As always, the best laid plans never really go according to plan. Our plan was to leave early Saturday morning, the 11th of July. I think everyone who has ever taken a road trip understands the plan. Get up early, hit the road and put as many miles behind you as possible before stopping for the night. As I’m sure you’ve guessed … that didn’t happen.
We both knew the only hard set “plan” was to arrive at my brother’s house in Washington sometime the following week so, getting a late start wasn’t all that bad. It just meant I would be spending more time in my home state of Missouri than I planned.
Our first state was Iowa. Now, a lot of people will tell you there isn’t much to see in Iowa, just a lot of cornfields. Personally, I find cornfields rather pleasing before the harvest. A couple of notable sights in Iowa, along I-29, outside of Sioux City, there is an obelisk reminiscent of the Washington Monument in D.C. If you all you do is drive by you’ll be left with the nagging question, “Why?”
This obelisk is actually a monument to the only person to perish during Lewis and Clark’s expedition, Sergeant Floyd. The monument stands approximately 100 feet tall and is actually Sgt. Floyd’s third resting site. If you stop, be on the look out for a 15 starred and 15 striped flag, pretty cool.
The other interesting feature in Iowa is the Loess hills. This isa geologic formation that only exists in two places on earth. Obviously, one place is Iowa, the other is in China. Loess doesn’t support agriculture, but the hills can be mined for gravel and fill dirt, which is controversial and I’m not going to get in to that argument.
So, pressing on.
We made a left turn and were welcomed to South Dakota.
Of course, our destination was Mount Rushmore, way on the other side of the state. Fast forward to our first night, time to stop and get a room for the night. Simple, right?
We stopped at three or four hotels, each of which informed me there was no vacancy. Thinking there was something special happening in the area, possibly something to check out the next day, I asked the last hotel clerk if there was some festival or something, I was told this was normal for them during tourist season. That was it, just tourist season. He was kind enough to make a few phone calls and find a hotel with two rooms available, two hours further down the road! It was already around 11:00pm and we were too tired to drive any further, safely. So what to do?
Find a group of semi-trailers parked for the night, pull in the middle of them, recline the seats and get some sleep. Yep, the first night on the road and we slept in the car. Now that would be the end of the story for MOST people but, you’ll find I’m not most people.
First, my wife has normal hearing, pulling between tractor trailers wasn’t an issue for me, I took my processors off. My wife however, had to listen to what she described as the T.A.R.D.I.S. all night. For me, pure silence. And then, there is the really unusual part of my sleep pattern, I sleep sitting up. Sometimes.
During the night, I will sit up, cross my legs, lean forward, and put my head on the bed. I do this completely asleep, I don’t know why but I’ve slept this way for as long as I can remember. That night, in the car, between idling tractor trailers, I set up, leaned forward, and put my head on the horn.
Thankfully, my dear wife woke me up before I woke up the neighbors. I can’t imagine how they would have reacted being woke up by my honking in my sleep.
We woke early in the morning, found we had parked for the night within walking distance to a convenience store/gas station. Wonderfully convenient for morning coffee and, well … morning visits to the restroom.
While sleeping in the car wasn’t exactly our plan for the night, we were greeted with this view.
My wife, being the trooper she is, simply stated, “Our adventure, begins.”
Ya just gotta love a woman like her.
Until next time,
Rob … the deaf guy