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stephen-f-austinMy old high school buddy Toby Thurman posted this photo recently of us racing the 1500 meters in college.  Spoiler alert, he sprinted past me at the end.  I hope Toby is fat and bald now.  This particular race was at his college, Stephen F Austin, in Nacogdoches Texas, circa 1984.  I ran for Texas State.  I ran the 10K earlier in the morning, where after leading the entire race, yet another high school buddy running for SFA sprinted past me at the end.  That was Scott Holman.  He became a standup comic, so if he’s not fat and bald now, at least I know he’s starving to death.

Toby lamented on his post the loss of speed that comes with age.  The effects of aging are heightened by melancholy thoughts of youthful athleticism.  Still, I wouldn’t give up the memories of racing balls out around the track.  And even though I’m so much slower nowadays, I still enjoy racing.  When I returned to serious running a few years back, I couldn’t maintain a strong race pace for a complete event.  If the event was a 10K, I might find myself holding a strong pace alongside another runner for two of the six miles.  That was good enough for me.  I’ve improved to where I can race the complete distance now.  Not at a pace comparable to my youth, but that doesn’t matter.  Racing is a feeling as much as anything else, and it can be experienced at any pace as long as you’re running alongside someone of equal abilities.

This wasn’t a strong racing year for me and I miss it.  I’m still in pretty good shape, I just haven’t been running many events.  That’s about to change.  I’m signed up for two events in November.  The Shoes&Brews 5K and the Longmont Turkey Trot 10K.  Then the Colder Bolder 5K in early December.  Always a fun event across the CU campus with nice, free photos.  I’m going to finish the year strong.

Self Promotion




The time has come.  If I count the three years I spent blogging inside the IBM firewall, then I’ve been steadily blogging, at least weekly, for ten years.  Which means, I’ve established my digital presence.  Next step is to leverage my online persona for commercial gain.

Because I’m on a path to indie publish my pending novel, target date Thanksgiving, I won’t have the benefit of the promotional activities performed by a traditional publisher.  I’m okay with that.  I won’t be nearly as successful on my own than if I worked with a traditional publisher, but this isn’t about the money.  And I find navigating the editing and publishing process as interesting as writing.  It’s work, but it’s interesting.  Being a product manager, many of the activities mirror my day job, launching new computer security services.  A good number of the writers I’ve met are intimidated by the publishing process.  I’m confident I have the needed skill set.  Plus, I have some friends advising me along the way.

I’ve debated over whether or not to use this blog.  When I went through cancer a couple of years ago, I fired up a new blog to capture that experience.  This is more than simply a runner’s blog, it’s my life story, but that content seemed too different to me.  And it was a bit graphic, so I kept it separate.  What I learned from that though is if I establish a new blog to promote my writing, or even a business facebook page, I won’t benefit from the many years I’ve spent curating the content in this blog.  I haven’t contributed new content to my cancer blog in two years so I don’t expect it to receive many hits.  Occasionally it will receive one hundred hits in a single day but it typically receives about three views per day.  This blog receives thirty views per day on average, sometimes three hundred.  Math suggests I leverage my running blog for what it’s worth rather than starting something from scratch.

I’ll make blog titles and use photos to make the content clear up front.  That way readers not interested don’t have to click.  Running sites that link to my blog will have a head’s up it’s not the typical running content.  My blogs are only about 70% running related as it is.  390 running topics out of 565 total.  And I don’t feel bad about leveraging my blog for self promotion.  I do quite a bit to keep this site commercial free.  I pay a premium fee for what would otherwise be a free site at WordPress, in order to keep advertisements off my site.  Although to be honest, I don’t do that for you.  I do it for the aesthetics.  I find the ads ugly and distracting.

I’ll also go beyond just self promotion.  I’ll strive to contribute original content that, other writers at least, might find interesting.  I’ll include details on my self-publishing costs.  $1000 to date, and I’ll itemize those expenses in future posts.  I’ll describe the process as I learn it.  I know there are plenty others interested in writing and self publishing.  In an age when most of what you read online is click-bait, I feel good about producing original content.  I’m sharing here what I intend to use for my book’s cover art.  Let me know what you think.  Or if you have other suggestions on something that would speak to cyberwar, which is the topic of my techno-thriller.


Fall Runs


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Running in the midst of the changing season is like heaven to me.  Fall is absolutely the best time.  The cool air and dropping leaves portend winter is coming.  I’ve been working crazy hours lately and not getting out enough, but after a 15 hour, soul-crushing Tuesday, I took off at 3 in the afternoon Wednesday for a dream run in wet, 50° temps.  It was still a 9 hour work day, so I didn’t feel bad about the mid afternoon run.  This photo is from last week’s Ridgeline Trail Half Marathon, about a half mile before the finish.  That morning started off a cool 50°.


I drove Ellie to Wiggins this morning for her last cross country race of the season.  She wasn’t running due to a sore leg, but she wanted to cheer on her team.  Wiggins is a farm town out east.  For some reason, they ran on the roads.  Which of course meant super fast times.  The girl who won the varsity race ran the 5K in 15 minutes flat.  Unbelievable.  She won by about four minutes.  I  didn’t run the 5K much faster than that in college.  This girl is going to be world class.  Even without Ellie racing, I enjoyed my morning watching the other races.  This photo above is of the varsity girls team.


Ridgeline Trail


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On second thought, racing a trail half marathon without proper training might not have been such a good idea.  I wasn’t ready for the Ridgeline Trail in Castle Rock this morning.  At least I wasn’t stupid enough to sign up for the 50K (31 mile) ultra.  Chris did though.  He’s still picking up his feet in this picture above, just starting out at 8am.


Actually, Chris did quite well for his first ultra.  He finished second in his forty year old age division and tenth overall.  He’s still smiling in this photo above, even though it is after the 26 mile (marathon) point.  Although, he was crying “ouchie” as he ran by.  I have to say that the trail rarely looked this nice.  It was mostly rocky with tree roots, a lot like the Picture Rock Trail in Lyons if you’re familiar with that.


Worse part though wasn’t the technical footing, it was the non-stop undulating elevation. Every ten yards alternated between uphill, then down hill, then uphill.  Think rollercoaster, for thirteen miles.  The foothills themselves were runnable, I didn’t have to walk any, but somehow it contained 3500 feet of elevation gain.  I started out slow but my legs were still mush after six miles.  The course was a loop, but out and back in the sense it climbed over the same hills on the return.  This is Chris at the final ultra aid station, with three more miles to run, taking time out for brunch.


This final photo of Chris is with only two hundred more yards to the finish.  He looks happy.  I only ran a fraction of the distance, and can tell you I’m beat.  I ran 2:06, which might be okay for the course.  Still, I normally run 1:45 for the first half in a full marathon, so sort of slow.  And painful.  Cool training course if you make it down to Castle Rock, but very, very tough.


Singers & Songwriters



Brit has been participating in the Durango Songwriters Expo this weekend, starting Thursday.  This is where Meghan Trainor was discovered.  It started out fun, attending sessions and networking with music and TV industry executives.  Last night was brutal though.  She received some ugly criticism, along with her band, after performing for reviews.  Without repeating what Brit related, the critics made Simon Cowell seem like Mother Theresa, all in front of a room full of local peers.  Tough industry.

Tried to cheer her up.  You have to take criticism for what it’s worth.  Provided in a constructive fashion, it can be a useful tool.  Instead though, it tends to be negative, almost by nature.  And it can stop you in your tracks.  I can certainly relate.  I just blogged last week about the criticism I’m receiving now as part of a writer’s critique group.  I didn’t go into detail but can tell you it’s been 99% everything I’m doing wrong.  Some of it’s been good, better word choices and more concise wording.  I don’t agree with over half it though.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so confident, being a first time writer, but it’s my story and some things I just want to do my way, no matter what my critics say.

Case in point, nearly everyone points out I’m misspelling WiFi by writing it lowercase as wifi.  Like I don’t fucking know that.  I have a master of science in telecommunications.  I wrote my thesis on frequency hopping spread spectrum before most people knew what the Internet was.  I know WiFi is an acronym but it looks like shit on the printed page in uppercase.  I’m ignoring the advice.  Maybe that’s a stupid newbie mistake but you have to go with your heart on some things.

Being dense sometimes helps to keep from becoming discouraged.  I recall as a kid being caught in a compromising position with my high school sweetheart on her parents’ couch. The next time I visited, her dad sat me down for a chat at the kitchen table.  While he cleaned his gun collection.  His message went right over my head.  I didn’t get the point he was making until years later.  Whether your response is from arrogance or ignorance, moving forward beats quitting out of fear.

Brit got home after performing last night at 4am.  She woke up a few hours later and told us about her nightmare experience.  After balling her eyes out over breakfast, she said, “Well, I’m going to put on my big girl pants and drive back into Boulder to be with my band, and perform some more.”  The girl is going to sing another day.  Brit just needs to keep doing what she loves, like this YouTube mashup she arranged and filmed singing with her little sister over the summer.  Click on that link and tell me she doesn’t have a future.

Trail Snake



This is a first.  I stepped on a bull snake on the trail today.  I was running through the trail along the creek near the softball field at 83rd and Niwot Road.  The grass falls over the trail so that the dirt is only about 20% visible.  I stepped on him with my right foot, he snapped up his head, which I whacked with my left ankle.  Subsequently, I screeched like a little girl.  As much as I know rattle snakes don’t lay across the trail like that, bull snakes look a lot like rattlers.  Some ladies were standing a few yards away.  They were possibly more frightened than me.  They convinced me to roll down my anklet sock to ensure I wasn’t bitten.  I wasn’t.  Got in twelve miles today though.  Awesome run.





Everyone’s a critic.  No really, in this critique group I recently joined, the eight other members are all critics.  That’s how it works.  I shared my first draft with a few friends initially, and that feedback was useful.  I was told to expect friends to be a poor choice because they will typically provide nothing but positive feedback in an attempt to motivate.  My friends must not be typical.  I received some decent feedback on improvement.  Still, it’s a different kind of feedback coming from these other writers.  And very useful as well.  I can see how participating in critique groups is essential for writers who self publish.  It serves as a replacement for paying an editor.

I’m going to assume though that I don’t know what I don’t know, and acquire editor services anyway.  I meet with one Tuesday afternoon.  I’ve been reading a number of self published books, for no other reason other than to judge quality.  It shows when writers skip the editing process.  I’ve learned in my own career, anything good is never done alone.  Good product takes a team.  A mix of skills, each bringing their unique qualities.  The woman I’ll talk to Tuesday can perform multiple editing services.  I’ll see what I can afford out-of-pocket.  The publisher would pay for editing in the traditional publishing route-to-market.

I was advised by a writer friend to not feel overly obligated to accept all criticism.  I’m not. None of the writers in my critique group are in my techno thriller genre.  They don’t get the overly technical descriptions and suggest I delete them.  I’ve already dumbed down much of the writing for this reason from the initial feedback from friends, but I’m not going to remove anymore text.  I believe readers of techno thrillers enjoy that content.  If you think about Tom Clancy, he doesn’t say a guy is holding a gun.  He describes the make and model, the year it was produced.  Maybe even the production run it came from along with all the known glitches.  That’s the techno part.  I’ll admit, when I buy some new electronics, I like to read the manual.  Some of us just like that stuff.

I have to say, all this writing is taking away from my running.  The Boulder Marathon was run this morning.  For the first time in maybe six years, I’m not in shape to run a marathon.  I could have run the half but drove my in-laws to DIA instead.  Such awesome fall weather, I’ll get out later today to run some miles.  Ran the East Boulder Trail yesterday with Brit.  Ellie might be too tired to run with me.  She got in after midnight from her first homecoming dance.  She told Brittany after getting home that her friends “had so much fun and danced their asses off.”




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Half way between California and Colorado is Zion. So Brit and I booked a night at the Cable Mountain Lodge near the entrance to the park.  We rose before the sun to squeeze in a hike through the Narrows.  The first mile was paved.


The trail disappeared with the sidewalk.


Surely, the trail will pick back up around the next curve in the canyon.


Brit wades deeper.  The trail guide did say something about expecting to get wet.


And to guard against hypothermia.  The sun is slow to warm up the canyon.


We hiked up the Virgin River for maybe a quarter mile.  The cold, deep water didn’t turn us back.  The canyon walls drew us in like sirens to the rocks.


But we had to get home to Colorado by nightfall.  We’ll return for sure to Zion when we’re not just passing through.


We skipped the high speed Interstate for Hwy 9 through the park, connecting later with highways 89 and 12, traversing Escalade, Boulder, the Dixie National Forest and Capitol Reef National Park.  A virtual lifetime of vistas.  Barely out of Zion, just past the tunnels, we saw a rock that had to be climbed.


Brit preferred walking the sandstone barefoot to her sandals.


She finally made it to the top, after me.


Brit celebrated her climb with a namaste.


I just did my best to keep my balance.  I don’t have words to describe the splendor of our remaining drive through Utah.  We saw flaming orange aspen in the Dixie Forest and petroglyphs in the cliffs of the Capitol Reef rocks.  If you get a chance to drive between Colorado and California, do yourself a favor and skip the Interstate. Take the scenic byway.

Rock n Roll


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I rolled through the hills of Arroyo Verde Park, for a decent five mile run Saturday morning.  The park, about a half mile from my house, was full of dogs and their owners at the grassy bottom, but contained an awesome soft, dirt trail that undulated around the rim.  Great park and trail system.


Brit and I found a wonderful french-themed restaurant after my run, Cafe Nouveau, where we had Beignets with bacon and maple syrup for breakfast.


We arrived early for Brit’s pre-performance rehearsal, so we checked out this horror-themed taproom named Phantom Carriage.  A real find in Carson, near the StubHub Arena.


At 8pm, Brit rocked LA at a concert benefitting children’s education.  I was given a VIP pass, and to be fair, I played roadie hauling the band’s equipment.  Got to see Rachel Platten perform, and later, Kevin Costner with his country band, Modern West.


The band is Pete Pidgeon, who is pictured here playing lead guitar.  Brit knows him from Denver.  The funniest thing is that the other backup singer is another Mahoney, Jesse Mahoney.  Eddie Money’s daughter.  Nice girl.  Brit had another friend, Alexa, hang out with us, a super sweetheart.  Brit made some good friends in LA and gained valuable acting experience.  We drive home today, shooting for Zion by nightfall.



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I flew out to California Friday to drive Brit back home.  She picked me up at LAX and we drove to my cousin Dick’s house in Ventura to where she has been staying.  House sitting actually since Dick and Cheryl have been RVing throughout Colorado the entire time.


We arrived in Ventura just in time for lunch at the Lure Fish House and Oyster Bar.  I drank a local IPA with my oysters and ahi tuna sandwich, Firestone Union Jack.  It boasts the west coast IPA style, similar to Colorado, which is aggressively hopped.


Brit was excited to relate her previous two evenings of filming as an extra in a popular TV show.  She applied by uploading photos, to the casting director, of herself in various Halloween costumes that she put together from Target and a local thrift store.  The gig was to be a trick-or-treater.  They liked her girl scout outfit well enough that she got the role.  Their costume department paired it with a scandalously short skirt that has Brittany questioning the meaning of a family show.


We ended the day with a sunset dinner at the Aloha Steakhouse on the beach.  iPhone 6, no filter above.  We sat at a window overlooking the ocean and the Ventura Pier.  I started with a Figuroa Mountain Hoppy Poppy IPA, before settling on a cab sav to pair with my ribeye.  Actually, I ended the day here.  Brit went on from dinner to rehearse for a gig tomorrow with Eddie Money’s daughter, Jesse.  They’ll be signing together at the We Are LA Festival tomorrow evening.

Cross Country at Sunset




Ellie won’t be happy with me publishing this photo of her all sweaty and gross after her 5K cross country race.  Too bad,  I’m a proud dad after finally watching her race.  This afternoon was the St. Vrain Valley District Cross Country Meet at Sunset Golf Course.  Really pretty course on a perfect 72° day.


This photo above is my favorite pic, out of the hundred or so pics I took.  Three girls in unison, same stride, all airborne.  Ellie ran the entire course with her friend Alison, bib # 3476.


Ellie ran a solid eleven minute pace for the three miles.  First time for her to run in spikes. Her calves will be sore tomorrow.  I had a total blast watching her run.

Writer’s Workshop


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This weekend has been all about me.  I invested in myself by attending a three day conference on the process of writing and publishing a novel.  I did this because I intend to write and publish a novel.  My progress to date is that I wrote a first draft.  I distributed copies to friends I thought could contribute useful feedback and whom might enjoy being part of the process.  And I attended this conference to learn about the process I’ll need to follow.  Next step is to begin writing my second draft.

The first day of sessions was intense.  I felt like I was dropped into a masters level college English class, mid-semester.  This industry speaks its own language.  Plotters, pantsers and query letters.  R&R.  Open door sex vs closed door sex.  Genres I never knew existed.  Paranormal Erotica.  The lady I met who writes this genre wears blue lipstick and graduated with a degree in religious studies.  We talked about just how difficult it is to find and buy blue lipstick.  MAC Cosmetics is currently out of stock but Ultra carries a brand called Hello Sailor.  Everything is foreign to me for now, but I’ll learn.  I attended sessions the first day with a focus on character development and writing with a point of view, either literary or persona.  The Emotion in Fiction session by Angie Hodapp, of the Nelson Literary Agency, was my first four hours.  Her class alone was worth the price of admission.

On the second day, I studied story weaving, plots and subplots by Monica Poole.  Balancing protagonists and antagonists.  Writing the endings and how to foreshadow along the way.  I’m less interested in spending time on the publishing process relative to writing but gave that subject attention as well.  My friend Wendy prepped me to pitch to an agent, which I did in the afternoon.  I spent ten minutes presenting an elevator pitch of my techno thriller to Amy Stapp, a book editor at Tor and fellow runner.  Pitching my story for publication is putting myself a little ahead of my focus, which is currently just on writing this novel, but it’s an opportunity and I didn’t want to pass it up.

I did a couple of things right.  I explained my genre and the storyline.  I missed detailing my main character and his arc.  This is funny if you knew just how weak my character development is currently.  Worse, my hero isn’t even part of the climax because I lost interest in him and focused on a secondary protagonist.  I knew I was doing this at the time and have a plan to write my hero back  into the climax on my second draft, but he currently has an incomplete arc.  Second thing I need to add to my pitch is to compare my work to an author and book.  She asked me this and I had a strong enough response, because Wendy prepped me for this earlier, that she was impressed.  Easy enough to add next time.

I don’t struggle writing dialog, but attended a class on it Sunday anyway and learned some useful tips.  The lecturer was John Blair, a college professor at my alma mater, Texas State.  As I said earlier, I avoided most sessions oriented to publishing, but by the third day my interest in understanding the difference between traditional and independent publishing grew.  Independent publishing can be much more than simply clicking a button on Amazon to upload a file.  At its most complex, the Indie publisher is their own general contractor, paying for all the services that would normally come from a publishing house.  My feelings on the subject have evolved as my understanding has grown this weekend.  I expect I might publish independently because for one, I can do some of the technical work myself and two, writing about cyberwar requires speed-to-market before my attacks become stale.

My final session was two more hours on character development, which is where I focused most of my time these three days.  In this particular session, Developing Dynamic Characters by Heather Webb, I finally learned what character arc is.  And because it was a workshop leveraging our works-in-progress, I nearly scoped out all of my second draft.  Again, this class alone was totally worth the price of the entire workshop.

I’m a little bummed that I’ve yet to see Ellie run a cross country race.  Missed this weekend for the writer’s workshop.  Even though she’s a complete newbie to the sport, Ellie seems to enjoy the workouts.  It’s pretty competitive, with over 30 girl athletes.  The girls team began the season ranked 8th in the state.  She has a couple of races under her belt now and is showing improvement.  I’m so impressed that she pushes herself to the verge of dry heaving during her final kick – a sign of effort – and it doesn’t deter her from crossing the finish line.  I enjoy running so much, sometimes I forget how brutal it can be to race all out like that.


I can’t help but draw parallels between my completely neophyte experience at a writers convention and Ellie taking on a new sport.  Kids are naturally brave, if ignorant of the pending pain.  I enjoy writing so much that I’ve been willing to put myself out there, opening myself up for criticism or asking the stupid questions in a session.  I’m not sure what I expect the reward to be but subconsciously I’ve already accepted the risk as worthwhile.

My plan with this is to treat writing as a hobby for the next ten or fifteen years.  Become a better writer and learn the publishing process.  I’ve been blogging for ten years and on social media even longer.  I’ve seen my skills improve over that time and think it’s fair to expect a similar arc with writing novels.  Based on what I learned this weekend on publishing, with a little bit of luck, I might be able to expect earning a five figure, annual income in my retirement years.  I could retire on that.  But I have to start now, the money doesn’t flow in on day one.  And yes, I’m thinking now about retirement.

This workshop came at the perfect time, just after completing my first draft.  Combined with some feedback from initial reviewers, I feel like this book is as good as done.  Except of course, rewrites will take time.  But everything I need to do is already in my head.  Came up with a new twist for my ending during a run this afternoon.  I’m so over-the-top excited right now, I honestly feel like I’m on my way to becoming a writer.  Part of the reason my racing times slowed down this year is because I’ve run less in order to spend time writing.  It’s my new hobby for sure.  This blog will always be a runner’s story, but my personal arc has hit a plot shift.  I might not reach my writing denouement until retirement, but I’m now going down that path.

Cari got Married



comfetti B&W 2

In a church built by Swedish Evangelicals on the east bank of the Mississippi in 1917, Cari and Erik had the perfect wedding Sunday.  Brit sang Photograph by Ed Sheeran and her cousin Brook sang opera style in French – this is a short video below.

My sister Sandy is Cari’s mom, pictured below being seated by her son Spencer.

Spencer n Sandy 2

Long story short, Cari got married as you can see in this video below.

Weddings are such the time for family reunions.  I got to see all four of my sisters.  And all their kids.  Even all the grandchildren.  Pictured below are my sisters Kathy, Sandy, Deb and Nancy.

sisters on rooftop

My girls represented clan Mahoney, looking pretty in the hotel lobby.

my girls

I’m not the only one who thought Cari and Erik made the perfect couple.  All the speeches confirmed these two are made for each other.  Even more special, I saw the same perfection everywhere I looked.  One brother-in-law bought a second home in Costa Rica and spends a good portion of the year living there, because the climate is good for my sister’s health.  That’s devotion.  Another brother-in-law lights up like a beacon whenever I ask a question about his wife, my sister, and will talk for hours on every detail of her life.  He’s still deeply in love after over thirty years.  Below are Deb and her husband, Kim.

Deb n Kim

There are just so many happy members of my family, my parents must have done something right.  The photo below contains two sons, four daughters, six grand daughters, and three great grandchildren from my parents’ marriage.  Plus one daughter-in-law and a couple of son-in-laws.


My parents’ wedding photo, from the previous millennium, was on display on the signing book table.  My dad was 21 and my mom just turned 18, five days before her wedding.

Constance n Johnny

I hope the best for Cari and Erik.  Their wedding was a joyous start.  These photos don’t tell half the story of what a wonderful wedding weekend it was and of all the love on display.

confetti B&W

Rehearsal Dinner



rehearsal dinner

My sister Sandy’s oldest child, Cari is a special niece.  She spent eight summers in a row with my family in Colorado, through high school and college, serving as nanny to my youngest daughter Ellie.  She is my daughter number three.  She’s pictured here with her fiancé Erik, at the rehearsal dinner.

kathy n ed 2

The rehearsal dinner was held at Stella’s Fish Cafe in Uptown Minneapolis.  I’m pictured here with my oldest sister Kathy, in a rooftop reunion.  First time for us to see each other in thirty years.

mom and her girls

Weddings are a fine occasion to get dressed up…and to get amorous.


The girls both bought their dresses hours earlier at Target.  Brit could only stuff so much into her purse, which was all she carried on her $100 Spirit Airlines flight from California.  Ellie didn’t know she would need a separate dress for the rehearsal dinner and the actual wedding.

ellie n brit

Hanging out now waiting for the big show at the Grace University Lutheran Church.  Brit is practicing in the hotel room, the song she will sing before the wedding.  Ellie and I are going to run on the Marriott treadmills, and maybe hit the hot tub.  Then we’ll all get dressed up again, for the wedding this afternoon.

The Long Road to Minneapolis


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After living less than an hour south of the great state of Wyoming for nearly thirty years, I finally made the drive Thursday, on my way to a wedding in Minneapolis.  I found the landscape quite scenic as I drove through Cheyenne and across the southeast corner of the state.

mt rushmore

After Wyoming, I drove through South Dakota.  I’ve now visited every state west of the Mississippi except for Alaska.  The girls are pictured here at the evening show for Mount Rushmore.  I can tell you that Orlando has nothing on Rapid City.  This place invented tourism.  We saw what we had time for.

Wall Drug Store

Doubt I’ve ever played the tourist more than in South Dakota.  We ate lunch at Wall Drug.  This place is definitely a must see, but don’t feel obligated to eat lunch there.  Poor Brittiboo got stiffed by Zoltar on her fortune card.


From Wall, we veered off I-90 and took the long road to Sioux Falls, through the Bad Lands.  If you never knew, this is where wind comes from.

bad lands 1

Really cool 35 mile drive for $15.  You’ll learn how to use the panorama-mode on your camera out here.  The girls set records on their Instagram likes.

bad lands 2

We totally beat the crowds, with school starting back up, there were very few families.  Mostly retirees in RVs.  The windy road through the Bad Lands has a couple dozen or so turnouts and trailheads to take photos.

bad lands 3

We made it as far as Sioux Falls.  Tomorrow we meet up with my family in Minneapolis for my niece, Cari’s wedding.  Great road trip so far.