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American Road Trip Adventure: Day 6 (Part One)

September 12th, 2013 (08:54 am)

I've just returned from a long road trip. I was traveling to a conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, and we made it a family vacation, to show our son more of this big, amazing country. I blogged from the road, but I didn't want to advertise to every burglar on the internet that our house was empty, so I've waited until now to start posting the entries.

Monday, August 19
Rapid City, South Dakota, to Devils Tower & Casper, Wyoming
332 Miles
P1120454 Bird Sleeping 40% cropP1120452 Bird Bed 40% crop

Part One: Bird Beds and Water Slides
I haven't said much about the hotels we stayed in along the way. Most were mid-range chains (Comfort Inn, Best Western, Hampton Inn). In other words, they were not luxurious but did offer a few amenities.

I confess that we ignored the no-pets policy of some of the hotels. Jon Morgan travels with several of his "pets." These are small, plush animals, mostly those Audubon birds with the realistic calls. They're small enough so that we didn't have to order a rollaway bed for them to sleep in, but let them share the headboard of Jon Morgan's bed, or snuggle into a nest he'd make for them alongside his pillow. As you can see, they like to sleep on their backs.

In addition to bird-friendly sleeping arrangements, one hotel amenity Jon Morgan likes on a long road trip is a swimming pool. After sitting in a car for eight hours, he needs to move around and work off some of that excess 11-year-old-boy energy. A swim also makes a nice incentive for good behavior, though my son is an unusually happy traveler so this isn't as much of an issue as you'd expect.

We woke up on Day 6 after our second night in the Rapid City hotel. It was a relief to spend two nights in one place, for a change. We planned to check out after breakfast and head toward Casper, Wyoming, with a few stops along the way. But first, Jon Morgan and Bob had time for a swim in the hotel pool. This pool was special: It had a cool water slide. It was also heated, and very steamy, which made it hard to snap sharp photos. But Jon Morgan had a blast.

P1120414 Rapid City Pool, 40%P1120429 Water Slide in Rapid City, 40%