Category Archives: Vacation

The Mount Rushmore of Presidents Vol. 1

It is time to crack into the final spot I hit in South Dakota with my Mom last year. Mount Rushmore.

People (particularly bored sports talk show hosts) are always trying to make comparisons in the sports world to Mount Rushmore. Who would be on the Mount Rushmore of Iowa State athletics? (Dan Gable, Fred Hoiberg, Troy Davis, Jack Trice) Who would be on the NBA’s Mount Rushmore? (Lebron, Magic, Jordan, Wilt) Who would be on Cyclone basketball’s Mount Rushmore? (Hoiberg, Niang, Tinsley, Grayer) Who would be on Cyclone football’s Mount Rushmore? (Troy Davis, Jack Trice, Seneca, Matt Blair)

That type of thing?

But does the Mount Rushmore of Presidents have the 4 best Presidents on it?

According to the official results of the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey, they did a pretty good job.

A little about the survey:

The 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey was conducted online via Qualtrics from December 22, 2017 to January 16, 2018. Respondents were current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, which is the foremost organization of social science experts in presidential politics.

Here is their Top 10 Greatest Presidents

1. Abraham Lincoln
2. George Washington
3. Franklin Roosevelt
4. Teddy Roosevelt
5. Thomas Jefferson
6. Harry Truman
7. Dwight D. Eisenhower
8. Barack Obama
9. Ronald Reagan
10. Lyndon Johnson

Therefore, the creators of Mount Rushmore did manage to pick the 4 top Presidents that were available to them. FDR hadn’t been President when Mount Rushmore began. He was President when it was abandoned however. During WWII, the United States couldn’t afford to spend any more on the project. At this point, it is safe to assume it will never be finished.

Here some pictures from the trip to Mount Rushmore:


Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

A few more pictures of Mount Rushmore are still stretching their legs, waiting for the call to get into the game.

Custer State Park Vol. 2

Today is as good as any to check into the back log and post some more pictures from my trip to Custer State Park with my Mom.

I wouldn’t say that Custer State Park was a disappointment, but it didn’t quite live up to the hype. I do feel however that I had more time to visit Custer State Park, I would be way more impressed with it. I hope I do get to do that again at some point. Maybe do some hiking. Maybe find these buffalo that are allegedly all over the place.

But like I wrote earlier. The lack of buffalo was made up for by the awesome feral donkeys.
>br?
Here are more pictures from Custer State Park:


Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

I felt really bad for the donkey that stood facing the sign. I did talk to him and give him food. He eventually came out and joined the other donkeys.

There are a few more Custer State Park pictures in the hopper.

Custer State Park Vol. 1

Custer State Park was one of the most hyped up Black Hills location that my Mom and I were told to visit.

Some people even indicated that it might be the best part of the trip. The reason:

Buffalo!

Repeatedly, I was told that when we went to Custer State Park, we would see more buffalo than we could imagine. Throw a rock, we would hit 3 buffalo. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting 4 buffalo.*

Custer State Park was indeed awesome, but it had nothing to do with buffaloes. It was all about the feral donkeys!!

Here are a few photos from our trip through Custer State Park:


Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

I have more pictures from Custer State Park coming in the near future!

*This is not an endorsement of swinging dead cats.

Arizona Day 4

Jesse and I woke up in Coolidge, Arizona and made our way to a local diner for breakfast. This place was certainly McCain Country.

We sat at the breakfast counter and listened to a couple locals complain about the governor for “being nice” to Obama. They agreed that the governor was not going to be re-elected and what made her near criminal offense even more difficult to fathom – “And she’s even a Republican!”

As I sat down at the breakfast counter I noticed that staring back at us was an NRA poster. Next to the NRA poster was a poster of John Wayne in front of an American flag with the line:

“Tell me again, why the hell do I have to dial “1” for English.”

Although I wasn’t going to order a side dish of prejudice with a sprinkling of racism with my breakfast, I got it any way.

Next to the poster of John Wayne was a poster for a fundraiser that was related to Easter. The fundraiser was a raffle. The winner of the raffle won a Glock 9mm.

I guess that makes sense, if you recall John 23:

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again, packing heat, perhaps a Glock 9mm.”

There was also some terrible artwork for sale in this joint.


Arizona Day 4
I don’t know what is more confusing. The lighthouse, the clock or the reference to the comic stylings of Larry the Cable Guy.

Arizona Day 4
Tag’s Cafe

Arizona Day 4
Tag’s Cafe

Arizona Day 4
Tag’s Cafe

Arizona Day 4
The owners of this establishment did not like me taking pictures of their building.

Arizona Day 4
It is probably for the best that this game has been lost to the ages. It would be just one more game that I would dominate.

Arizona Day 4
Did you get a picture of a cactus?

Arizona Day 4
Did you get a black and white picture of a cactus? Okay, nobody asked that question.

Arizona Day 4
Cliche picture of a guy next to a tall cactus.

Arizona Day 4
Hohokam ruins.

Arizona Day 4
Jesse getting his learn on.

Arizona Day 4
The Big House, not the one in Ann Arbor.

Arizona Day 4
More mud ruins.

Arizona Day 4
More ruins.

Arizona Day 4
Jesse all tuckered out from a big day of looking at Hohokam ruins.

It should be noted that despite having a culture that runs contrary to my value system, Tag’s Cafe was easily the best meal I had my entire time in Arizona. Sorry Del Taco.

Arizona Day 3 – Part B

After we Del Taco, we returned to the park with the small mountain.


Arizona Day 3
A hole in the roof of the mini-mountain.

Arizona Day 3
Eric looking down on all that he rules after he ascended the peak of the mini-mountain.

Arizona Day 3
More Eric.

Arizona Day 3
The view from the mini-mountain.

Arizona Day 3
Lowell and Jesse

Arizona Day 3
Mini-mountain

Arizona Day 3
Lowell, Eric and Jesse

Arizona Day 3
Eric descending the mini-mountain.

Arizona Day 3
Another view.

Arizona Day 3
Eric on the mini-mountaintop.

Arizona Day 3
The not so rugged group photo by a parking lot.

Arizona Day 3
Look, we could be out in the middle of the wilderness!

Arizona Day 3
Yet another view.

Arizona Day 3
Air Force One

Arizona Day 3
The tomb of some guy who was such a big jerk, he wouldn’t let anybody else be governor of Arizona.

That evening we dropped Eric and Lowell back off at the resort and made the arduous journey out to Coolidge, Arizona. McCain Country.

Arizona Day 3 – Part A

Some pictures from Day 3 in Arizona.


Arizona Day 3
Peavy and Young

Arizona Day 3
The guy that I hope wins the #5 Starter Spot

Arizona Day 3
The new closer.

Arizona Day 3
Some Mariner

Arizona Day 3
Some Mariner

Arizona Day 3
Spring Training Home of the Cubs

Arizona Day 3
More Hohokam

Arizona Day 3
Image from the Road

Arizona Day 3
I’d never eaten at a Del Taco. I endorse it and its slogan of going “Bold or Going Home”.

Arizona Day 3
Prior

Arizona Day 3
This guy kicks us out of Hohokam.

Arizona Day 3
Lowell and Jesse with their purchases.

Arizona Day 3
A dead cactus.

Jesse and I spent the morning watching the Padres and Mariners practice. Then we picked up Lowell and Eric at the resort and went to the Cubs practice field. Plus we ate at a Del Taco. Then when went to the “mountain” that Jesse and I had visited on the previous day.

Arizona Day 1

As I sit here in Josh and Summer’s house waiting for Jesse to wake up, I might as well post a few pictures from yesterday.


Arizona Trip - Day 1
Jesse waiting for the flight to leave from Des Moines

Arizona Trip - Day 1
Denver

Arizona Trip - Day 1
Jesse in Denver

Arizona Trip - Day 1
Me in Denver

Arizona Trip - Day 1
Jesse on the people mover

Arizona Trip - Day 1
Organ Stop Pizza

Arizona Trip - Day 1
The organist

Arizona Trip - Day 1
The Dancing Cats

Arizona Trip - Day 1

There were a few good times to be had on Sunday. My head didn’t hurt nearly as bad as I feared it would after the two flights.

We had supper with Jesse’s family at Organ Stop Pizza. It is a pretty impressive place. They have built a giant organ their with a bunch other percussion instruments also controlled by the organ.

The organist played a lot of old standards and a medley from Phantom of the Opera. Not too bad at all.

Kentucky – Day 3

Sunday of the Kentucky trip consisted of going to a Southern Baptist church service and visiting Ernie’s pond.


Kentucky Vacation - 2008
What 1500 bucks buys in Kentucky.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
President Lincoln

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Church Sign

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Church Bus

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Sculpture

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Sculpture

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Teresa and Ernie

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Home of some great fudge.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Kentucky Dam

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Crane


Lunch


Ernie

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Desecration

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Unofficial Southerner

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Citizen of Ernie’s Pond

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie’s Pond

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Cat Tails

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Berries

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie’s Sister

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie’s Tractor

All that was left to do was to head back to civilization.