We finished our last shift at Crazy Horse, saying as many "so longs" as we could to all our friends and co-workers. We made a quick dash into Custer and picked up a pizza at our new found favorite pizza joint, Pizza Works. I also filled the Dakota's fuel tank up so we would be ready to roll bright and early.
Monday morning we were up before sunrise. I busied myself with dumping the tanks and rolling up the last of the cords and hoses. While I was working I heard an Elk bugling off in the distance. I ran to the door and told Rudee to hurry outside so she could hear it but by the time she came out he had stopped.
Maybe he was just coming by to tell us goodbye. :-)
We stopped our packing long enough to eat a quick breakfast and then gave out hugs to our neighbors Tom and Liz. There were even a few tears appearing as we said "see ya down the road" to these two special friends. We pulled out of our site at 7:45 am and headed for "home". We got our last glimpses of Paha Sapa (Lakota for Black Hills) in our mirrors as we headed East on I-90. We spent all morning just driving through South Dakota until finally turning to the south at Sioux Falls. On past trips we have continued on I-90 through Minnesota but decided to see some new scenery and take I-29 towards Omaha. The wind had picked up some and the crosswind was noticeable on this leg of our trip. Several miles North of Omaha we jumped on I-680 and this took us to I-80 and bypassed the hub bub of the city. The sun was sinking pretty fast but we both agreed that we were not ready to stop for the night yet, so on we drove setting our sights on Des Moines as a possible overnight spot. Seeing as it would already be dark when we stopped, paying for a night in a campground just didn't make sense so we started looking for a boondocking spot. My GPS showed there was a casino just off the interstate east of the city so I programmed it in after Rudee called them to get permission for us to park there. She talked to their security department and they were very helpful with directions and parking instructions.
We arrived at their parking lot shortly after 7 pm and picked a spot among the semis and RV's already there. After getting parked I hopped in the truck with Rudee and she drove us to a nearby Taco Bell where we picked up supper and brought it back to the RV. We ate and then headed for bed, what a long day, 645 miles with 12 hours behind the wheel. :-o
Tuesday morning we were up early again, or was it late? We had lost an hour going from Mountain Time into Central Time and were going to lose another hour later today when we crossed into Eastern Time. Our cell phones say it's one time, our watches say it's another and our body clocks say it's another. Jeez, this is so confusing! :-)
We hit another drive through for breakfast and then headed out for another day on the interstate. We were excited knowing that we would get to see the Grandkids today. :-)
While we rolled along Rudee and I would chat on the CB radio. Although it's not the same as her sitting beside me it's not that bad and the time passes quickly.
We passed through Iowa and headed into Illinois. One more state to go!
Traffic picked up in Illinois and there were quite a few more semi trucks traveling around us. I used the cruise control a lot on this leg of the trip since Illinois is mostly flat farmland and this helped the miles roll by.
We finally crossed the Indiana line late in the afternoon. We were on the homestretch now! We made one last stop at a truck stop where I unhooked the motorcycle trailer from the motor home and we hooked it onto the Dakota. Rudee pulled it the rest of the way because backing the motor home into our daughters driveway would be next to impossible with the trailer attached. We arrived at their home shortly after 4 pm and quickly got set up. Our trip today was "only" 460 miles. :-)
I know most of my fellow fulltimers cringe at the idea of traveling more then a couple of hundred miles a day. So why did we push ourselves so hard for this trip? I was asking myself this very question when the kids got home from school and they ran at us yelling "Papaw, Grandma" like it was Christmas morning. I knew then that the trip had been worth it. :-)
We have some catching up to do with family and friends while here in Indiana along with a couple of projects I've had in mind for the rig. I'll keep you posted.