Tuesday, May 28

Raining hard here near Crawford, Nebraska this morning. Allowed myself to wake up without an alarm and did sleep in to about 8am. Slept well in the complete darkness provided by being far off the beaten path. No fossil hunting here today. Cleaned up and took off for the 11 miles dirt/gravel drive back to asphalt. It was dicey along the way. Pretty deep ruts, a few large pools of standing water and little room for error. Put the truck in 4 wheel drive – Low and went for it. Certainly needed to scrape some accumulated mud off the running boards once I got out to the road. It was slow going but no problems encountered. One slightly white knuckle moment did happen when I came Head on with the only other vehicle I saw and each of us had to ease our way to our respective sides of the roadway; we each had been driving down the middle to keep from sliding off into a ditch (from which would be no getting out). We passed like two ships in the night, slowly, gingerly and both made our way down the road.

Took a break at a fun local coffee cafe in the next town (Chadron) called the Bean Broker. I believe it was an old fashioned bank building in its past life. Good to have a warm drink and place to relax a bit on next leg of my journey. Drove a road I hadn’t traveled before up toward Hot Springs, SD. Always fun for me to travel on new paths to just take in the scenery. Although with the rain and low cloud cover not much to see at first. The weather started to break a bit later in the afternoon and I took in some new vistas. Often remarkable how far you can see once I get this far west. The land just seems to open up and in many places is virtually treeless; so the views present themselves.

I’ve started to see some roadside wildlife; seen mule deer, pronghorn antelope, a dead, but still beautifully colorful, pheasant, lots of bird life and a decent size herd of elk.

Went to see a friend in Edgemont, SD to have dinner and catch up; it had been several years since I’d visited with Kelly. He posts fun notes and photos from his many outdoor adventures so I’ve kept up with him that way in the intervening years. Good to see him and his wife, Julie.

Stayed the night with very kind ranch family near Hot Springs. Absolutely love being with them and enjoying the great views of their ranch property. Here’s a view off the back porch – heavenly.