March 10, 2006 - Atlanta to Seattle Roadtrip, Day 1.5

Leg 2 - Kentucky to South Dakota

Key stats:
Distance covered: 1,201 miles
Drive time: 18 hours
States: KY, IL, MO, KS, IA, NE, SD
Landscape: From the lowest elevation of 310 feet in Kentucky, north to an elevation of 1,500 feet in eastern South Dakota - then west to an elevation of 3,200 feet in Rapid City.

Charlie stays in bed as mom helps get poppa ready for 'the drive.'

The Thompson homestead, as we depart at 4:30am.

We're all packed and ready to go. (The cat looks the most awake of all ...)
Oh yeah, we picked up the dog and kept the cat. Full car!

For the first full day, the plan is this:
I-24W to I-57N to I-64W to I-70W to I-435N to I-29N to I-90W.

“It looks like you’re going to have to see me again… Illinois. Illinois.”
- Don Fogelberg

We get to the IL border [on I-57 at Metropolis] before sunrise.

Crossing Old Man River.

Welcome to Mizz-urrr-ah.

There is a lot of this in MO. Not exciting, but at least signs of green...

"We count only blue cars..."
- Dishwalla
Wow is it flat, here!
All of MO looked like this. Just darn flat.

"Aaah... Kansas City!"
- the Beatles
In front of Arrowhead Stadium (KC Chiefs) and the KC Royals stadium.

Just barely got the sign!

"You're not in Kansas, anymore"
- Jo Dee Messina

The beginning of Iowa. We take I-29 (the Louis and Clark trail) straight up, the entire length of IA.

"Let's take me and you... Let's go... the scenic route. Get to finally, get to finally, get to finally, get to know each other...
- Morphine

G&B pose by an Iowa sign.

"Omaha-a... oh... it somewhere in middle America."
- Counting Crows.

Leaving NE. (We missed it on the way in.)

South Dakota.

SD countryside.

After a few miles (~50) of I-29N, we finally reach our Everest. Interstate 90 West.
This is the big stretch. This is the last road we'll be on. 1500+ miles of 'go west, young men.'

Funny antlered head.

Bird formation. It looks like a headless man to me.

OOoohh. Exciting. Trees!
With precious little exception, SD is hundreds of miles and 7 hours of this.
(Except without the trees.)

Halfway across SD, we take a detour in Mitchell, known (barely) for one thing.
The signs are from the Chamber of Commerce. They wind you all the way through town. It isn't a big town, but by the time you get to your destination, you see all of it.


Oh wow. As we start to doubt, we realize it DOES exist.
The facade is completely comprised of corn ears of various colors, their silk and husks.
(I wonder how many Easter-colored worms are living in this place!)

Sunset in the Dakotas.

Almost 9pm, we refill on gas and beef jerky in Wall.
The famous Wall Drug closes at 6pm.