States: Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota
"I want to get out": only 8 because Grandad was chief toddler entertainer and did a fabulous job. It's his birthday today too.
Best discovery: Drinking a Red Bull with a large coffee chaser will allow you to drive for several more hours than you had planned.
Most scary moment: driving along the top of the world on a huge open road in Minnesota and being enveloped by a ferocious storm. The sky was black, the rain and wind hammered against the car and I swear it felt like we were so high up that we were driving right though a storm cloud. My hands gripped the wheel and I clenched my teeth and prayed for it to stop. The Fed Ex van in front was my rock and I clung to its tailgate. Isn't it funny how we cling to other human beings at times like this? Sheila (my step-mum) lent over, patted my knee and said "are you okay love?" and that prompted me to unhook my fingers from the steering wheel and breath for the first time in 20 miles.
The scenery didn't get breathtaking & dramatic until we got into South Dakota. The landscape is right out of a western movie and the history of the wild west is rich here. Tonight we are in a little motel in Chamberlain on the Missouri River. Our room has a river view and we just got back from the local cafe where I ate a buffalo burger. I couldn't bring myself to eat the calf soup.
The sad part is not sharing this with Craig and Danny, who I miss like mad. Me & Craig toured all round here several years ago & he loves to travel too. We ring him several times a day and it's lovely to watch Jack talk with him now. He says "Bye daddy, I love you" when he hangs up and I go all mushy every time.
Now the driving is done I feel like the holiday can begin. Tomorrow we'll visit Wall Drug, Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation, the Badlands, Black Hills, and Mount Rushmore, before heading up to stay in the wild west town of Deadwood.