2 weeks! So much has happened and yet the time has gone by so quickly.
This morning we woke up to about 4 inches of snow. We weren’t sure what to do or which way to go. We called the Ranger station at Mt Rushmore, but they were still fogged in. We checked the weather and road conditions in various towns and decided to head north and see if we could get to North Dakota. At 10:30 we hit the road. I won’t keep you in suspense, we made it to ND.
The main roads were fine. The parking lots and entrance/exit ramps were slushy, but OK. The big issue initially was fog. We left the Rapid City area and saw a sign for Sturgis, SD. Since we’re “looking for adventure”, we had to check it out. No biker boys were in sight, so we got back on the highway…
Now we got on route 85, the CANAM highway. It goes from Canada to Mexico. Our mother is convinced the road is filled with drug dealers peddling their wares from Mexico.
We passed through many really small towns, had our peanut butter and jelly lunch, and decided we needed a bathroom. We went through Buffalo SD and all they had was a Sinclair gas station. Surely the next town would have a McDonalds or Burger King (our favorite bathroom choices). No such luck. The next town was Ludlow, SD and it was even smaller than Buffalo. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We didn’t even see a gas station, but there was a small “cafe/casino” called The Crooked Creek.
We knew our mother would have a heart attack if she saw us entering such a sketchy place, but nothing was going to stop us. There were Christmas lights hanging sort of around the door and building frame. We had to shove the door open hard. Did you see the movie “Winters Bone?” This would have been the South Dakota version. The first room had a broken down very old couch in it and thats all. There was another door. Inside was a small and dark sort of restaurant. A bar counter was on the left with a TV blaring. A couple of old men were sitting on stools. Straight ahead was a young mother with a small baby girl on her lap. Whew…we were going to be OK. She pointed out the restroom. Nearby there was an ancient upright piano with sheet music for “Amazing Grace” Dolls sat on top that had knitted dresses on them. They had been sitting there for a very long time. The ceiling was covered with hanging decorations. Streamers, St Patricks Day Shamrocks, all kinds of things. My eyes were becoming adjusted to the light. We thought we should order something and not just use their restroom, but what?? I asked for a diet coke and was handed a can. We paid $1 and left.
Eight miles later and we made it safely to the North Dakota border.
We promptly turned around and headed south back towards Rapid City. We stopped at Spearfish SD and called the Ranger station at Mt Rushmore. Still fogged in. We’re spending the night here and will check again tomorrow.
Our next stop is Sheridan Wyoming. We will be visiting relatives of Julie’s.
We arrived in Spearfish at 4:00 and our mileage is at 4,932.