At long last

There’s a certain rhythm to a journey, at least when it’s going well. That’s especially true of traveling with a companion — on the best days the pace becomes natural, challenges weigh less and good moments shine.

This was a day like that.

Deb and I hitched up Mercy this morning and zig-zagged our way out of Nebraska, crossed the Missouri River (again) and spent about a minute in Iowa before entering South Dakota. About 25 miles in, I think it was, we pulled off at a rest area.

The instant we rolled in I knew I’d been there before. It was a brief pit stop almost exactly 17 years ago today, while driving my employer’s truck-and-trailer rig from Ohio to Sturgis for the biker rally. Today, on a very different mission, we hung around for almost an hour — we walked the dogs, made sandwiches and generally just reveled in knowing that we were finally in South Dakota.

After retreating to Arkansas in late June to shop for a toad, we’re back on track at last.

From the rest area we continued north to Sioux Falls, where we paid more for diesel — $3.599 — than we had at any point since we hit the road in May. When we made the turn west onto I-90, the strong tailwind that had pushed us up I-29 turned into a crosswind I fought the rest of the way.

In today’s image gallery is photographic evidence of what I’m talking about — I had to hold the steering wheel 20 to 30 degrees to the left of neutral just to keep our high-profile bus between the lines. The wind was steady, though, not gusting, which actually helped.

By the time we exited the Interstate and turned down the dirt road toward tonight’s campground, a light rain was falling. Perfect timing.

As I said on social media this afternoon, this was “an ‘us’ kind of day.” We had a blast. We found a rhythm worth keeping.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath