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Ryan and Megan's Denver to Dakotas Itinerary
Friday, June 30, 2006 - Tuesday, July 4, 2006

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Howdy, folks!  Well, this is it.  The last hurrah whilst Megan and I are single.  Unfortunately, Southwest's fares have more than doubled from our usual $60 round-trip flights, significantly reducing the number of cheap mini-trips that we had been taking, and in turn reducing the number of free flights we earn.  Plus, BG&E is increasing rates by 15%, gas prices are ridiculous, rent is skyrocketing, the feds are hiking the interest rate, and I'm trying to afford a car, house, and honeymoon.  So, this is it for a while - we better make it count!  And we sure will!  We'll both be travelling to two new states (North Dakota and South Dakota), as well as Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and perhaps Montana.  As you can tell, this trip will be primarily composed of long drives across the western states, but we will be able to see some pretty cool places, like Devil's Tower, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Mount Rushmore.  By the way, we planned this trip a long time ago, and it wasn't until recently that we realized that we were going to Mount Rushmore, a major symbol of the United States, on a long summer holiday weekend that is all about patriotism.  I'm sure there won't be ANY crowds...
~ Ryan

All times are local to the particular city.  The entire trip is in Mountain Time - 2 hours behind Eastern Standard Time.  If you can't do that math and you live on the east coast, we've included EST in [brackets].  Note:  All links open in a new window.
 

Emergency Contact Information:
Phone (Ryan's Cell): 410-259-4180
Phone (Megan's Cell): 443-564-1301
E-mail: webmaster@ryanandmegan.net (will be checked as often as possible)


Vitals:

Flight:
OUTBOUND

Flight #1: Friday, June 30, 2006 - TRACK IT!

Southwest Airlines - Flight 2130 (Baltimore to Denver)
DEPART Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 5:20 PM [5:20 PM]
ARRIVE Denver, CO (DEN) at 7:00 PM [9:00 PM]


INBOUND
Flight #2: Tuesday, July 4, 2006 - TRACK IT!

Southwest Airlines - Flight 2780 (Denver to Baltimore)
DEPART Denver, CO (DEN) at 11:25 AM [1:25 PM]
ARRIVE Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 4:50 PM [4:50 PM]


Lodging:
Hotel: Friday Night, June 3
0, 2006
Best Western Tower West Lodge
109 N US Highway 14-16
Gillette, WY 82716
1-307-686-2210

Hotel: Saturday Night, July 1, 2006
Days Inn
212 10th Ave & Norris
Wall, SD 57790
1-605-279-2000

Hotel: Sunday Night, July 2, 2006
Super 8 Motel
2202 Delta Drive
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
1-308-635-1600


Hotel: Monday Night, July 3, 2006
Bradford Homesuites
5805 Delmonico Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
1-719-268-9990

Transportation:
Car Rental: Saturday, June 30, 2006 (7:00pm) - Tuesday, July 4, 2006 (11:15am)
Dollar Rent-a-Car
Denver Int'l Airport
Denver, CO 80207
1-866-434-2226
 


Itinerary:

Note:  The numbers in the itinerary correspond to the map at the bottom.

Weather Forecast:
Oh, who knows what the weather will be!  We are going to be everywhere from the flat plains of North Dakota to over 12,000 feet above sea level in Colorado.  Just check the big banners below for the latest weather forecast!
 

Friday, June 30:
Click for Denver, Colorado Forecast

This is NOT going to be a fun day at all!  It starts off as a regular work day for both of us, and then we need to leave early to make it to BWI for our 5:20 flight.  And with holiday traffic (both land and air) the way it is, who knows if we will even make our flight!  If we make it on the plane, and if there are no delays, we should land in Denver [1] by 7:00, local time.  By the time we get our rental car (which is going to be insanely expensive), it's going to be 7:30.  We'd like to stop by the Hard Rock Cafe [2] to pick up a t-shirt, but we really can't stay long because we have a 6 hour drive to our hotel in northern Wyoming [3]!  After almost falling asleep at the wheel on past trips, we swore we would never do that again.  Ha!  Good thing Megan picked up some Red Bull for Ryan before the trip.

Saturday, July 1:
Click for Gillette, Wyoming Forecast

As the calendar flips to July, we'll still be making our way to the hotel - we won't arrive until almost 2am!  Hopefully we can fall asleep fast because we have a heck of a lot of driving to do today!  Our first stop isn't too far away - just an hour.  We'll be checking out Devil's Tower [4] and the surrounding area for a little bit before heading on the road towards North Dakota.  On the way, we'll pass by the geographic center of the United States [5].  Yes, we did that in Kansas already, but that was only for the lower 48.  This is the "real" center, which includes Alaska and Hawaii.  From what I can tell, there is nothing there, aside from a metal pole sticking out of the ground, so after stretching our legs, we'll continue heading north and arrive in North Dakota a little after 5pm [6].  We have nothing planned there at all - this is just a gimmick so that we can say that we've been to that state.  After that, we'll head back to South Dakota, crossing the border around 8pm [7].  Our hotel is just north of Badlands National Park [8], and we'll actually be there before midnight.  Oh, right.  That doesn't include stopping to eat.

Sunday, July 2:
Click for Wall, South Dakota Forecast

For as much driving we did the previous two days, we will be doing just as much sightseeing today.  We'll start off driving into Badlands National Park [9] and meandering on the roads from the East side [10] to the South side [11].  We'll probably spend a few hours hiking before we drive over to Rapid City and down to Mt. Rushmore [12], arriving around 3 in the afternoon.  The place is sure to be absolutely packed, so we probably won't spend a whole lot of time there - just enough to get our pictures taken.  If we can get out of there in a reasonable amount of time, we might even be able to take a quick tour of Wind Cave [13] - we'll just have to watch out for rogue Myrmidex drones (only Kelly will get this joke).  After that, we "only" drive 3 hours South to Scottsbluff, Nebraska [14].  Perhaps that means nothing to you, but for Ryan and a few others, it means a bunch.  When he was a kid, he filmed "movies" with Kelly, Joey, and Jeremy.  The location?  Scottsbluff, Nebraska.  Of course, then it was all in our heads, but now it's the real deal!

Monday, July 3:
Click for Scottsbluff, Nebraska Forecast

So what exactly is in Scottsbluff, Nebraska?  Who knows, but I'm sure we'll find out today!  There is a monument called Scotts Bluff [15], which might be interesting, but I somehow doubt it.  Maybe Josh Edwards, Bill Ding, Kelly Dover or Tommy Dover could shed some light on what there is to do here (Ha!  Another inside joke!).  The real crux of our activities today lies just outside Denver at a place called Rocky Mountain National Park [16].  That should give us some fun now (oh boy!).  From there, we will head on down to South Park [17] - yes, the real South Park, Colorado.  There is nothing to do here, either, and very little commercialism for the show of the same name, but it's still an accomplishment to be there!  If we have any time left, we will check out Pike's Peak [18], but I have a feeling it will be too late (our current schedule shows us arriving at 11pm).  We'll be spending the night in very nearby Colorado Springs [19].

Tuesday, July 4:
Click for Colorado Springs, Colorado Forecast

Whip out those fireworks, boys and girls!  It's time to celebrate the birth of our nation with loud explosions!  If we wake up early enough, we can check out Garden of the Gods [20], which was recommended by my manager.  Hmm... My manager recommending something to do with gods... I wonder if there is a correlation.  Meanwhile, my direct boss recommended anything to do with devils, like Devil's Tower.  I'll just leave that alone for now.  ::ahem::  Anyway, we need to be back in Denver by later that morning because we have a non-stop flight home at 11:25am [21].  We had two options here:  Take this non-stop flight, or take a much later flight with a stopover in Chicago.  It probably would have been pretty cool to see a bunch of fireworks displays from the air, but we decided against it, in favor of getting home faster.  So what are our plans for the evening?  We don't know yet!  Originally, we were going to head to D.C. to see the fireworks (again), but we might just go to Ryan's parents' to set off our own.  Whatever the case, that is the end of our trip!  Finally!


Map:
Don't have time to read all my nonsense?  I don't blame you.  Just check out the map below to see our guesstimated route.




 


Flight Tracking:

As before, these are some links where you "might" be able to track our flight.  With all of these sites, be sure to hit refresh (F5) and click "Retry" as applicable to view the latest information.

  • Trip.com (http://www.trip.com/trs/cheaptickets/galileo_flight_tracker/galileo_home.xsl)

  • FlyteComm (http://www.flytecomm.com/cgi-bin/trackflight)

  • Flight Explorer (http://fasttrack.flightexplorer.com/)

  • RML Software (http://www.flightview.com/)

 

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