Bob and Susan’s 2016 vacation, part 2

Susan Manzke, Correspondent
Susan and Bob Manzke take in the scenery of the Painted Desert in North Dakota on a windy day.

One reason it’s difficult for me to go on vacation is because I can’t bring my own bed with me. I toss and turn when trying to sleep. Bob, on the other hand, can sleep standing up. Honestly, he did this when working nights at the canning company.

During our bus trip to Yellowstone, I would catch up on sleep while traveling across the country. The only trouble with this is that I’d miss part of our bus trip this way.

I’m going to give you some the highlights of our vacation that I didn’t sleep through.

 When we stopped for the night in Medora, North Dakota, we went to eat at a place called the Pitchfork Steak Fondue Dinner. There was already a long line of people waiting in the open air for the dinner bell. I couldn’t help but wonder how they were going to melt enough cheese for over 300 people.

Oddly, there was no melted cheese in the buffet line. It turned out the fondue part of our meal was the steak. They actually did stick steaks in groups of four on pitchforks and dip them in vats of bubbling oil. Usually I wouldn’t eat a steak late in the day, but I ate every bite of this one. Yum.

Afterward, we went the Medora Musical, also out in the open air. The music and dancing was great, but what Bob and I loved was a demonstration from jump rope champions. Super!

On day four, we made it to Yellowstone. Rachel, our local guide, rode with us all day telling all about this magnificent National Park. There wasn’t a question she couldn’t answer. As we stood looking at the sights, someone from Sobieski, Wisconsin, said “Hi.”

There were times our bus rolled to a crawl. This was when cars were stopped along the road — but not because of an accident. These were bear jams, where cameras came out to snap a bit of wildlife. Park rangers were about, keeping people and bears safe and traffic moving.

The altitude (around 10,000 feet) got to Bob first. He felt dizzy and couldn’t hurry anywhere. It took an extra day to get to me — made me wonder how long it would take us to adapt.

Bob checks out a large barbed wire display at a museum in Medora, ND.

When we waited for Old Faithful to erupt, Bob and I stayed close to the buildings. There we visited with a man from Germany (people from around the world were at Yellowstone).

The Grand Tetons were next on our itinerary. The scenery kept us gazing at the peaks and saying, “Wow!”

There was much to see and do. One of my favorite outings was dinner and entertainment at the Bar T-5 Covered Wagon Cookout in Cache Creek Canyon, Wyoming. The 2½-mile ride in the horse-drawn wagon was fun. We had a three-quarter moon. Cowboy Braxton held the reins of Bandit and Thief. The "cowboy chow" was great, but the best was yet to come. The western act included the audience, and they drafted Bob to go up on stage, AND HE WENT.

I wondered what they were going to do to Bob. He’s not a singer. It turned out he was part of the chorus for She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain. Bob’s job was to snore when prompted — snoring is one of his major talents.

I tried my best to get a photo of the act. It was difficult as I was laughing so much.  

Gambling in Deadwood could not beat Bob’s snoring act. The casinos didn’t get rich off us as we only put one dollar in a machine, lost it and then quit.

There wasn’t much that went wrong during our trip. We started out driving through a storm in Minnesota, and one evening we spent two hours getting dinner at a restaurant after their cook quit. That’s about it.

Bob and I will eventually take another motor coach trip. But two days after our return home, we were off again. This short trip was for a Manzke family weekend. More about that next time.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;