Dave & Bea's U.S. Parks Trip

July 3-7, 2013

Wednesday 3rd
Fly in to Fargo, North Dakota
Barenaked Ladies concert

"Fargo is a modern city of just over 100,000 on the Red River in the southeast corner of North Dakota. Many people relate Fargo to the eponymous 1996 Coen Brothers movie starring Oscar-winner Frances McDormand and William H. Macy, though none of the movie was filmed in Fargo.
North Dakota's largest city, home of North Dakota State University, the cultural, medical, and economical center of the state. The least-visited state in the union."

Flights- United $1318

#3775 Austin 8am to Chicago
#6008 Chicago to Fargo 1:53pm
I don't have good notes, but I remember having flight delays or cancelations to where there was a good chance I was going to miss the show. Ended up making it in time to just miss the first act I believe.

Radisson Hotel, $142
#19 of 44 on TA
"The 18-story Radisson Hotel Fargo is the second-tallest building in North Dakota and dominates the flatlands of the Red River Valley as it overlooks Fargo's central business, financial, government and cultural districts. Downtown Fargo, ND attractions surround the hotel's convenient location near Fargodome, on the campus of North Dakota State University, and a vibrant business district with many unique shops, coffeehouses, galleries, museums, theatres, restaurants and nightclubs. Enjoy a relaxing, worry-free stay in a fantastic Euro-style hotel room..."

They wouldn't let anyone take bug spray in.

Chili cheese dog for dinner.


Boothby Graffoe- he liked my shirt and went on bought one to wear on stage later.

When I saw the opening show of the tour BNL did a few songs from this tent, so I could tell someone was going to perform and we got a front row experience.

Guster performs again.

Made our way into the crowd for BNL.

We walked it back into town and had a chance to catch up.

Late night dinner at JL Beers

Outside of our hotel.



Filmed By Someone Else

Did I Say That Out Loud?

Pinch Me


Gonna Walk
Some Fantastic


Keepin' It Real
Be My Yoko Ono

The Old Apartment
Odds Are
Big Bang Theory Theme
One Week


If I Had $1,000,000



Brian Wilson
Tonight Is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel

Thursday 4th
Fly to Rapid City, South Dakota
See Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse

"Rapid City is in the Badlands and Black Hills region of South Dakota. It is a convenient base for travel on to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the Crazy Horse Memorial, the Badlands, and the Black Hills National Forest." Second largest city in the state.

Another VERY early start to the day, so we made a decision to pay for a taxi to the airport, vs the free hotel shuttle, to get a few extra minutes sleep.

United #6091 Fargo 6:20am to Denver
#6007 Denver to Rapid City 9:53am

Rental car booked through priceline
Hertz $39
We got a black Camaro, so that was kind of cool.

Holiday Inn Rapid City- Rushmore Plaza
Used annual free night certificate
#16 of 52 on TA

"Few attractions stir the emotions of visitors the way Mount Rushmore does. Since its completion in 1941, it has joined the Statue of Liberty and the Stars & Stripes as one of America’s most inspiring symbols of democracy.

Located 23 miles southwest of Rapid City, Mount Rushmore is awesome and impressive. The granite faces of four American Presidents tower 5,500 feet above sea level and are scaled to men who would stand 465 feet tall. Each head is as tall as a six-story building!

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s attention to detail makes the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln appear almost lifelike in the morning and afternoon sun of the Black Hills.

On arrival at the park, we will enjoy a walking tour at the base of the presidents’ faces and walk the path taking us around and behind the giant monuments for up close and unique vantage points of the enormous sculptures carved into the mountain’s rock face. We will then have free time to explore the visitor’s center and gift shop."

A nice lunch at this cute German restaurant.

"The next stop is Crazy Horse Memorial which honors the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.

Crazy Horse Memorial, home of the world’s largest mountain sculpture in progress, is in the Black Hills of South Dakota just 17 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore. The dimensions are staggering. The mountain-sized statue is as long as a cruise ship and taller than a 60-story skyscraper!

Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski began the project in 1948 at the request of Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear and other Native American elders. Korczak died in 1982. His wife, Ruth, and some members of their family continue the project. Fifty-five years after Ziolkowski began carving Crazy Horse Memorial, his family continues the dream and work progresses on the world's largest mountain sculpture. When finished, Crazy Horse will stand 641 feet long and 563 feet high.

Equipped with only a sledge hammer, a single-jack drill bit and a box of dynamite, Boston-born sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski went to work on June 3, 1948 creating his 563 by 641-foot sculpture of an Indian man atop a spirited warhorse. This would later be called Crazy Horse Memorial. He would spend the next 36 years of his life doggedly blasting away 7,400,000 tons of granite near Custer, South Dakota to rough out virtually the entire figure, in the round.

Now, 60 years after Korczak started carving, and his death in 1982, work still continues on the world’s largest sculpture. The 88-foot-high face of Crazy Horse was dedicated on June 3, 1998, 50 years to the day after Korczak’s first blast. The Memorial's visitor complex includes the 40,000 square foot Welcome Center and theaters, the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Educational & Cultural Center, the sculptor’s log home studio and workshop, indoor and outdoor galleries, museum gift shop, restaurant and snack bar areas and expansive viewing veranda. Many Native American artists and crafts people create their artwork and visit with guests at the Memorial during the summer season."

We then checked in at our hotel. I believe I took a swim in the indoor pool, then we drove to a spot in town by a country club and sat on the grass on the side of the road to watch Fourth of July fireworks.

Then checked out downtown for dinner.
They had a statue of each U.S. president scattered around.

Dinner at Firehouse Brewing company

"The Firehouse is a restaurant and brewery built in the old downtown firestation. There is a great variety of food offered from Mexican, to German, to traditional hotdogs and hamburgers. In the summer, the outdoor patio features a full menu and bar in addition to live music and plays. They have large windows where you can view the brewing process. The beer menu changes seasonally to offer a variety of brews throughout the year. The options range from very light IPA's and ales to dark rich beers and even a house favorite red brew. You will not be dissapointed with the menu, although the service can be hit or miss. Plan on going early in the summer to get a spot outside for the entertainment. In the winter, you can enjoy dinner theatre with new performances monthly."

I just spotted that the Minuteman Missle national Historic site is somewhere east of Rapid City, would like to have seen that if we knew about it.

Friday 5th
Fly to Jackson, Wyoming
Explore town

United #3867 Rapid City 9:00am to Denver
#997 Denver to Jackson Hole 12:35pm

Snow King Resort Hotel
Fully paid through hotels.com $418
#20 of 40

Fun, we got to do the 2500ft Alpine slide. They were likely going to close it later due to wind.

Lunch in town at Cafe Genevieve.

Square in town.

Took the bus over to a different resort and took the tram ride to the top.

Tetons in the background.

Dinner at The Gun Barrel Steakhouse.