Thursday, February 25, 2010

Did we ever leave Kansas City, MO?

As you can tell, blogging went completely silent after our 3rd night in Missouri.

We got home yesterday afternoon so I can tell you we did eventually leave. Now I will catch up the rest of the journey.

Sunday evening, February 21st, Kansas City Missouri, it was time to face the reality that the high schooler wasn't getting home anytime soon so we booked her a flight for Monday with a connection in Minneapolis. She did absolutely amazing. Never missed a beat as I left her at security Monday morning. By the way, I learned some interesting things about flying minor kids while researching flights out: on some airlines, she would have still needed some type of note, fortunately on Delta she did not. We talked to her during her layover in Minneapolis and she was a confident traveler.

Meanwhile, the sick sister (who was no longer as sick) and I started doing some serious driving. The snow was cleared off I-70 and it was safely drivable but the amount of spun out and wrecked cars was stunning. While we stayed in the hotel, a lot of people had a very bad day. We connected on north I-29 and I was almost emotional as we crossed into Iowa. Finally we were out of Missouri. It wasn't even a bad state; we just didn't plan on 3 nights there.

At first the best thing I could say about Iowa was that it wasn't Missouri, but actually as you travel north it has more hills and apparently it got more snow. There was a lot more of it drifting on the side of the road.

Yah! Crossing into South Dakota...I-90 here we come!

Finally we hit Sioux City which meant we were into South Dakota and I-90 was within reach! The Missouri River around Sioux City was very beautiful:

The exit we have been waiting for:

South Dakota definitely is a state I will return to - although at a warmer time of year. I actually don't understand why more families don't travel there because especially the Rapid City/Black Hills area seems completely geared towards families with children and there is just so much to see and do.

We stopped at this neat rest stop in South Dakota and unfortunately it was already dusk but you are looking out on the Lewis and Clark Memorial Bridge over Lake Frances Case. This Web site has a chapter about kayaking sites in South Dakota and has photos of the bridge.

The South Dakota sunset was beautiful. It was way too cold out there but truly a gorgeous state. I-90 into Rapid City got very icy and so once we reached Rapid City, we stopped for the night. We had talked a lot about pushing on through since we were going to get in about 10pm and gain an hour but we finally made a decision to try and fit at least one thing on this drive that was actually vacation-like; even if done at impossible speed.

So we crossed into another time zone, gained an hour and stayed in the freezing Rapid City. The hotel was attached to some water park (a common theme in this area) and so there was a ton of younger kids. The high school wrestlers in Missouri were definitely easier. :)

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