Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 1

7:30 am today, we left Sioux City. On Time!!! We packed up our entire house, minus our cats, and went on our way towards Rapid City, SD. We observed some interesting things along the way while enjoying each other and the fact that this is really our first "real" family vacation. Andy lost his voice in the night, although it sounded rough last night. This morning it sounded like he tried to smoke about a thousand stogies. So not a whole lot of conversation with him, but we could still talk some. It was 80 degrees when we left and the windows in the house were dripping with humidity. We were happy to head out of town for sure! By 8:30, it was already 85, but cooled down once we hit the cold front coming through.

*On our way to Sioux Falls, we encountered the worst UHaul driver EVER. She was driving in the fast lane and would consistantly go into the right/slow lane. Andy was not positive that passing her on the right would be safe for us, so we stayed behind her and watched her almost crash into several other vehicles, of course while making fun of her. Thank goodness we turned onto I90 and she didn't!

*Another strange thing we saw was, gasp!, an open weigh station! You just don't see that very often.

*Is the corn palace in Mitchell worth all the hubbub? We didn't feel any need to stop and see it.

*When we turned onto I90 in Sioux Falls, the signs for Wall Drug, 200 miles away, began. Was that worth the hubbub? It began to be very clear to me that they had absolutely everything so we must just check it out. So we were reminded of the different things they had about every mile from Sioux Falls on. Yes, Wall Drug did have everything you could imagine we found out after going through the Badlands Loop. It was interesting. I enjoy those touristy things once in a while, but they really all do sell the same thing.

*We saw a lot of bikers on their way to Sturgis. It's neat to see and the kids really enjoy motorcycles. We think we're going to swing through Sturgis just to see it when we leave here on our way to Cody.

*A funny sign that we saw, too late for a picture but would have been worth the stop for a picture, was for Dick's auto service near Mitchell, SD. "We can toe 24 hours a day". Really? You can "toe".

*Ryan mentioned that his leg was sore. "It's a dino-sore, Mom" he said. Classic Ryan.

*He also had me take a picture of him on a tiny little mound of dirt in the Badlands. He said it was the ant's badlands. Pretty clever again, isn't he?

*A funny sign we saw right before the Badlands was "Gas now or gas can later." I guess that means to fill up. So we did!

We got into Rapid City in very good time, even after spending a good 90 minutes in the Badlands, so we decided to head to "The Big Heads", or as adults call it, Mt. Rushmore. I think the boys were pretty worn out, but they enjoyed taking the small hiking trail around the park area. I enjoyed seeing this as an adult, since the last time I'd been there was probably when I was about 13. I do remember it clearly, but it's different as an adult. Also, I saw the Badlands when I was on the same trip as a 13 year old. I remember them being VAST. When I saw them this time, they were beautiful, but it wasn't as huge as I remember. I could see plains and the hills/valleys/crevices didn't seem so all-encompassing. Tyler's reaction when we walked over the hill to see the Badlands was "WHOA". But I think that they just wanted to throw rocks over the hill. Andy's reaction was that it was very different: you come over the edge to a completely new world. Nice way to put it, my very-good-driver-of-the-day-although-you-don't-have-a-voice.
So tomorrow, we're going to ride the 1880 Train and hang around the campsite, see Storybook Island, visit the Dinosaur Park, or do absolutely nothing except grill some food and have s'mores. That's all we're out for, a good time. We've been successful so far! I've had people tell me to put the stupid computer away, but this is a good way for me to record things as I see them when they're fresh. I could write on and on, but I do know that SOME people are going to read it, which I appreciate! I have a feeling that the "good" part of our trip hasn't even begun. It's going to get more and more interesting. The boys are running around having a blast together tonite, Andy and I are going over the possible tour things to do tomorrow, OH, visiting a cave may be one....that intrigues me to no end....but we're going to just hang out and be together. No agenda except get to the train on time.

Ok, here's a few of the top ten cowboy commandments:
1) Just one God

2) Honor yer ma and pa

3) No foolin around with another fellow's gal

4) Don't take what ain't yers

5) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff

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