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Labor Day morning, Sept. 7, Genie and I left from Albert Lea for our annual one-week stay at Arrowhead Lodge in the Big Horn Mountains, above Sheridan, Wyoming. This tradition began in 1973.

Our first major stop was Mitchell, S.D. to look at the new corn theme on the outside of the Corn Palace. The next year’s theme, currently in process, is Music. There are sculptures, outside on top, that look like corn leaves. At night, they change colors. Beautiful.

Four hundred seventy-five miles later we pulled into Wall, S.D. to eat the evening meal at Wall Drug and say “Hi” to my old buddy T. Rex in the Wall Drug back yard. T. Rex is very old, so he eats every 15 minutes. (formerly every 12 minutes) His favorite entrée is redheaded females. He eats so fast that you can always see red hair in between his teeth.

Our Great Place to Stay in Wall is the Super 8 Motel. The lady manager, Lane, is not so “unfriendly” as previous years. She even introduced us to her hubby, Brady. In the conversation Brady referred to her as his CEO (strange??) of their ranch.

As you entered the back door of the Super 8, a small black kitty wanted your attention. His collar read, “If you feed me, you keep me.” (On our return trip the kitty must have found someone to feed him, as he was gone.)

Tuesday morning we were on our way with cruise set on 80 (Minnesota speed limit is 70 compared to 80 in South Dakota and Wyoming).

We arrived at our destination, Arrowhead Lodge, 7700 feet elevation in the Big Horn Mountains, Tuesday evening – 815 miles from Albert Lea. With a welcome and a handshake, Richard checked us into our favorite, Rustic Cabin #3 (per Richard, this was the 11th year in a row he checked us in.) Yuki, Mike and Dale, all employees from previous years, found us later with hugs and handshakes.

As usual, three Wyoming Mountain Brothers (Dan, Fred and Frank) were there to greet us with their tales of hunting and fishing. They are in the process of perfecting Catch-and-release mule deer hunting. One drives and the other two ride in the box of the pickup truck, one on each side, with a rope tied on the end in a slipknot to lasso the deer. They lasso the deer, and the slipknot lets the deer go, thus catch-and-release deer hunting.

Jim Palmer, graduate of Albert Lea High School, along with Dan Blegen, both of the Mankato area, were there. They have decided to try Catch and Release next year, as for the third year in a row, no deer with a bow and arrow, only hard work.

Short Shorts:

1. We saw 1300 ewes and 1800 lambs taken off the mountain. 

2. The weather was 10-20 degrees warmer than normal every day with no rain.

3. After Sioux Falls, on I-90 westbound, the gas price gets a lot higher (like 40-50¢ per gallon).

4. There is a mandatory boat check on I-90 going into Wyoming.

5.Crops looked real good all the way.

6. We met Red Hatters on their way to the Wyoming State Stampede.

7. Vanessa and Sammy are friendly food servers.

8. Billboard on I-90: “Jesus is Right For Whatever is Wrong”

9. Cenex billboard on I-90: “Gas Now or Gas Can Later”


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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