At the Coffee Shop


As I write this, my lovely wife Rosemary and I have just returned from a road trip out west.  I had been to some of these areas as a child, but Rosemary had never been, so this was really a new adventure for both of us.

We left and drove to Des Moines, Iowa the first day, and drove by John Wayne’s birthplace in Desoto, Iowa. (Can’t get much more American than John Wayne!) and then the second day on to Rapid City South Dakota. Once we got into South Dakota, we were near the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie) in De Smet, South Dakota.

Mike Stegall and Mount Rushmore. (Rosemary Stegall photo)

From there on, we started to see the sights, splendor, and beauty that is America.  We saw some great sights; hills, The Big Horn and little Big Horn rivers, Custer’s last Stand monument, The Badlands National Park, and the Black Hills, (remarkably beautiful!) and big ranches for cattle, one was 65,000 acres!

We spent the night in Rapid City, among mountains, and some of the friendliest people you will meet.  One thing we noted was the vast amount of wide open space out west.  Once you get out of Iowa, which the western half is pretty too, you start to see less and less of civilization.

Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming. (Mike Stegall photo)

America is 330 million people plus, and believe me, we have massive room to grow and not feel crowded! We left Rapid City, and we were amazed at the lack of traffic and tourists this time of year.

From there we went to Gillette, Wyoming for the evening (note, the drive from Gillette to Sheridan is really nice!) We then went to Livingston, Montana, just a short five hour hop, stayed overnight so we could see Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons the next day.  I can’t really describe both places…….you really have to see them, they are not done justice by words or pictures.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial. (Mike Stegall photo)

We did drive through Jackson, Wyoming (Jackson is the town, Jackson Hole is the area!) which is nice, but it seemed to me more like a tourist trap, but the scenery is nice.  From this point on, we really had nothing planned, so we stayed in Pinedale, Wyoming.

The next couple of days we drove past Denver, into Limon, Colorado for the night, and then headed east to Kansas City for a two night stay, and after almost 3,800 miles, home.

Sturgis, South Dakota home of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. (Mike Stegall photo)

This trip reminds me of how proud we should be of this beautiful land. Rosemary and I have traveled a lot, to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Great Britain, France, Italy, and the eastern United States. They are all great places…..but the western States really show how lucky and thankful we should be to live in America.

Grand Teton Mountains, Wyoming. (Mike Stegall photo)

The people there are friendly, tough, hard working, and have a sense of pride in America, that is lost in the big metropolises of this country. They are Americans, and are proud of it!  We all should be!  For all of our problems, we still do most things better than other countries.

So, when you get time, load up the family, drive out west, and see the beauty that is us, America.  You will have a whole new perspective on our country.  That’s the talk in the Coffee Shop!

Buffalo in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Stegall photo)