Our first day on the road! We headed south from Minneapolis into the southern part of South Dakota. Not the most exciting place for sure, but we had fun.
I always love driving in MN. It is incredibly lush and green, even the major arteries are flanked by forests, rivers and parks. I was sad to leave The Current’s airspace – seriously the BEST radio station in the country, by far! From Mankato on it was top 40, country and golden oldies – some good sing-alongs, but I’m afraid we’ve exhausted even those meager stations and will be on our own tomorrow with tunes. From the time we turned westward, the land flattened out. Crossing into South Dakota was nearly imperceptible – if it hadn’t been for the giant sign on the side of the road I wouldn’t have noticed any difference in the grassy landscape. It was a bit like a giant golf course in most parts, or a green Karoo – slightly undulating brightly green grasslands. The most beautiful part was crossing the Missouri river – all of the sudden we came upon this bridge and were over the water, with two picturesque railway bridges spanning it on either side. We were headed into a storm so the light was fabulous (we got pelted for awhile, but luckily missed the severe storm with hail and instead just cleaned our windshield of all the kamikaze bugs!). For most of our drive through SD it was like a scene out of some post-apocalypse movie – we seemed to be the only ones on the road for miles. Kind of eerie!
We had gotten a late start out of MN (ALL my fault!) and so were a bit late getting to our campsite in the Badlands. At least we got an extra hour out of the deal – we didn’t realize that halfway through SD is the change to Mountain time! Our GPS (Ted) was perplexing me – I simply couldn’t figure out how we still had 120 miles to go and we were going to arrive in 5 minutes! Ted knows everything (and HATES it when we pull off the road at a rest stop). As we were arriving, the light was just glancing off the top of the rocks, turning everything rosy and warm. We luckily pulled into the site just as the light was failing – we had enough time to set up our tent (luckily for the dry run!) and make some sandwiches for dinner. I’m sitting here now by the fire, typing away, listening to the sound of the wind in the trees, sipping on a beer. Who could ask for more!
Signs of the day –
’24-hour toe service’ (on several billboards…). Where are we?!!?
‘Aw shucks, just stop’ – billboard for the Corn Palace (needless to say my dilly-dallying this morning prevented us from exploring such a cultural landmark!)