South Dakota give it!
Posted by keithosaunders on August 13, 2010
It turns out that taking the Northern route is only slightly longer than the central route, (I 80) so after a side trip to Barnes and Noble, off we went to South Dakota. We had nine hours in the car, but to be honest, it was never boring. I should have been a truck driver. When it comes to the road I am an animal!
The country now seems small to me. Just three days ago I was in upstate New York, barely two hours north of the city. Now here I am, comfortably blogging from my South Dakota motel room – halfway across the country! If we wanted to we could be in California by Sunday. We plan to spend three days in Grand Tetons, however, so we probably will not arrive until Tuesday…Wednesday at the latest.
We had lunch in Madison Wisconsin by the University student union which is adjacent to a lake. Our dog met a fellow Lab there and had a refreshing half hour of fetch in the lake.
Once you cross into Minnesota the country starts to feel and look exotic. It flattens out and you can see the horizon in all directions. There was a thin crescent moon which was setting in sharp relief against the dusky sky.
We had dinner in a tiny town in Minny, just over the Wisconsin border, called Etoya. The Twins/Whitesox game was on TV and it was good to get a little taste of a good pennant race matchup. Later I listened to a little more of the game on my MLB app. I have to say that the Twins announcers are enjoyable and call a good game.
We resumed our trek and we could see lights in the distance. I was hoping that it would be the Northern lights but as I feared it was a thunder-storm. You could see it from over 50 miles away and what’s more you could feel the electricity in the air. Normally a little rain wouldn’t bother me but we have our canvas bag on the roof of our car with some luggage inside and we had just done laundry the night before at my brother’s. Fortunately I had bought a canvas top and was able to wrap it around the luggage which seems to have done the trick.
The annual Perseids meteor shower was tonight. Just our luck to be in rainy weather, but lo and behold we drove through the storm back into clear skies. Around midnight we pulled off the road to get a look. There were plenty of stars, Milky Way and all, but I was the only one who saw a shooting star. Just one! I can see that amount any old night.
I just went outside our room to get another look but wouldn’t you know it, Sioux Falls is a big city with plenty of light pollution. It’s just not in the stars for us to see shooting stars.