Cold Custer

Hello again everyone! We've made it to Moab and we are at a pretty nice KOA with wifi so this update will be mostly about what we were up to last week. After leaving the Badlands we made the fairly short drive to Custer, South Dakota. The KOA we were going to stay at ended up being more or less closed for the season. We could stay, but there was no power, bathrooms, or anything else for that matter so we had to find somewhere else. We ended up staying at Fort Welikit campground. It was awesome! Really nice private showers and bathrooms, wifi, power, and a nice little spot with very friendly people. After we unpacked everything we headed over to see Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. I guess it's something you don't really appreciate until you see it in person.
Crazy Horse was really cool. We took a little bus ride that got you right in front of the base of the monument and we got a nice view. We ended up deciding to stay until the lights came on that night so we went and got some food at the little restaurant that they have at the monument. We both ordered Indian Tacos. At the time it sounded like a good idea...... After the sun went down it was really really cold. The wind was harsh and I was quick with the photo.
During our time in the area we saw a ton of varied wildlife. There was a nice drive through a wildlife area where we went a few times to try and see different things. We saw everything from Buffalo, to Wild Burros, to Mountain Goats.
We decided to take a drive through Needles Highway. It was crazy! Lot's of one lane tunnels through the mountains and hairpin turns along the cliff side. It was fun and exciting and we didn't die so that was a bonus.
We also had our first snow of the year. We headed out to Sylvan Lake to take some photos.
The next night while at camp Melinda ended up getting a little sick. Her eyes puffed up, skin started to get hives and her nose closed up. We figured she had some kind of allergic reaction to something which I think we've narrowed down to Ibuprofen. We fought through the snow storm and went to the hospital which luckily wasn't too far away.
They gave her two shots in the ass and some steroids and she was right as rain. It was pretty scary but everything seems fine know. Gonna have to stay away from the Advil though. The next morning it was time to go to Colorado for a few days before we headed to Moab. After the campground was cleared of snow we rolled out. We took a little break in Nebraska to see Chimney Rock. We watched a little movie on it and took some photos and continued on our long journey to the Aspen area of Colorado.
I'm gonna keep Colorado brief since that place pissed us off. The people in Aspen and the surrounding area all drive like they are about to crap their pants and are racing to the nearest toilet. We didn't really feel the vibe there at all. Most of the people were arrogant and rude. My main point of stopping here was to shoot Maroon Bells. I was too late for the fall colors but I wanted to go none the less. We got up at about 4am and drove to the park. Melinda slept in the car and I walked out with one other guy that got there when I did. I made a new photo buddy and it was nice talking to him and made the freezing air a bit more bearable. Eventually the place was packed. Sunrise was pretty lackluster partly due to the fact that there wasn't too much color and a pack of ducks kept swimming back and forth on the pond ruining the reflection. It was nice to witness though. I think it may be worth a trip back during the fall and may even be worth fighting the crowds. Being so early I did manage to get a nice photo of some stars.
We then decided to hike a 1 mile trail to Hanging Lake. It was a pretty grueling 1 mile hike basically straight up. It made it worse having all my camera gear on my back. I seriously thought I was going to pass out. I ended up getting a shot I liked so it was worth it but we were both relieved to make it back down. I think we were most excited to know that it was soon time to leave for Moab and Aspen could kiss our asses.
The drive from Colorado to Utah was very nice. The weather was great and we arrived to 70 degrees and sunny. A nice change to the 25 degrees and snow from a few days before. We should be here for the next couple weeks so I'll try and get an update in sometime. Here's a little teaser ; )

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