Glad to be back in South Dakota

An inspiring sunrise. Our earliest start yet. Clear skies and (mostly) calm winds. Light traffic on the Interstate. No matter where we are or where we’re going, that’s our recipe for a good day on the road.

We had but one issue — Dipstick is sick. He can’t keep food or water down, and with his Cushing syndrome he doesn’t need any more problems. Once we’d landed and got settled, this evening Deb drove the little guy to the closest veterinarian (30 miles east, in a different time zone) for professional care. We’re hopeful we can treat him successfully with what the vet provided us.

We covered 240 miles today, a bit shorter than yesterday’s drive, from northeastern Wyoming to west-central South Dakota. What I found quite remarkable, looking at the numbers later, was that over that distance we closed half of the elevation gap between last night’s stop and sea level — from 4,400 feet to 2,200 feet. That’s also two-thirds of the eventual drop to our destination in northern Arkansas.

It sure didn’t feel that way today.

Where we ended up, as I hinted yesterday, is a familiar place. Six weeks ago we had a delightful stay at a commercial campground on the South Dakota prairie. We saw dazzling sunsets and watched local wildlife. It was our base for trips to The Badlands and Wall Drug. The owners and staff were amazing and our site was perfect.

We couldn’t wait to come back.

When we checked in today we were greeted with big smiles and open arms. We also got a second welcome, a symbolic one — from our campsite, which once again has an unobstructed view of a nearby reservoir, we watched a bald eagle do some fishing.

Later we learned that we were the first to see him this year.

This will be an extended stay, several days. Frankly, we need a break before resuming our push back to The Ozarks.

We may do a day trip or two. Mostly we’ll use the time to decompress, basking in the peace of the South Dakota prairie.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

While Deb took Dipstick to the vet this evening, Scout and I parked ourselves on the west side of Ernie and watched the sun set over the South Dakota prairie.