Since the last post, we have traveled through 2 time zones and 5 states. This has been the portion of the trip we refer to as ‘the sprint’.
That means that every day we rose early, gulped coffee and a breakfast bar and drove. And drove. Stops for gas were a time to grab a sandwich, run the towed car (to keep the fluids circulated) and walk the dog. We would make it to the night’s designated stop and essentially collapse.
The reason from the rush was simple – we wanted to be in Wyoming, at the Devil’s Tower to watch the Fourth of July fireworks over the landmark. Why didn’t we leave earlier? Where’s the fun in that?
So here’s a quick recap of what you’ve missed – Indiana and Illinois both had three work zones. Minnesota had 6 and South Dakota had 5. And considering how big South Dakota is, that was nothing. Wisconsin is the big winner so far with 13. And in one instance, we drove on the wrong side of the highway for miles.
Interesting note about that. Driving at near highway speed on the wrong side of a four lane highway is a wonderful way to get revenge on your GPS for any wrong it has ever done to you. It completely freaks it out! Of course the tone of voice never changes, it’s a professional after all. But it does repeat the instructions to get off that stretch of road and back on the right stretch almost continuously. “Please exit southbound Rt ## as soon as possible. Please return to northbound Rt ## at the next exit’. I suppose I could be forgiven for mentally seeing a panicked driving instructor trying to remain calm and stop his student from killing them all by driving the wrong way on the interstate! Just me?
And then there was Wisconsin. I swear, we drove uphill ALL DAY in Wisconsin, and never really changed elevation. It was exhausting. Then Minnesota. I have always visualized Minnesota as having rolling hills and lots of trees and lakes. We didn’t see that. It was really, REALLY flat and largely corn fields. That was the topography I was expecting for South Dakota, but South Dakota was really lovely. Gentle rolling hills, little lakes. Until the Badlands of course. Just like that, snap, and all the nice farmland was gone. Swapped right over to cattle country and the space of just a few miles.
Then came Wyoming. Steeper hills, a little greener. And tonight we’re parked at the base of the Devil’s Tower. Of ‘Close Encounters of Third Kind’ fame. And it is fantastic! The campground here plays the movie on an outdoor screen every night, with the Devil’s Tower as backdrop. We went, of course, and it was awesome!
We’ll stay here a few days to recuperate, do laundry and explore the tower. And then we start phase two – Montana!