiliar animals, Old Faithful and its companions, and of course the colours. [They deserve that “u”!]
· Snow-capped Tetons, and a ferry across Jenny Lake for a steep climb to Inspiration Point.
· Gunfight outside Irma’s in Cody. No one died!
· Little Bighorn and a fantastic lecture by the Ranger, who brought the tragic events to vivid life.
· Crazy Horse, & Mount Rushmore, particularly the light shows. When “The Star Spangled Banner” is sung by ordinary citizens [as it was in the gathering dusk of Rushmore’s lighting ceremony], rather than by an over-rated diva, there can be few more moving anthems.
· Custer State Park, particularly that corkscrew drive up from Keystone.
· Badlands NP – amazing scenery. We hope to see more wild flowers on our upcoming trip.
· Wounded Knee and the awful story behind the hilltop headstone.
· Mitchell’s Corn Palace. Inside, e National Children’s Tractor Pull Championships, outside a Main Street.filled with hot rods.
· Sioux Falls in full flood, unusual for that time of year but there had been big rain in Minnesota while we were away.
· Minneapolis and the Guthrie Theatre’s production of “The Master Butcher’s Singing Club.” Louise Erdrich’s books have a strong sense of place and this world premier captured the spirit of the novel.

To this list I should add the people that we met, guides, docents, casual acquaintances, fellow diners and folk who were prepared to stop and answer some of our dumb questions. Thank you all!

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