Day 2 Drive: Bismarck ND to Keystone SD

Another sunny day of driving in light traffic. We thought that by not going west to Bozeman, we’d skip the whole Lewis & Clarke route, but as we drove south, we found we were backtracking them! It didn’t last; before long we were on gopher highways. More animals than cars, but it’s the gophers that pay the toll. The downside of the gopher roads is that there are no rest stops or picnic areas, so we got pretty hungry. We pulled off in one town to check out the municipal park, but no bathrooms or anything. Once we got back on I-90, Dingbat found us a rest stop, but it had never been completed. Just a concrete parking lot with trash cans – no bathrooms or picnic tables. We ate in the car. Naturally, the very next rest stop was much nicer and fully equipped.

Of course, Interstates have their downsides, too. Traffic, billboards. Hundreds of billboards. Because this is the route to Mount Rushmore, the towns all figure the Interstate is a target-rich environment, and advertise everything from Wall Drug to 1880 Town to some Car museum. One billboard made me laugh out loud – “Reptile Gardens – this ain’t no petting zoo!” I’d say not. They have a Komodo Dragon.

Into the badlands. We bought a one-year National Parks pass, as we are visiting several this trip and the pass doesn’t expire until the end of May next year.

South Dakota Badlands

Saw an antelope and some bigass sheep. Pardon, bighorn sheep, but they were facing the other way, and … well, you get the idea. We also saw lots of crazy rock formations. It got hot, around 27C, so I switched to shorts and sandals.

Least Likely Plate of the Day: Alaska, but honorable mentions to Georgia and California.
RV’s 20 / Trailers 16, so you can see traffic was a slightly heavier and more touristy.

Arrived in Keystone before 1700, partly because we switched to Mountain Time today. Keystone is a tourist town with no shame. Caroline took one look at it and started trying to figure out how to not stay two nights. The good news is, we did get dinner.

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