Detour began yesterday (Thursday). Â Brian and I had awesome plans to leave South Dakota after the Badlands on Thursday morning and head across Wyoming to Jackson. Â After 2 days in Jackson and Yellowstone, we were headed to Salt Lake City. Â Unfortunately, I woke up Wednesday morning in serious pain. Â I had been on a regiment of Advil for a few weeks with jaw pain that I associated with stress (I’m one of those neurotic sleep grinders.). Â Stress doesn’t make your tooth throb. Â So, now we are headed to Kentucky to see my dentist and hang with my family. This was already on the books but I was hoping to see the aforementioned first. Â Oh well.
And that’s how we ended up in Kansas City, MO. Â Driving from Sioux Falls, SD to Kansas City, I was listening to a horrible book (on AUDIO from the Crack) and they kept talking about BBQ. Â Which I love. Â So, diversion not desired has proved awesome as I had the best BBQ of my life tonight. Â I love all the BBQ’s except for whoever does the mustard sauce. Â The BBQ here was amazing, better than North Carolina and it sure gives Memphis a run for their smoker.
Did I mention that this particular BBQ came from a gas station? Â Yes, it did. Â And the place was packed. Â Jam packed. Â So, we called in our order and took it down to the park to eat. Â Then, we went back to buy the sauce. Â Brian asked them if they were always so busy. Â Yes they are. Â And, Michelle Obama had just been in town. Â And they catered a meal for her. Â That made the news the night before. Â It also probably helped that Bourdain said it was a must-stop. Â He was right. Â Michelle and Bourdain? Â Yes please.
Before and as I got super whiny, we drove across Montana and South Dakota. Â We hit Glacier, Missoula, Butte, Bozeman, Piedmont (where we stayed for two days at the Spur Campground), Sturgis, Devils Tower (did you know that’s just a big rock?), Wall Drug, and the Badlands!
The Spur Campground was beautiful and perfect. Â Excepting someÂ bizarre and fun interactions with the staff and the one other group staying there. Â We are pretty sure they shot some sort of porn the first night we were there in their “bar” where they often host fundraiser poker tournaments. Â We were urged not to go to the bar as it was closed for a “photoshoot”. Â The music sure was loud.
Also, Thursday morning, once we had decided not to go to Yellowstone straight away I met another nice couple coming from Yellowstone. LuLu had gone over to introduce herself and beg a doughnut. Â Their pop up had done just that on the highway to Yellowstone and they had just gotten back from camping there. Â I said that we were thinking of going but not 100% sure yet – what did she thinkÂ of it?
“Well, it’s a big tourist trap. Â And, it’s full of foreigners. Â It is real pretty if you drive in on 16.”
Through South Dakota I kept noticing these huge popcorn balls for sale. Â They were in gas stations all over the state. Â They are called Kimballs and are made in Kimball, SD. Â I guess I only noticed them because my Grandpa used to make us popcorn balls when we were kids. Â Anyway, while inspecting these inferior popcorn balls, I noted that they were made in Kimball. Â Fast forward 120 miles to a sign announcing Kimball next exit. Â I requested a stop to see if we could find the factory.
We didn’t. Â Instead we found something way more rad :
I finally got reacquainted with the sun and a little heat in the last few days…good goddamn is in beautiful through there. Â The sky. Seattle, you made me forget that it got that clear and blue.
Tomorrow is Kansas City to Lexington. Â We’re gonna hang for a few weeks and see the sights. Â Hopefully we can put in a few side trips.
AND! Â I nearly forgot to document my short lived but serious obsession withÂ Prairie Dogs. Â It was more serious than my situation with theÂ Moccasin. Â I took a picture of nearly every one that I found. Judging by the holes in the ground, I see why people hate them. Â Still, cute.
7 full days on the road and 2500 miles driven.
And, of course, LuMei says hello.
P.S. Â Reenie, Wendi sent me an email photo, I believe this is my trade for that gem: