Travel Tales

Day three started out early at the measly hour of 6 AM. Getting up that early was not on my radar but the dogs had other plans. The sound of their nails clicking and clacking on the laminate flooring on the trailer was like nails on a chalk board so I hesitantly got up. Don was already awake, and was getting ready to wake me up anyway “Go on and get up, we need to get across the levy before the rain comes. The Big Sioux river floods frequently” Don said with his naturally assertive nature. Apparently Baltic South Dakota sits in low lands and floods to the point where they have to close the interstate that would take us to The Badlands. I have never seen gates across the highway so that was pretty neat.

Swing at retreat

Getting on the road was easy, it was the first few hours that were hard. The worst part being there wasn’t a coffee shop anywhere! I googled the nearest Starbucks and the only ones were in Sioux Falls, which was too far of a back track, and a few in Rapid City which was 5 hours away. I had to settle for getting coffee at a place called Caribou Coffee and unfortunately it was hardly what I would classify as coffee. Another challenge was Chevy the dog, not Chevy the truck. I don’t think Chevy was feeling well because he was very vocal about being upset. We had to stop three times in the first two hours for him to potty. I gave him some doggy Tylenol, in case he was hurting, and it seems to have helped because he looks rather comfortable in the back seat in his bed.   

The Badlands

Driving through South Dakota has been interesting. Between the massive windmills on the side of the road with rolling farm land the other side, it’s hard to know where to look. We were fortunate to not have a long drive to Spearfish, SD so we decided to take so detours through The Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore. The Badlands were incredibly beautiful. The park itself is 244, 000 acres but due to time we were only able to drive the scenic byway loop road. The road took us through 39 miles into the heart of the badlands. We got to drive though all the scenic overlooks that allowed us to see everything from rugged mountains to the prairies. We were not able to see any Bison, but we did see prairie dogs and big horn sheep. Mount Rushmore left much to be desired. On the bright side I did not break my ankle when I stepped in a hidden hole outside out amazing hotel in Spearfish, South Dakota. The best park about the drive was I saw someone walking a huge black dog that weirdly remembered a Potbelly pig. I was finally able to get a closer look while we were pulling out, and it was a Potbelly Pig. This man had his 100lb pig on a leash!

My boys at Mount Rushmore

On day four I finally got a good cup of coffee! We hit Wyoming today and it has rolling hill as far as the eye can see. Wyoming is the equality state because it was the state to first grant women the right to vote. We got to see a lot of antelope and people walking around with huge 44 magnums on their hip. If you don’t like guns, I don’t suggest going to Montan or Wyoming. Neither state has gun laws. We ended up staying it the capital of Montana, Helena, at a horrible hotel where falling up the stairs was the highlight of the stay. Oh, and Don finally let us go to Chilis!

Huge windmills

Oh, Day Five! We actually ended up driving all the way to Tacoma Washington! The drive between Helena and Tacoma did not give many options for pet friendly hotels, and they few that ended up being pet friendly were priced insanely high, so we just decided to drive on. Finding an affordable hotel in Tacoma ended up being more challenging than anticipated. After a long day of driving the last thing we needed was the stress of the hotel search but unfortunately that would not be the only stress for the night. We had to return the U-Haul trailed which ended up being an ordeal. Mostly in part to the fact that Dons iPhone, which was less than a month old, would not turn back on! It was 8:25 in the evening, and the nearest apple store closed at 9 PM! We booked it over to the mall and like senior citizens watched at the tech wizards decoded what was wrong with the phone. Apparently, you can just turn on the new phones, you have to hit all these crazy buttons. We were in shock, but thankfully the phone was alive! We left feeling a little embarrassed and finally got settled in for the night. We were very tired, especially since we were now on Pacific time, but we were finally in Washinton!

Tacoma Washington

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