mjindy

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January 4, 2021
Day 7-8: 2276/5147m

So by now we’re starting to realize how long we’ll truly be in a car for… It gets real when you’re starting yet another 8-hour drive. Hey, this is Delaney by the way. Thought you guys might be sick of Brian at this point 😝. Anyways! We made our way to Kansas City from Chicago to visit my old stomping grounds and see a couple more friends (I graduated from KU in 2017). We made our way through the Midwest and arrived at our friends, Gabby and Cameron’s, in KC around 6:30pm. Starving, we started our adventures at Mi Ranchito, a Mexican restaurant that I loved in college and was excited to take Brian to. It’s nothing fancy (and might even seem a bit off putting from the outside) but I promise their food is amazing.

The weather the last couple days had left the streets quite icy and we were happy to see how well the jeep handled it. Like a champ! The next morning, I took Brian to Lawrence, where KU is, and got to show him around my old college town. We took a little tour around the campus and town and had lunch at Merchants (including their famous pickle martini’s). Gabby and I got to reminisce about our college days and got to fill Brian in on all our favorite memories.

Once back in Kansas City we had dinner at Q39, a famous Kansas City BBQ spot that I would take everyone who visited me in college to. Kansas City BBQ is in my opinion, the best BBQ in the country so I knew we had to make it a stop. Brian said it lived up to his expectations and we even had enough leftovers to make a meal for the following day.

We capped off our evening watching the new Wonder Woman (would literally NOT recommend…) and went to bed early in preparation of our very early morning drive to Badlands, South Dakota!

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Just checking in with you two. Hoping all is okay?





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coldstart

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I'm from KC and never heard of Q39. I will agree that KC bbq is the best though. Also went to Mizzou. Shakespeare's and Flat Branch FTW.

Oh I see why I never heard of Q39, "Hip, airy joint with beamed ceilings & exposed brick..." Not exactly my kind of place.
 
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Just checking in with you two. Hoping all is okay?
thank you for checking in! mannn this trip got real, we are playing catch up today and I will post a couple entries! Work has been crazy for both of us, but we are still having a blast! :)
 
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I'm from KC and never heard of Q39. I will agree that KC bbq is the best though. Also went to Mizzou. Shakespeare's and Flat Branch FTW.

Oh I see why I never heard of Q39, "Hip, airy joint with beamed ceilings & exposed brick..." Not exactly my kind of place.
It was very welcoming to us, kick ass bbq and beer to match. You might want to add Q39 to your list, dont always trust what you read on yelp.. or do, considering there is something like 4,300 4/5 star reviews :P lol
 
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January 21, 2021

Day 9-12: 3032/5147m

Well, it has become clear that between working full time, traveling the country, being a bit sleep deprived, & trying to see all that we can, blogging seems to get left behind… BUT we are back!

From Kansas City we made our way to Badlands, South Dakota. A national park we were extremely intrigued by considering its odd, unique landscape. We made it to Badlands the evening of Jan. 4th and wanted to set up camp before the sun went down (our first time camping in the jeep). We found a campground in Badlands but decided we wanted something a little more secluded, so we kinda, sorta broke the rules and took the jeep off-road to find ourselves a suitable spot to set up camp. We picked a spot overlooking Badlands with a beautiful view of the sunset. We cooked dinner while watching the sunset and then set up our bed for the night! With the sun setting around 4:30pm and nothing to do in the dark in the middle of nowhere, we crawled into bed early and decided to watch a movie and hit the hay early.

We slept FAIRLY well. It was definitely cold (got down to around 15 deg. F.) but with our heated blanket, double sleeping bag, extra blankets, & the occasional heat from turning the car on, we made it through just fine.

We spent the day of Jan. 5th working half the day, and exploring the other half. We hiked through Badlands exploring the interesting landscape. It was cold, windy & cloudy so we didn’t last too long, but we felt satisfied with what we did see. We tried hard to find some jeep trails but found that Badlands has extremely strict policies on off-road vehicles to preserve it’s unique landscape. We found a new campsite and cooked dinner in the freezing cold eating it in the safety of our warm car, and then again cuddled up for another night of ‘jeepsleep’ (a term we now use to describe a mediocre night’s sleep that is somehow still so enjoyable).

Jan 6th, we left Badlands and made our way towards Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore. The drive from East South Dakota to West South Dakota was absolutely stunning - it becomes much more mountainous and lush. We stopped at Crazy Horse Memorial first, and took the bus tour to the base of the memorial where we learned all about the plans to create this incredible stone statue of Crazy Horse. This project has been in the works for generations and since it is privately funded, is projected to be worked on for generations to come. It was truly incredible. We didn’t except the sheer size and scale of this project!

From Crazy Horse, we backtracked a bit to Mount Rushmore (they’re extremely close to one another) hoping to catch it for sunset. We watched the sunset over Mount Rushmore, while freezing our butts off, and then continued our drive into the night towards Denver, CO.
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February 1, 2021
Day 13-17 3481/5147m

We arrived late in Denver on the 6th and stayed at the Element Hotel downtown which included a much-needed hot shower & a comfy bed. The next morning, we headed to Denver airport and picked up my sister, Maxine, and her husband, Colt. Excited to try some of Denver’s highly recommended food scene, we soon stopped at a lunch spot recommended to us - Ester’s Neighborhood Pub. We ate some of the best nachos & pizza ever and then continued towards Breckenridge with two extra bodies and even more luggage.

The drive from Denver to Breckenridge was beautiful. The sun danced along the tall snow-capped mountains for a while until it dipped behind them and left a cotton-candy sky in its wake. We bumped country music & enjoyed our scenic hour and a half drive to The LOGE in Breckenridge - a cute & cozy motel style accommodation that looked over Breckenridge Ski Resort and gave us all the Colorado vibes. That evening, we got to spend some time with Brian’s old college roommate and his wife (Maddie & Nichole) who live in Breck. After some yummy dinner with them, we headed back to The LOGE and settled for the night, eagerly awaiting the morning so we could ski/snowboard Breckenridge!

The morning of the 8th, we woke up early and got ready for a day on the slopes. We packed our snacks, plenty of water, and of course homemade apple pie moonshine. It was a perfect day – about 10 degrees F, sunny & blue skies. Our day on the slopes was amazing, we shredded some serious gnar and ended it with a nice cold brew at the lodge. That evening, we went out on the town and found some amazing food and beer at Gold Pan Saloon – some of the best service we’d had all weekend.

The rest of the weekend was spent hiking and relaxing with the crew. On Sunday, we went with Maddie and Nichole to the 14’s, a 4-peak hike in Breckenridge only the craziest of crazy’s attempt in the winter. We hiked the base of one, freezing our butts off, but ended with a view that made it worth it. On the way down from the hike, we took the jeep through some snowy hill climbs and rocky descents. I practiced my new spotting skills, and Brian got to test the hill descent control in the snow.

Breckenridge was hard to leave, but we know we will be back for sure! There’s still so much to see and do, both by foot & by jeep. But it’s time to move on! On to Moab, UT we go!
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