Day 33: The Road Home

UserJessica DohertyTime2013-03-21 09:47:40

Sunday, March 17th 2013 Sheridan, WY to Beresford, SD ~ 620 miles

We woke up to 40F weather. We parked near a grassy area and the dogs loved it. They were ripping up the grass and running around, loving it. We packed up and headed out about 9am MT.

We passed through Buffalo, WY about 10am. We let the dogs out at the Fairgrounds. No snow to be seen. This town really has a Western feel to it, reminds you of the wild west. I actually saw my first tumbleweed.

Shortly after, we saw a car upside down in the right hand lane going west. Someone was tending to the driver who was on the ground by the car door. It looked bad. There was no ambulance at the scene but we saw one a few minutes later heading toward the accident. These are the best roads we've been on and there is very little traffic plus it's very open here with good visibility. I wonder how it happened?

About 1245 we pass through Sturgis, South Dakota. We stop for gas and it's still cheap $3.30 per gallon. It's warm and beautiful out, we have been driving 75mph since Billings MT, where we got onto 90. We calculated our miles per gallon for the last tank and it was 15.65mpg!!! That is awesome. We were getting 11-13 mpg on the way to Alaska and for most of our trip. The factors that caused our gas mileage to be so low were carrying 400lbs of dog food on the way, traveling in 4WD continuously, and the COLD. You loose a lot of gas efficiency when driving in cold, especially the cold you get in Northern Canada and Alaska.

At 2:30 MT we pass through Kadoka which is just before the timezone border. So we loose an hour and pass into Central Time. Around that area we drive along side a rolling train that had to be close to a ½ mile long.

As we drive across South Dakota, we are listening to classical music. After that we hear Pink's ?Try? ~ that song gave me inspiration on this trip and was played quite a bit over the last month.

Our trusty 2005 Toyota Tundra is hammering away the miles. This truck is the best. It's really too small for us now without a back seat but it's a damn good truck. It takes us to Alaska and back with no problems even though we overloaded it and regularly beat it up pretty good. We even plow with this truck at home. It's not exactly meant to be a plow vehicle.

Neither of us think that we have been through South Dakota before. Been through North Dakota and Nebraska, but not South Dakota. This is where the Badlands are. The further East you get, the flatter the land. The highway just rolls along in a straight line. It is VERY windy out.

All the highways in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota are well prepared to shut down. There are signs and gates all over. It must be a common occurance. I wonder what the conditions are that cause Hwy shutdowns so much out here? Wind maybe? Not sure.

About 545pm CT we pass the Missouri River which was a light green color, very unique looking.

About 100 miles west of Sioux Falls, it started snowing. We got back in 4WD 50 miles later and contemplated heading down to Rt 80 through Iowa vs staying straight on Rt 90 through Minnesota. If so, we would go south on Rt 29 out of Sioux Falls.

We ended up in Beresford, SD heading toward Rt 80 to avoid the snow storm in Minnesota. Super 8 was the place for $80. Ice and wind blowing hard all night...