Krysta and Steve do the Americas travel blog

Can you see me?

At the top of the ropes course.

The good old fashioned diner.

Our beautiful camping spot at our first truck stop.

All our neighbours that night.

Coasted a long way from the interstate.


Through the east of South Dakota and Minnesota the scenery can best be described as horizontal. You know it is flat when the water tower in a town has flashing lights to warn any aircraft in the vicinity that yes, a water tower is the tallest thing around here. Yes, the prairie sunset and wide expanse of sky are picturesque, but no, they don’t make up for the boredom of driving for 3 long days in a straight line. I don’t think I had to practice my turning skills more than 5 times in one day.

There were some highlights across these flatlands:

Our first truckstop experiences were positive, I felt like we were on some bad old American flick, rocking up to a truckstop just on dark, eating at a great all-American diner, showering and then driving across the ‘blacktop’ to sleep amongst all the other huge trucks. The first night we were a bit scared of either being killed by some crazy in our sleep or told to leave. However, it was soon obvious that no-one was paying any attention to us and it was normal, we enjoyed the cheap and convenient places to eat and sleep.

We had a little hiccup, shortly after crossing the Minnesota border. The van started to sputter and Steve looked down to realize that the fuel light was on. Oops. We totally lost power but luckily were able to coast off the interstate and down the off-ramp towards a town called ‘Welcome’ of all things. After a short walk up the hill to the town and a nice lady who loaned us her petrol can, we made it to a gas station and were back on the road.

Minnesota’s major attraction is the Mall of America. What better way to experience American culture by going to what claims to be the largest mall on the planet? I say ‘claims’ because Steve maintains that West Ed is bigger, but he may be biased. We had fun in the Nickelodeon theme park in the centre of the mall. Well, I had fun going on the rides and climbing a huge rope course. Steve on the other hand looked as if he was going to pass out but did really well for having a fear of heights.

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