During COVID (wow, did that really happen?), my husband and I decided to go on two road trips: One to the Grand Canyon (we live in Colorado) and one to Yellowstone.

The two “Covid” road-trips were uneventful. We drove on blissfully empty highways and visited blissfully uncrowded restaurants (except lots of rest stops were closed), and saw an abundance of wildlife who were reveling in their new-found open spaces. We breezed through Colorado and New Mexico. We “stood on the corner in Winslow Arizona” and stayed at a charming renovated railroad station hotel.

Yellowstone was another successful trip free of obstacles and hoards of people. The animals were again plentiful and seemingly grateful to move about freely. We drove quickly through a very windy Wyoming and visited Jackson Hole for the first time.

We dubbed the COVID trip as the second “Hole in the Ground” trip, the first one being a trip across Route 66 where we visited the Grand Canyon for the first time (for me), stopped at all the scenic stops along the old Route 66, saw the famed crater made by a large meteor and found in someone’s field, and saw other “holes” along the way. During that first trip, we decided to buy a condo in Hawaii, something my husband had been rooting for and I had been resisting. I think we were hoping for some epiphany during the second trip, but the only thing we came up with was that we’re happy for our health and our children’s and grandchildren’s health and happiness.

I told the above story to tell this story (to borrow from a phrase used by a famous comedian): We recently went on our “rock tour,” which is to say we visited places in South Dakota and nearby which have rocks. We saw Mount Rushmore (recommended), Crazy Horse (highly recommended), Devil’s Tower (fantastic), and many more “rocks.” Love seeing the buffalo, learning the history of the area, riding an 1880’s train, eating lots of home-style foods, staying in some fantastic places, and generally having a good time. On the way home, we visited the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado. That is another story for another time.

Alas, we didn’t decide to buy anything and I didn’t come up with any brilliant writing ideas, but I have new appreciation for our United States, respect for our Native Americans (and sorrow for what we did to them), and I hope our democracy continues (sorry to get political) and that our country continues to improve and remember its history.