Day One:Early morning on Tuesday, September 16, we were up and out the door, after saying goodbye to Tina's kids & Larry. I was worried that I would not make it through saying bye to the kids, but I stayed strong and I was okay. We had a long way to go (and a short time to get there - heh!), so it wasn't a time to be a blubbering idiot.
Tina & I stopped in Peru for some oatmeal breakfast (our only McDonald's on the trip thankyouverymuch) and zoomed off west!
First we hit Iowa.
|Hey, Iowa, how about you make your state sign more legible? And not behind trees? That would be great, thanks...|
*note: click on any picture to make it bigger...*
My stereotype of Iowa: corn and flat. Iowa, you did not disappoint!
|see the flat?|
After heading North, we got in to Minnesota.
My sterotype of Minnesota: green with lots of lakes. Sure, that's pretty much it.
We stopped in Blue Earth, Minnesota for lupper (lunch/supper), and went to see the Jolly Green Giant! Unfortunately, the sun was in the wrong place in the sky for a decent photo op. *sad*
|I really hope that he's wearing tights, because that is one short skirt...|
Before too long, and after a quick turn to the west again, we were in South Dakota.
|South Dakota also had a road sign that was not easily legible. Luckily, this nice carved sign was at the rest area.|
I don't know that I had a stereotype in my head of South Dakota, it's just kinda there...
But it started out flat. Not too different from home.
Then we crossed the Missouri River and started seeing some rolling hills.
The sun was starting to set, and we knew by then that we would not make it for the lighting of Mount Rushmore that night. I think Google was good at underestimating how much time it would take to get where we were headed.
Side note: Growing up, we always had road trip food, and we had to keep that tradition up! We brought the fixins for ants-on-a-log (but craisins instead of raisins), Nutella and pretzels, cheese sticks, water, and juice. What was nice is that these snacks made dinner unnecessary a couple of days on the trip, and since we were trying to get where we were going, it helped with time.
Finally we got to Rapid City and headed south. We had reserved a room in Keystone, North Dakota, just outside of Mount Rushmore! I was very very happy that Tina was driving, because shortly after we got off the interstate, the road got dark, hilly, and curvy! I was closing my eyes some of the time just because I was nervous (this is how I rode south on the haul road with Jeff driving), but knew I had to help navigate!
I got a slight glimpse of Mount Rushmore right before we turned in to our hotel. So cool, but could not compare to the next day!
Day Two:We had set our alarm so we could be up and get to Mount Rushmore early. We threw out the idea of being there for sunrise, but we still beat the crowd! Driving up you get a good view, and there is a historical marker, and therefore a pull-off. We took at advantage of that spot...
We got parked and headed in and, I'll tell you, Mount Rushmore does NOT disappoint. It was really very cool, and I would recommend it to anyone! There's so much other stuff to do in the area, you could easily keep a family busy for a long weekend out there. You should so go there!
|They had gotten about a foot of snow the week before - here's the remnants...|
|so crazy - the trees grew right out of the rocks!|
|finally realized I had my date/time stamp on, and turned it off...|
|selfie with the big guys!|
|this is a panoramic picture - love that function on my phone!|
We spent a good amount of time there and in the gift shop (making very difficult decisions, there was a lot of cool stuff but we both had limited luggage room for the flights home!) before heading back out.
Day Two definitely felt like multiple days.
From South Dakota, we went into Wyoming for a short time.
State stereotype for Wyoming: Brown with tall grasses. Rolling hills. Uh, no photos, so take my word for it that my stereotype is correct.
From Wyoming into Montana.
My state stereotype for Montana was green mountains! I was pretty disappointed for most of the state. Lots of brown. Lots of flat with some hills.
Finally there started being mountains in the distance....
We drove through a couple of reservations before getting back on the interstate. It all looked so depressed....
It was just getting dark when we pulled in to Butte, Montana. The night of day two.
Stay tuned for more!