Jay and Danielle's Cross Country Trip 2006 travel blog

We left Hart Ranch RV Resort this morning. This is the nicest...

Hart Ranch Lodge...the property is actually a working cattle ranch with an...

Lots of opportunities for recreation at Hart Ranch...tennis, golf, volley ball, basketball...

Bullet proof vehicle at Delta One command center for the Minuteman Missile.

Ranger Kerry...he actually worked decoding messages and had the key to launch...

If the power went out we were told we had to climb...

The art work on the door to the capsule was done by...

The missile silo area.

Looking into the missile silo through the protective glass cover.

Jay's daily buffalo picture in Oakoma, SD

We left mid-morning continued east on I-90 exiting at the Badlands exit which also has the Visitor's Center for the Minuteman Missile National Historic Monument.

Luckily, we had booked our tour months ago, as they only take 6 people per tour and there was a waiting list when we got there.

At 1:30 we followed the ranger in our own car about 10 miles away to Delta One control. We toured the living quarters, security center and capsule where two people were housed for 24 hours deciphering codes and prepared to launch the missiles at Russia during the Cold War. Luckily for us, one of the rangers had actually been a missileer, meaning that he had the keys and codes to launch the missiles.

We heard some pretty fascinating stories and information about this time in our nation's history. Fortunately, much of the information has been declassified , so there were lots of details for the tour.

After leaving Delta One, we drove another 15 miles to one of 150 missile silos in the area. For the tour, a glass top has been put over the top of the missile silo but we could look straight down into the silo. What a fascinating tour sponsored by the National Park Service. If you're ever at exit 131 on I-90 in South Dakota, this is a must see.

The rest of the day was a long drive to Mitchell, SD through horrible high winds. The prairie grasses look beautiful blowing in the wind, but our RV is a high profile vehicle, so it's hard to keep it in the lane when the wind is blowing about 40 miles per hour. LOOOOOOG drive!

But we did make it to the Central Time Zone, part way across South Dakota. This also meant that we got to our nightly stop at 10pm and not 9pm.

We did stop in Oakoma for dinner, which is a small town on the Missouri River. The buffalo burgers were great! And much to our surprise, there were 3 buffalo statues on the lawn, so Jay could have his daily buffalo picture taken. Of course, you realize, he really isn't into buffalo and now it's just a big joke to have his picture taken. Luckily, he's been a good sport about it. I think he'll be glad when we get out of buffalo country!

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