Yesterday morning (August 21) we left our idyllic campsite (the best one yet!) on the shore of Spirit Lake in northwest Iowa. It's very close to the town of the same name where my grandfather, Quincy Drummond, was born and raised.
And we headed west through Iowa and into South Dakota, hoping to catch sight of the eclipse. What started as a clear morning grew steadily darker and stormier until we were caught in the midst of a blinding thunderstorm. Needless to say, there was no sun in sight when we stopped at the Lewis & Clark museum, overlooking the Missouri River just before time for the eclipse. The sky did grow darker for a short time, but we saw no evidence of an eclipse. However, our view of Sacajawea and the great Missouri, along with its warning of poisonous snakes, was quite dramatic.
As we drove on through South Dakota, I was amazed at its diverse landscapes from prairie and farmlands to the barren Badlands, and eventually the Black Hills. The fields of sunflowers, offering sunshine on a cloudy day, were the best surprise. This somewhat blurry photo was taken from the window of a moving car.
South Dakota is a large state, and it was growing late in the afternoon by the time we reached the Badlands, named by the French trappers in the mid-1700s, who were frustrated by the sharp peaks and crumbling rocks. Here we received our second poisonous snake warning of the day, but still no sightings.
You'll see on the header of my blog that I replaced the first photo with one of our car and trailer, taken in the Badlands. It seems appropriate to update the photo as we continue our travels. It's interesting to note that everywhere we camp, our little Sylvansport Go tent trailer is a conversation starter. Other campers are always stopping by to ask us what it is and to see the inside.
Tonight marks the end of our first week on the road. I have to say it seems longer than seven days, given the variety of sights we've seen. But I'm excited to continue our journey for another seven weeks.
Tomorrow I'll take you to Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial.