Driving, touring, and trouble
Aug 1, 2005
|Until late in the day things go fine. I am crossing Minnesota on I-90 today, which is against my principles, but, as some one told me, I-90 is not that crowded, and indeed it has far less cars than most freeways.
The view is pleasant enough, consisting mostly of farm land, of which corn seems to be the main crop. Silos persist, next to barns and farmhouses. Apparently that is where food for the cattle is stored, though I haven't seen many cattle. I said to someone in Wisconsin, "Since you are known for cheese, where are the cows? I haven't seen many."
"Well, true. I think there are a few mega farmers with cows. Others can't make it. My uncle has 40 cows, but that isn't enough to really be profitable."
I do see some cows in Minnesota.
I decide to take a side trip to Pipestone National Monument, which should be about an extra 50 miles, but there is a detour so it is about 80. At the monument, in order to see it, I take a ¾ mile hike. Now, it is quite hot, over 90. The American Indians see this as sacred ground and still today, they come here to find the pipestone that goes into making certain pipes, the most well known one is the peace pipe.
After that, I stop at the Dairy Queen for a blizzard, which sounds terribly good in this hot weather. Next stop is the information center for South Dakota, just across the border.
I basically have two days of driving before I get to the Badlands of South Dakota, where I will stay for a few days, so I decide to go on past Sioux Falls.
My air conditioner hasn't been working quite right and once stopped, it is pretty necessary. I drive on to Mitchell, to a KOA Campground.
Now the problems begin. My air conditioner won't work at all and I notice that other electrical things are kind of at half-mast, so it is very hot inside. I put on my swim suit and go over to the pool, which isn't much cooler than the outside temperature and is kind of dirty, so I don't stay long. I will sit outside for dinner until it cools down, except when I do the bugs drive me nuts. I go over to take a shower and forget to bring a towel! Now things are definitely tanking.
Kids are screaming in the pool and there is an awful noise from the trees. It must be some kind of insect, but it moves through the trees and is loud and ugly, that is if a sound can be ugly.
Right now, I'm sitting in a dark motor home—the whole electrical system seems not to be working—waiting for it to cool off. Usually I have a fan that cools as well as the air conditioner, but it is barely moving. I can get dim lights, but figure I better save them for when I need them. I switch the refrigerator over to propane so as not to lose my food.
As one might note, my mood is not too good. I'm tempted to just pack it in and go find a cool motel, but then there is doing all that is required for that, so I will stay here.