Westward, Ho! Day 1

Marshalltown, IA (7 AM Central) to Interior, SD (5:30 Mountain).  575 miles.
Notable tunes: Don Henley’s Cass County.  Audiobook: Terry Pratchett’s Nation.

It was a dark and gloomy night… er… morning.

Packed UpI could barely believe that THE DAY had come.  No more lists.  No more sleepless nights (There’s a Country song in there some place), just my nosey neighbor hurrying out to snoop as I finished packing the car, her barky wiener dog in tow.  In no time, I’d shaken the Marshalltown dust off my wheels and set out in the lowering gloom.

mink1First rest stop was Sac City, where I got a whiff of Skunk as I gassed up the car.  Auspicious!  Skunk became my Animal Guide in a sweat lodge ceremony eons ago.  Her scent still makes me feel protected and in the flow.  Then, when I walked along the North Racoon River, I spotted a mink at the water’s edge.  My aunt used to raise mink, so I knew it wasn’t just a weasel.  The gifts seemed to be tumbling out of the trees!

North RacoonIt felt wonderful to squish in mud along the water’s edge, to see geese and hear the bird chatter.  I was glad to have my hat, as the wind at 34 degrees still held a bit of winter.

And who knew Sac City was the home of Barn Quilts?  The things one learns On the Road.

Barn QuiltThe next stop was Tea, South Dakota.  I mean, really, how could I not stop for a spot of Tea after being bossed around by John Cleese all day (His best bit so far has been:  “In 500 yards, bear right; beaver left.”) and listening to a fabulous Terry Pratchett audiobook, read by a lovely British baritone (yes, there are actually a few of those I don’t know or claim as Pretend Boyfriends)?Tea, anyone?

A few hours further west, the skies cleared, the snow melted and temperatures warmed into the 50s.  No more adventures, just clear sailing in the bright sunshine and on into the Badlands.  I knew those naughty bits were close by, but didn’t expect to drive through the State park.  What a feast to wind through all that topographical drama!Badlands

The sun sloped from the west as I drove through The Circle View Ranch’s gate.  A family played ring-toss in the yard.  A scrappy herder-dog watched them from the porch of the main house.  Chickens meandered and pecked along the drive.Circle View Ranch

Badland Chickens

My room is lovely with a private bathroom.  I think my cowboy nephew would like it here.



Time to wash my Ramen bowl and call it a day.


32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. BipolarOnFire
    Mar 27, 2016 @ 22:21:09

    Love the pictures! Sounds like a fun adventure.


  2. Dee Silbaugh
    Mar 27, 2016 @ 22:22:16

    Have a safe and fun trip, Sandy


  3. Nancy P
    Mar 27, 2016 @ 22:42:20

    Sounds like a wonderful day! I so loved your post! Sleep tight!


  4. Carolyn Page
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 04:17:20

    You’ve got some great company – John Cleese and Terry Pratchett.! I love the quote I found by Terry – “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” A master comic.. 🙂


    • Sandy Sue
      Mar 28, 2016 @ 08:52:11

      As a fellow atheist, I love his gentle poking at religion. This audiobook especially as it’s for teens and prods them to be curious and ask questions.


  5. donnaanddiablo
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 05:27:02

    Sandy, what an auspicious first day! So glad you are off and running. Enjoyed the day with you…keep ’em coming!!


  6. Leslie
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 08:11:23

    Beautiful photos! I think I would LOVE the Circle View Ranch. I think I had a farm in a previous life. I’m glad you are enjoying your adventure!


  7. Cheryl LaVille
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 08:18:35

    The excitement! Great details–never heard of Tea, South Dakota! The sky is beautiful. I love the photo of the chickens–you know I love them! Have a grand and beautiful second day! Can’t wait to read about it. (What a cool place to stay!)


  8. Nancy of Practically Wise
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 08:33:07

    An auspicious start indeed! Love the mix of people places and nature sightings. Hope the tea in Tea was good!


  9. Karen
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 09:23:16



  10. Littlesundog
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 09:41:43

    It appears Mother Earth and Father Sky are sending these auspicious “signs” to guide you on your journey. You can bet yer boots, girl… that your Okie nephew would love your lodging accommodations! What a cool place to stay… I’m all giddy with excitement to hear the next leg of the journey!


  11. Elaine GREEN
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 10:31:06

    a WONDERFUL tour… you sound fabulous… hurray!!!!! love, laney


  12. Karen Roessler
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 11:25:39

    Ooh, ooh, that B&B is right up my alley: chickens, scrappy dog, and all.
    Westward, ho!


  13. pegoleg
    Apr 05, 2016 @ 06:47:59

    Sounds like a glorious start!


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