Thursday, April 20, 2006
1600 Miles Later...
Let me just say one thing..
South Dakota = evil Wyoming= cool.
Let me explain. I left around noon on monday, and drove the 6 hrs over to Des Moines, Iowa, where I met up with Justin and Allison. Man, elizabeth is such the lively one. From the moment I walked in there, she was talkin. Like shes known me her entire life. (For those who don't know, elizabeth is their 2-year old daughter.
We had dinner, just hung around and caught up with everything. I ended up staying the next day too, since I hadn't seen them in so long. And on tuesday night I babysitted. First time ever. You'll have to ask elizabeth to see how I did.
I left Iowa at 6am central, headed to Omaha, then up to Sioux Falls, SD. Everything was Peachy. Until I got to south dakota. Out of nowhere comes this hurricane force winds that I faught all 350 miles to Rapid City. Im serious. Like 10-2 the whole time. They were cross, winds, head winds, everything but a tailwind. I don't know how the cows were standing up. I visited the badlands, and I got out of the car for the first "viewpoint", and I couldn't get back to my car.. My body was leaning at a 45 degree angle. Not kidding. I didn't get out the rest of the time It took me 2 1/2 tanks of gas to go the distance of south dakota. Oh, and it rained. not too bad, but it rained.
I finally arrived in Rapid city, and all of a sudden a blue sky appeared, and the rain stopped. I was in a much better mood. I headed to Mt. Rushmore, and unfortunately it was closed. (one of the themes of this trip) I went further into the black hills to find the KOA that i had planned to stay at...CLOSED. oops. I kept going, hoping to find SOMEONE who knew if there was somewhere to pitch a tent. But no one was there. So I decided to head back into town to the Rapid City KOA. I got there, got a campsite, looked around..no one. Well there were people, but they all had campers. so, exhausted as I was, I pitched my tent, crawled in my bag, and stared at the cieling. It was 7:30.
At about 8 I said "forget it"...well..actualy I thought it...and I rolled over and closed my eyes. then came the rain. And the wind. The wind wasn't as bad as it was before, but still.
I finally went to sleep..ok it was like 20 mins later...and I woke up, looked outside, and all i saw was gray. Fog. and rain. and cold. I laid there for another 30 mins, got the nerve to get up, get dressed, and take down my tent. It was freeezing. I ignored rolling up my tent like i was supposed to, so i folded it and threw it in the car. I went to take a shower..luke warm. dang. but i did what i had to do.
Free breakfast!! They served free pancakes at the Koa. I followed my nose, and found 2 guys, in a tiny kitchen, yakkin it up. they invited me in, got me some coffee and pancakes, and he said "are you the guy with the tent?"
apparently his wife had visited the night before, and was struck to see my tent. She didn't think anybody had it in them. He just laughed and said "lucky.."
I asked how cold it was last night..he said 34. ick. 34 and rainy.
Then they told me that I-90 west through wyoming was closed due to snow (deadwood had gotten like 20 inches). I was headed north, but at this point, i thought maybe i just go home. If i could.
I decided to try my luck with I-90 west, and head for billings. I was going to skip N. Dakota. I'd had all of the Dakota's I could stand. That took me through wyoming.
As soon as i got to wyoming (at this point they opened up I-90), blue skies. as far as i could see. it was wonderful. It was in the 50s, and climbed into the 60s. i drove to big horn national park, did a short hike, then got back in my car and headed for billings...where I am now..at a barnes and noble.
Now I have to go find the KOA and pitch my tent. Weather is supposed to be great tonight..cept lows are in the 30s. uggh.
Oh, and I've decided to shorten my trip. My car makes me nervous that its gonna konk out in the middle of nowhere. And gas is expensive. and soo many things are closed until summer. It may be a waste of time to go to kalispell. So Im gonna make the best of Bozeman for 2 days, then just head south through yellowstone for a day or two then down to denver.