We took a hop, skip and a jump through South Dakota, with three stops. One on Lake Thompson, near De Smet, where the Ingalls family homestead was located, from The Little House On The Prairie stories, written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was definitely on a prairie! I knew South Dakota was mostly covered with grassy plains, but I was still surprised at the scope of it. I expected more houses. We drove a small highway (14), to avoid traffic and see the small towns. Maybe there's more houses and businesses on the busier highway (90). Most of the towns we drove through, the only paved road was the highway, the side streets were dirt or gravel. Some serious small town America!
The second stop was in the capital city of Pierre. I thought, since it was the state capital, it would be a larger city. Come to find out, it has a smaller population than my tiny hometown of Imperial, California! We stayed in a small city park, right on the Missouri River, close to the Ford dealership, so we could have the trucks oil changed.
On our way to the Black Hills, we stopped and got our mail from our home address, which is a mail forwarding company. I had ordered essential oils to make my own bug repellant, and was super happy to get it, and it seems to be working!
The Black Hills feel like a totally different world than the rest of South Dakota. The hills are covered with lush green grass and pine trees. Oh, and a couple of granite peaks with faces carved into them!
There were a lot of places to camp, but we chose Crooked Creek Resort, in Hill City, because my friends Jane and Mark's nephew and niece, John, and Amy are work camping there. We had only met once, briefly, in San Diego but have been following each others travels on Facebook. They are also new full time RV'ers, and when I saw they call themselves 'The Thirsty Nomads', I knew we'd get along great! Also, since Jane and Mark are like family, it was like hanging out with extended family.
While we were in Hill City, we had two hail storms. There are about 15 dings in the hood of the truck, and a few tears in the awning shade, and the awnings that cover the slides. We are just happy that the windshield, and solar panels are intact. It was funny, the day after the second storm, I saw a photo of large hail in a Facebook RV'ers group I belong to. I commented that we had hail too. It ends up, they were staying just up the road from us. Now we follow each others blogs. Thanks 'Goin Anywhere' for letting me use your photo! I was too busy sitting under the dinette, keeping Fiona calm, to go out and take photos. It was so loud, and she was really scared.
After the weekend in the Black Hills, we had 11 days to get to East Glacier in Montana. Normally, we would have taken our time and done it in five drives, staying two or three nights in each place but the temps were getting into the 100s' in the middle of Montana. Not being fans of hot weather, we added a few days to our stay at Glacier, and hightailed it north!
Paul said "you have something on your back let me see". I freaked out! Is it a tick? Is it a tick?! Nope, just the inspector 15 sticker from my new bra. Phew!
The three stops along the way were a couple of nights in north east Wyoming, on Keyhole Reservoir, a couple in south/central Montana on the Tongue River Reservoir, and one night in hot Helena Montana, on Hauser Lake; which is part of the Missouri River.
But, wait! Weren't we on the Missouri River back in South Dakota? I actually started to write this blog one day when we didn't have wifi or cell service, and couldn't Google it. I was confused! How could a river that seemed to flow north to south in one state, seem to flow south to north a few states to the west? I didn't want someone to question it. (You know who you are! And, I love ya!) So, I put the blog on hold until I could do some research. I know, who cares if I write something in my blog that's incorrect? Me, that's who! Once I was able to do some research, I found that the Missouri River starts in the Rocky Mountains in western Montana, heads north a bit, then east and south until it enters the Mississippi River. And, it's the longest river in North America.
Above is a screen shot of Wikipedia, showing the path of the Mighty Mo.
This concludes the geography lesson and the blog for today.
P.S. Check out the rest of the photos from this leg of the trip in the photo section-Snapshots 2