Monday, June 30, 2008

Souh Dakota

We left at 7 a.m. with 540 miles to go - from Buffalo, Wyoming to Sioux Falls, South Dakota! That means we drove the entire width of South Dakota (plus a bit of Wyoming).

While we were still in Wyoming, we noticed in one field a big herd of cattle, and in the center of the cow herd was a small group of antelope - maybe 12 or so - all curled up and sleeping in the middle of everything. The two species obviously don't mind being together - we wondered if maybe it makes the antelope feel safer to be in with the cows. Or maybe the cows just wandered over and surrounded them while they were sleeping!

Filled up at Gillette - $3.83/gal.

It's easy to see how wicked the winters must be out west. In four different States now ( N. Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and S. Dakota) we've seen gates to close entrance ramps to the Interstate, gates that would reach across 2 lane highways if they were drifted, and signs on the freeway that say "Road Closed When Flashing - Return to Moorcroft" (or where ever). There's significant huge wooden snow fencing alongside I-90 by Rapid City - they must get world class drifting. Makes our orange plastic snow fencing look very ineffective.

The Subaru's odometer turned over 100,000 miles just outside of Beulah, Wyoming at the Aladdin exit.

It was interesting to notice that when we crossed the Wyoming/S.Dakota State line, things changed. In Wyoming, we saw herds and herds of antelope with lots of antelope babies, and in western South Dakota we saw fields and fields of wild yucca in bloom and no antelope! The yucca starts and the antelope stops - how do they know where the State line is?

In one cattle herd in South Dakota there were a couple of llamas in with the cows curled up around the waterhole, and in another field we saw an honest to God camel (one hump) in the middle of the pasture with the cows! I'm thinking that cattle are very open-minded...or oblivious.

Our family really enjoyed Wall Drug on our Western Tour in 1975. We were going to stop again this time just for old times sake, but we had a long day of driving and Wall Drug has expanded to a tourist empire - the town of Wall was wall to wall cars and campers, and there was no place to park. Took the picture to prove we were there, and kept on going.

South Dakota is mostly just miles and miles of miles and miles. What a bleak, bleak landscape! At one point today (we were keeping track) there was 400 miles between McDonalds. We like to stop and get coffee and iced tea, but in South Dakota you need a thermos or bottled water. Luckily, the resourceful Richard had a cooler with bottled water.

Out west, if your thresher is out of commission. you park it by the fence along the roadway and just let it sit. Sometimes you put an advertising sign on it. We saw old rusty threshers in Minn, N.Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota. I guess in Wyoming, there's nothing to thresh!

Spending tonight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.