Robby Poore

Tag: national parks

Wall, Badlands, and Black Hills

Desmond and Robby hike the Badlands

Gretchen shows off her Junior Ranger badge and patch!

Desmond and Lynne explore Wall Drug

Desmond working on a Jr. Ranger packet

2017: Robby and Lynne at Wall Drug

1954: Maybelle McCombs, Dorothy and Emery Poore, Wall drug.

Gretchen and Robby on the ridge at Badlands.

June 22, 2017

Sorry for the delayed blog posts, folks! We are in areas of the west that don’t have any Wi-Fi, or even cell service. So we had to put our phones on airplane mode. Will try to update this  when we can!

We had a great night sleep in Wall–so great in fact that we couldn’t make it to the hotel breakfast! After packing the car we headed to the legendary Wall Drug store, ate a massive breakfast and took several photos. I remembered seeing a photo my grandparents had taken in 1954 at the same location, so Desmond took a new one of Lynne and I in the same wagon.

We motored to the Badlands, and it was spectacular. Beautiful rock formations, all rapidly eroding and exposing fossils. Kids got the Junior Ranger packets at the visitor center, watched a short (and interesting) video, then went for a hike on the Notch trail. Gretchen is quite an intrepid explorer, looking for “the road less travelled” and scrambling up rock faces with ease. We had a great time, it’s so nice to hike in the west again. The weather was great, too, only about 75°.

We had lunch at the visitor’s center, then the twins got their Ranger badges (and the obligatory assortment of curios), and we were off on the spectacular drive through the park. Beautiful views, and we spotted a
few bighorn sheep, and one lonely buffalo.

We were tired so we motored to Rapid City, then headed south to our campsite at Spokane River Campground near Keystone. It’s our first time at a private campground, and it’s quite nice. The kids made instant friends with other youngsters who understood the World of Harry Potter, fidget spinners, and other oddities. The tent got pitched, the fire lit, and we had hamburgers and beer, and marshmallows. Lots of late-night arrivals at this place. The wind picked up at night and rained a little.

GRETCHEN: So far, today was my favorite day on the trip. I absolutely love Badlands National Park and am glad to be a junior ranger there. The hikes and landscape there are beautiful. Even though the hikes were long, tiring, and hot
The amazing views made up for it. I also like to take the road less traveled and go for a hike with my Dad. Now I realize that Badlands is such a wonderful place and deserves it’s title as a National Park.


Second Day: Mammoth Cave, Munfordville, and Beyond!

June 20, 2017

Second day! We woke up about 7, after an entertaining night of coyotes, fascinatingly loud owls, and a noisy 1am airstream trailer. We actually did get rest!
After packing we headed to the camp store for some “much-needed caffeination” for Lynne, and a second breakfast for our hungry hobbits.

Next stop was the Mammoth Cave visitor center, where the kids got Junior Ranger packets, and got their 4th grader National Park passes.
We took the 1/2 hour self-guided tour of the cave, a brief look at the rotunda cave and a chance to chat with the nice rangers and enjoy the cool cave air.
The kids correctly filled out the Mammoth Cave Junior Ranger packets, got their badges, then purchased some additional baubles at the gift shop.
We drove up to Munfordville to visit Aunt Doris, Robby’s father’s cousin, and her daughter Holly. The Poore family were from here and around Hart County. We had a lovely lunch and caught up on Munfordville past and present. It was so nice seeing you, Doris and Holly!
Afrer this all-too-brief stop, we headed north to Louisville, then west to Columbia Missouri. We stopped for dinner in Fairfield Illinois. We had wanted to stop at the “Barbed Wire Grill” but it was closed, so we had to settle for Subway. By this time we’d noticed that the landscape had flattened out, fields turned to corn, and the trees were smaller.
We glanced at the St Louis arch and the Mississippi River, then blasted west to Columbia, arriving late!

Gretchen:Today was such a long day. Tomorrow will be longer. It will be good to finally settle down after so long. Even though today was long, it was very fun. Aunt Doris made us the most amazing food and Mammoth Cave is quite the place! We also watched Part one of the first Lord of the Rings movie, witch is amazing! I hope many more days on this camping trip will be as fun and exiting as this!

Kids going to Mammoth Cave

Gretchen in Mammoth Cave

The kids working on Mammoth Cave Junior Ranger packets

Gretchen, Doris, Holly, Desmond, Robby

Fairfield, Illinois

Crossing the Mississippi at St. Louis

First Day on the Road!

Kentucky highway

Campsite B17 Mammoth Cave

June 19, 2017
First day in the road! We are headed to Mammoth Cave for a night of camping. As usual, a delayed start and some last-minute packing adjustments. We were out the door at 10:15 and stopped for biscuits and to top off the tank. The roads are pretty crowded from Durham to Winston-Salem, but thankfully traffic thinned out a bit. Gretchen kept us occupied/entertained with her state trivia cards. Did you know that Wyoming had the first woman governor?

We played Gretchen’s alphabet game (a game where we pick a theme, then go around the car and name things in alphabetical order), sang some YMCA camp songs, and made machine gun noises while going through tunnels.

We passed over the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, twisting and turning through some traffic and big trucks, and through the rolling hills of Tennessee and Kentucky. I love how the roads in Kentucky are carved out of that shale-like rock. We made it to Mammoth Cave about a half hour before nightfall, set up the tent and got a fire going, and cooked hotdogs. There were a dozen or so kids on scooters zipping around, so we sent the kids out to go buy some firewood.

Gretchen: I feel very good about this trip. No matter what setbacks like traffic or sleeping in we had, we always over came it and managed to have fun! I can not wait to go to Yellowstone and I am very exited to become a junior ranger in as many parks as I can. 3 words to describe our trip so far: Love, Adventure and Snacks

Life on the road


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