Day Fourtyfour

Albert Lea, MN to Wind Cave National Park, SD
July 8th, 2009

High Point of the Day....
Low Point of the Day......
Watching an amazing lightning storm from a distance
Another really long day of driving
Miles Traveled Today
Total Miles Traveled
The Bus Playlist
Little Willies, Miranda Lambert, Spin Doctors, Talib Kweli, String Cheese Incident
Sunny, rainy, clear with lightning storms in the distance
Price of Gas 
(average per gallon)
Night's Lodging
Where this Page was Uploaded
Blue Heron, Deer, Cows
Elk Mountain Campground, Wind Cave National Park
Hill City, SD

Daily Didactic
The day began in the slightly muggy and extra buggy Myre-Big Island State Park. Theresa took a run while Brian worked on getting us road ready. We took advantage of the best showers we've run into all trip and pulled out of the park and shortly after that onto I-90 heading west. From here to Yellowstone is a straight line of interstate heading due west. It is two long days of driving in the bus, which we'll break up with a two night stop in Wind Caves National Park. We visited the area on the last trip and really loved it, slowing down then for Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park and the Badlands. We missed the caves last trip and they seemed like a good opportunity to break up a long drive this time around.

Interstate can be a little numbing, but it goes fast. A good chunk of Minnesota's seems to be torn up and down to one lane. We blame stimulus money. Close to the western edge we stopped for breakfast in Worthington at the Blue Line Diner and then finished up the state. From the interstate South Dakota is remarkably like Minnesota, but with funnier billboards. Between the Corn Palace and Wall Drug there was a modicum of entertainment. We missed the Corn Palace last trip by heading south through the Badlands and have felt bad for five years. We made up for that omission in the early afternoon. The Corn Palace is a fascinating spectacle of art in Mitchell, South Dakota. Giant murals crafted of dried corn cobs nail gunned to plywood adorn a huge community center in the middle of town, and apparently have for almost 100 years. It was really astounding.

We climbed back onto the freeway and spent the next couple of hours finishing the width of South Dakota. We dropped south at Rapid City, weaving down far more rural roads for about an hour to Wind Caves. We enjoyed a fire, a smore, a park ranger presentation on bison, and an incredible lightning display in the distance before calling it a tired night.

Daily Pictures (Slide Show)

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Morning in Minnesota The park ranger's fun office
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Pretty flowers A coat of paint would do wonders
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Bad interstate in western Minnesota Old and new
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South Dakota welcomes us The Corn Palace nears
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Nice attention to detail in Mitchell Theresa, seemingly a little uneasy with her new friend
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The Corn Palace The Corn Palace celebrates itself
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A Corn Palace installer The corn prep station
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Inside the Palace, actually a multi-use community center Crossing the Missouri River
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The long and winding road Rolling prairie
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Midwest storage Acres of hay rolls
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We did this time, didn't the last Crazy weather on the horizon
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Winding past Custer State Park... the night's destination
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Bus shadow Pretty clouds
And a really exceptional moon rise

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