Our 2021 Road Trip #45: Overdue Outtakes

Roaring Mountain!

DAY FIVE: Jazz hands in front of Roaring Mountain in Yellowstone National Park.

No, I didn’t forget or give up on this series, even if site traffic already did months ago. We were so close to the very end when Oscars season, two conventions, year-in-review entries, and mood swings got in the way. The cool part is, much like Watchmen, Kevin Smith’s Daredevil run, or the Dangerous Visions trilogy, future generations who read the full work in one sitting will have no idea there was a long, sad gap between installments. Sincere apologies, future internet users, or denizens of whatever replaced the internet, for this intro that may seem superfluous in hindsight!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. We were each raised in a household that couldn’t afford annual out-of-state family vacations. We’re geeks more accustomed to vicarious life through the windows of pop culture than through in-person adventures. Eventually we tired of some of our self-imposed limitations and figured out how to leave the comforts of home for the chance to see creative, exciting, breathtaking, outlandish, and/or bewildering new sights in states beyond our own, from the horizons of nature to the limits of imagination, from history’s greatest hits to humanity’s deepest regrets and the sometimes quotidian, sometimes quirky stopovers in between.

We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

Technically not even 2020 stopped us. We played by the new rules of the interim normal and wandered Indiana in multiple directions as safely as we could. This year the long-awaited vaccines arrived. For 2021 we agreed we had to go big. Our new primary objective was Yellowstone National Park, 1500 miles from Indy…

It all comes down to this, per our tradition for every MCC road trip story: one final collection of alternate scenes, extra details, and surplus attractions along the way that were squeezed out of the main narrative. One minor alteration this time: the outtakes are not the finale. But they’re close! And we have at least one bonus photo from each of the first nine days of our vacation. Enjoy!

Danville Hometown Stars!

DAY ONE: The full lineup of hometown celebs hailed at the McDonald’s in Danville, IL, though hard to read unless you click and enlarge.

Grant Wood self-portrait!

DAY TWO: A 1925 brass self-portrait of Grant Wood (plus glare) from his exhibit at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.

Sioux Falls Park!

DAY THREE: A wider shot of the falls in the Big Sioux River winding through Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD. And remember, kids, today’s secret word is “falls”!

vulture with sledgehammer!

DAY THREE: Porter Sculpture Park in eastern South Dakota had far too much artwork to share all at once, such as this vulture with a sledgehammer.

Anne and roses!

Same park and art, set against the South Dakota horizon.

Badlands National Park!

Same day and state, the Badlands are an endless source of outtakes. This one is slightly more crowded and features that distant, incoming storm.

Badlands prairie dog hole!

Among our copious prairie dog pics, this Badlands couple is an honorable mention.

FDR's cane!

DAY FOUR: Some statues in Rapid City’s City of Presidents street collection had nifty details, like FDR’s cane tucked away behind his podium.

Hayes strolling Abbey Lane!

From the same collection, Rutherford Hayes struts down Abbey Lane while a distracted bozo wanders into the shot.

Anne and Biscuit Basin!

DAY FIVE: Yellowstone outtakes begin with Anne hanging out at Biscuit Basin.

Grand Prismatic Spring steam!

We couldn’t stop ogling that steaming Grand Prismatic Spring.

Grand Prismatic Spring orange and steam!

Closer to Grand Prismatic Spring to the point of abstraction.

pale Yellowstone mountain!

A pale Yellowstone mountain not far past Sheepeater Cliff.

Montana grassy mountains!

DAY SIX: More random mountains, past Yellowstone and up in Montana.

Roosevelt Park Badlands!

DAY SEVEN: The Badlands continue at least as far north as Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

bighorn deer!

Same park, alternate shot of the bighorn deer we saw wandering the plain alone.

Trump shack?

Meanwhile in eastern North Dakota past Jamestown, we spotted a metaphor. (With some roadside peculiarities, we’re just afraid to ask.)

Runestone museum stuffed bears!

DAY EIGHT: Crowded taxidermy at the Runestone Museum in Alexandria, MN, obscured by the dead trees that someone insisted were integral to the ambiance.

Anne and Soxanne!

DAY NINE: Anne meets Soxanne, the mascot for the sock monkey exhibit at the Midway Village Museum in Rockford, IL. It’s fun making new friends on the road.

To be concluded!

* * * * *

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email sign-up for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my faint signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]

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