From the snow fields of South Dakota through the green green grass of Iowa to the big city lights of Chicago.
04.15.2013 - 05.02.2013
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Rapid City, SD
Snowed in at Hart Ranch we made the best of it and at first enjoyed the novelty of the new fallen snow. We visited some of our favorite establishments from our last visit and made a few new friends.
We attended the Nat'l Tattoo Association's annual convention (in Rapid City this year) and of course I got a cool new tattoo!
Tattoo artist Mike Culley from Cheyenne Mountain Tattoo in Colorado Springs, CO.
My 'bear with beer' for my beloved bear Brad.
We made a trip out to Sturgis (about 20 miles from Rapid City) to take a look around but this time of year it's pretty dull. Best thing going was the 'steak tips' at the Loud American Roadhouse, a gigantic place that's packed during the Rally. The 2012 Rally (held the first week in August annually) brought over 700,000 people and sadly there were 9 deaths this year.
Found another Oasis bar!
At last the weather cooperated and we headed out of Rapid City and through the Badlands on our way to Sioux Falls.
A heavy down pour in the distance.
Stopped at the small town of Chamberlain on the Missouri River to stay the night and check in at the local bar. On to Sioux Falls where we explored the downtown a little more.
Turkey vultures galore at this RV park on the river!
When we entered Iowa we began to see green again; after all the drab brown of South Dakota it was a welcome sight! The trees were just beginning to bud and the grass went on forever and everyone has riding mowers to keep up their palatial lawns. We stayed in Waukee a suburb of Des Moines and made day trips into the city and surrounding areas. Rv parks became increasingly hard to find the closer we got to big cities.
Des Moines, capitol of Iowa, population 206,599. We sought out and found the 'El Bait Shop', a 70's dive bar and restaurant with an attached beer pub with over 100 beers on tap, mostly craft beers. Had a great time sampling some new beers as well as a few favorites and ate some awesome broasted chicken in the funky diner.
The Des Moines River runs through the city.
The next day we went for a drive to the Mississippi River where we got our first sight of Illinois on the other side. We visited the pretty tourista town Le Claire to see the Antique Archaeology shop from the show American Pickers. It was a little disappointing as mostly they had souvenirs from the show and the shop was small and of course they (the stars) don't actually work there.
We enjoyed the towns along the river but were happy to finally reach our next destination of Elgin, Illinois where we would stay for a couple of weeks while we visited Loretta & Jeremy in Chicago. There are no campgrounds within a 50 mile radius of Chicago (would NOT bring the rig into Chicago anyway!) so we stayed at a wildlife preserve out in Elgin and took the train in.
Now, on to Chicago!