I have completed half of my road trip and now enroute home. I wish I could post trip notes in real time but I find writing on the road very difficult. I am sitting in this nice little cabin at the Buffalo Bill Village Resort in Cody, Wyoming
Here are the National Park Service brochures I have collected so far
I also visited other non-NPS places like driving to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado. Here is a view of part of the road to the top. It rained and hailed on the way up
More to come when and if I return home
P.S. If you want to experience what the gold rush in California might have looked like in the 1800s, visit Williston, North Dakota. There is an oil boom happening right now and the area within 75 miles of the city is buzzing with activity. People, pickup trucks (modern day horses), service trucks (modern day wagons), and tanker rigs (modern day freight wagons) are clogging the roads and kicking up dust. The housing storage is so severe that they have established what they call "man-camps" for employee housing in tents, trailers, etc. Most of the reasonable priced hotels and motels in about a 75 mile radius are completely filled.
On another note, Cody, Wyoming is also almost completely booked up. They tell me that many adults send their kids to school (apparently college-age kids) and then take off on vacation after labor day. The Holiday Inn is completely booked. I was one of the last to get a single cabin. The Comfort Inn next door only have rooms with double beds at a much higher cost.