Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cross Country Trip to Spokane, Part 2

O.K. Here we go - back on 90 W. bright and early at 7:00 am. on Monday, July 20. Now Central Time, so feels like 8:00 am. to us. Travelled into Wisconsin, through Madison, crossed the Wisconsin River and then crossed what is called the Wisconsin Dells. These are a series of lakes and looks to be a big vacation spot. There are waterparks and boat tours all over. It's a very pretty area. Also seems to be a big snow ski area in the winter. We then drove by LaCrosse, Wisconsin, which is right on the Mississippi River. To be honest, I thought it would be prettier than it was.

We got to Stewartville, Minnesota, about 12:30, so picked up a sandwich at Subway and then saw a Dairy Queen. I just had to have one. We got sundaes at Dairy Queen and of course had to eat these first. It's hot. We're on vacation, right? I wanted this to be a fun, easy, enjoyable trip, so eat dessert first. Vacations somehow give you permission to act like kids and let your hair down and do things you wouldn't normally do. We're such the risk takers!

Minnesota was a little boring at this point. All farm country. We then came across rows and rows of windmills. It was quite an amazing sight. This was about 13 miles east of a town called Austin, Minnesota. Then crossed into South Dakota and through a small town of Brandon. My sons' names are Austin and Brandon. This just seemed like a good omen for a good trip. I was getting tired about 4:00 and tried to arrange a small little bed for myself with my blanket and pillow on My Bob's leg. It was pretty comfortable, but I ended up spilling my sippy cup of coffee all over the floor. UCK! I cleaned up as best I could, but now the truck smells like coffee.

Forget the nap, it just wasn't working. A heavy rain and wind storm interrupted the beautiful summer weather and my nap.

Shortly after we crossed the Missouri River we saw the signs at Cactus Flat for Badlands Park. Brandon told us that this was a really interesting sight when he drove this trip, and since dusk is upon us we decided to start travelling into the Badlands to see if we could find a place to stay for the night.

This was one of the most amazing places to see. The rain had ended and the sky was a beautiful blue/orange/pink. We drove into Badlands Park and in the middle of the park was a tiny, little town called Interior.
I don't know if I can even describe the Badlands well enough to do it justice, but it is a series of sharp, steep, mountains. It's just one mountain (or big hill, I don't know what would define the difference) after another and they are not dirt. They are layers of clay and the layers are different shades of browns and oranges. This against the colorful sky, was just an amazing thing to see, although it could be quite dangerous. These large hills are steep and drop off quickly. Bob was making me very nervous while seeing how far out he could walk. And that's not to mention the snakes, coyotes, antelope, etc. We didn't see any of these animals, thank goodness.

The Badlands got it's name from the early settlers going west coming across this part of the country and trying to continue through with their horses and covered wagons. It was an area known by all who went there as very "Bad land" to get across.
Now it's getting dark and we notice there is a small campground in Interior that also has a Budget Host Motel. It was quite rustic, but the area and the experience was such a good memory.


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