Monday, October 10, 2011

Festiva Madness trip... day 12. Ian goes for a ride in a police car!

When we were first planning the trip our intended route was straight north from St Joseph on I-29 to Sioux Falls Iowa and then straight west from there on I-90 across South Dakota to Rapid City. Earlier in the summer the Missouri River had flooded which resulted in some damage to I-29. Portions of that Interstate where still closed and others under repair so we decided to change our route.

We left St Joseph and headed directly west across to Belleville, Kansas then north to York, Nebraska. From York we heading west on I-80 to North Platte. We then headed north again to join I-90 at Murdo, South Dakota. From Murdo we made the run into Rapid City, arriving just before 10:00pm.

Kansas was pretty much as expected... flat. Stopped in Marysville which had some very nice old buildings and from there on to Belleville.

Entering Kansas

Kansas vista.
Into Nebraska
Our first stop in Nebraska was York where we had our lunch.

Colorful water tower

I think it's that way.

Still smiling after twelve days on the road.

The drive from York to North Platte took us on I-80 west across the state. This was by far the busiest stretch of highway we experienced with most of the extra traffic being semis. To make things even more "interesting" it was very hot, around 88°F (31°C), and there was a very strong cross wind coming from the south. Before reaching North Platte we stopped in Gothenburg to stretch our legs and visit one of the Pony Express stations that had been preserved.

E, B and I at the station

Visited a couple of spots in North Platte. The first was the Buffalo Bill Cody museum.

E and I joining in the conversation.

We had just enough time to head over to the Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center. If you are a train enthusiast then this is a must see! It's the largest yard of it's kind with over 300 miles of track and over 15,000 train cars being move around.

The visitor center

Train cars everywhere

The Festiva in the Golden Spike parking lot.
We filled up the gas tank in North Platte and headed north. There was a very large grass fire burning west of the highway that made things a little interesting. We were fortunate in that our trip wasn't interrupted at all. We did see a lot of fire fighters making their way to help.

The rest of the drive was relatively uneventful. Hit I-90 just after dark and made our way to Rapid City. Traffic on this stretch of Interstate was much lighter than on I-80 but we still had the cross wind though not as strong.

As mentioned earlier we filled up in North Platte... 10 US gallon tank getting about 34 miles per US gallon which gives us a range of 340 miles. However the distance to the gas station in Rapid City was 340.2 miles. Yes, we, or should I say I, ran out of gas on the off-ramp. Fortunately a State Trooper stopped behind us and offered me a ride to the gas station and back. He stayed with us and made sure we got started and on our way. A big thank you goes out to State Trooper Jake of the Rapid City SD detachment!

Off to Mount Rushmore and Wyoming tomorrow!!!

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