When I first told my Dad that I wanted to this road trip thing, he was more encouraging than I'd ever thought he'd be. He also told me he wanted to come with me for part of the journey. When I settled on the van, that seemed pretty laughable because there is NOT room in there for both of us.
A little while ago, though, he started saying he wanted to come "visit" me on the road. So, we planned out a five day trip to a part of the US neither of us had seen before. Last Monday, I picked him up at the Jackson Hole airport. We spent the first evening in Jackson Hole (we'd both been there a few years ago when the whole blended fam went to Yellowstone and the Tetons). On Tuesday, we drove from Jackson Hole to Billings, Montana. In between, we stopped for lunch in Bozeman. Bozeman was a pretty happening little place. We enjoyed sandwiches at a hip little spot called Jam! that was right downtown. The Museum of the Rockies also had some interesting dinosaur bones.
Billings was perhaps a bit less interesting, but we had dinner near the hotel and went to bed early. My favorite kind of evening! Ha!
On the third day, we drove from Billings to Rapid City, South Dakota. In between, we
stopped at Devil's Tower in Wyoming. I was interested in Devil's Tower because, duh, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In Rapid City, we had dinner at Perkins and I ate some pretty great berry pie. At heart, I'm an old lady who loves to get to bed early, enjoys pie, and isn't too fussed about having what might traditionally be called "fun."
Our fourth day started at Mount Rushmore and we also made a quick trip over to see Crazy Horse, too. I've always wanted to see Mount Rushmore (I'm a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock's work, as I've mentioned before, and I always think of North by Northwest when Cary Grant and Martin Landau battle it out on Washington's face). It's exactly what you imagine it will be. Nothing more and nothing less.
Our final night was in Sioux Falls where Dad would catch his flight Friday morning. Driving from Rapid City to Sioux Falls took us all the way across the state. We stopped in Wall to see the famous Wall Drug and then in Mitchell to take a quick spin past the Corn Palace. The difference from one side of the state to the other was kind of amazing. In Rapid City, it's very "west" (Badlands, etc) but in Sioux Falls, it's very "midwest". Last night for dinner, I had a hot turkey sandwich smothered with gravy and learned all about sour cream raisin pie.
It was a nice visit with my dad and it was fascinating to see the things we saw together. We didn't camp, like I might normally do, but it was a good break to have a week of hotel stays. Now, I'm pretty pooped from all the driving and I'm going to take the weekend to recoup.