|The kids about to leave North St. Paul. Tired and sad...|
1. Lunch at Perkins. We don't have Perkins Restaurant in the Pacific Northwest so we stopped there for lunch with the kids. We were all a little punchy and slap happy which made for a somewhat crazy and fun lunch break.
2. Lewis and Clark Museum-Scenic View Point-Rest Area Stop. One rest area about halfway through our day boasted a View Point and a Lewis and Clark Museum. We were all desperate to get out of the car so we stopped. Curt loves history - especially Lewis and Clark - and was so excited to explore this museum that he practically ran to the door, only to stop dead in his tracks because it was closed. It was wicked hot and humid. We were tired and disappointed. A pity party sounded good. Instead we collapsed in the lush green grass, shaded by the (closed) museum, and laid there heads together looking at the sky. Strange that this is one of the moments that stands out to me the most from our vacation.
|how we originally felt about the museum being closed|
|What we talked ourselves into choosing instead - JOY!|
We stopped at Wall Drug - even though I disliked it as a kid - because it felt like a crime to just drive by. It was as I remembered it. Too big. No windows. Old. Smelly. Claustrophobic. Too many people. Almost instantly I felt anxious and closed-in. Large crowds and chaos unnerve me - a relatively new realization about myself. We bought the $.05 cups of (crappy) coffee. Grant's face when he tasted it was hilarious! We also bought the homemade doughnuts. The Stilp Family Jury was split on the awesome to marginal ratings. Overall none of the Stilp's were sad to leave Wall Drug (sorry South Dakota Tourism).
As we left Wall Drug we were treated to an awesome Midwestern summer thunder storm. Dark clouds, thunder, lightening, huge rain drops coming down in sheets, stiff winds, and warm, hot air. It was awesome!
We piled back in the car for the final push to Rapid City. The skies turned black again and unleashed another torrent of rain. It was a magnificent, awe-inspiring, powerful storm in the heart of the Badlands. We pulled off to the side of the interstate and I had the privilege of photographing a double rainbow arching through dark storm clouds over the Badlands and a parked train! I seriously thought I was going to wet my pants with excitement. Or get carried away by the wind. It was a BEAUTIFUL storm!
We rented a cabin in Rapid City for two nights and were thrilled to finally pull into our designated parking space at the resort. Our "cabin" was hilarious. It must have been 1,200 square feet of non-glamourous living space and was attached to the resort laundromat. It was clean but felt dirty because everything was so old.
The kitchen was part mud room, part VFW hall, and part business conference room. The only decoration in the entire cabin was a nice painting hung too high and off centered a wall that was too big for the painting. The bathroom was split between two rooms that appeared to have been closets or storage areas at one time. One of the bathrooms had a sink and a toilet. The other had a sink and the world's tiniest shower. Our cabin also had a back door with a picnic table, grill, and a short walk to the resort pool which wasn't much bigger than a bathtub. Three basic bedrooms slept our entire family in two full size beds and two twin beds.
|The kitchen, dining, two bathrooms, and the front door|
|Our back door, picnic table, and our cabin|
|How I love this Crew of Crazy!|
It was a wonderful way to end a long, but fun day. Getting to South Dakota turned out to be much better than I anticipated!