CHANGE OF GAME PLAN
Time: 9:50 am
I waited about an hour to see what the weather was planning for the day. Instead of continuing north on 281 to O’Neill and then west on HWY 20, I decided on HWY 2 which headed northwest hoping to avoid the storm they were predicting in Central NE. I noticed that the hail last night gave me a crack in the windshield. I could find any other dings but Rubi’s dirty. I’ll have to look later.
It was another incredibly stressful day. I spent most of it trying to stay ahead or slow down to avoid catching up to storms ahead of me. There were occasional spots of sunshine but few and far between. I stopped for gas in Thedford, NE. Just outside of town, I encountered hail again. Since I powered through it last night, I did the same today. Poor Rubi is getting hammered.
Time: 1:07pm c / 12:07pm m
I dont think I’ve ever been so stressed about the weather for such a sustained period of time. Two days now and each minute has been filled with some sort of dread. It’s exhausting.
SOUTH DAKOTA FINALLY
Time: 3:00pm c/2:00 m
I stopped for gas in Martin, SD. Back skies masked my path forward. Just outside of town, I again found hail. Like some cosmic joke. I am now paranoid about stopping for gas. Hail three times in two days. Rubi’s going to rebel any minute and make me face the hail without her protective cover. I’ll be shocked if the only damage is the crack in the windshield.
I found a brief reprieve from rain near Wounded Knee. I drove up to the monument. It is surrounded by an ugly fence. I am disappointed that I didn’t ask the folks to stand back so I could take a shot of the entrance. I also should have shot the historical marker. You can see where a small plaque of the word massacre was mounted over another word which I can only guess said “battle” or something like that used to indicated it was somehow a fair fight.
When I hit Oglala, SD the radio announces that Martin, SD is now under the threat of a tornado. I am beginning to feel like tornados are now stalking me personally. My first stretch of HWY 18/385 was a solid, soaking rain and finally I am not scared. This rain feels good, cleansing even.
Hot Springs was interesting. A town that follows a river. I would like to visit it again. The rest of my trip was soothing. Everything was wet but the trees were hugging me and the winding road with all its switchbacks and rugged walls that surrounded me were calming.
I am finally relaxing.
CAMPGROUND IN HILLS CITY
Time: 6:00pm m
The Black Hills are really black like Oklahoma Red Dirt is red. I settled into the campground. This cabin’s not as nice as the one in Grand Island but the view and surroundings are much better. I have a creek right behind my cabin.
After dinner, I went on out to Mount Rushmore. It is lighted at night. From my vantage point, it looked smaller then I thought it would. Coming in from the other direction, you get a better view from the road. There’s a turn out where you can see a profile view. It’s of Washington. I took some shots but with my meager knowledge of photography and an inability to hold the camera still (a tripod would help), I didn’t get much. I did however, manage to capture the extraordinary sky. It’s that rare blue that you can only see just between dusk and dark and only after it rains. It was so gorgeous, I took what was all around me.