Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Heading Further East on Interstate-90

After sixteen days we departed Sturgis, SD about 7:30 A.M. for the 300 mile drive to Mitchell, SD. This will be an over-night stop towards our next destination in Rochester, Minnesota.

We caught a beautiful sunny day to travel. Fortunately I had given the front window, and all windows, a good cleaning. That makes the sunny day even more exciting. It is just like sitting in your living room watching the beauty go by. As it gets later in the day the temperature creeps higher and the bugs come out and slowly accumulate on the front of the coach, but if we started with a clean front window we don’t seem to notice them as much.

About 80 miles east of Rapid City, SD we came to the area known as “The Badlands”. Some really rugged looking land and after seeing so pictures of it we decided not to search it further. We did stop in Wall, SD to go in the world renowned drug store. The usual restaurants, bars, and trinket shop. We were back on the road in about an hour.

That was one boring drive east on Interstate-90. The road really doesn’t vary more than a couple degrees one way or the other. It goes east virtually in a straight line.

I usually drive the motorhome between 60 – 65 MPH. With the stop in Wall, SD we reached our evening’s destination of Mitchell, SD in about 6 hours. Yes, it was about 1:30 in the afternoon and I could have driven further, but I have found that I really get worn out driving much further than 300 miles. By checking into an RV Park at this time of the day it is still light and you can pick a prime spot in the park. I had made a reservation for the night at what turned out to be a very nice RV Park behind a Motel 8 complex. We never know what we are going to get but this turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. I mentioned to the lady checking us in that we had a front-end TV satellite and she assigned us to a spot that would guarantee our happiness. We parked between shade-trees with the front of the RV, where the TV satellite is located, clearly pointed to the southwest where the satellites roam. We acquired our Dish connection easily.

We got the motorhome settled on our home for the evening by just hooking up the 50 AMP electrical system and the city water supply. Since we were just staying the night we don’t usually hook up the sewer system as it can handle about 7 – 10 days without being dumped. I usually “clear” the system the evening before we travel which I had done in this case.

The excitement of being in new surroundings always makes us want to get out and seeing the local area. Kind of like a couple of puppies marking their territory! Less than a mile from the RV Park we visited the local Super Wal-Mart to pick up the few things we were running low on. I noticed there was a Cabela’s store in the area. That makes sense because I had heard this area is very recreational with a large lake nearby. For those of you that don’t know Cabela’s, it is very similar to Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop. Places we have found add color to some dreams!

The major attraction in Mitchell is a house built entirely of corn. Hence, “The Corn Palace”. Unfortunately we got to Mitchell a little early in the season as the palace was being rebuilt, and we chose not to go there.

A good night’s sleep had us ready and excited to hit the road the next morning. It takes us about 15 minutes to get the motorhome ready to roll. Securing all loose equipment into their traveling locations. Then we disengage the water followed by the electricity. Those hoses and cords are stored under the coach in there designated bays. At this point the engine is started. The interior of the motorhome is adjusted to insure the three slides will retracted properly. They are retracted. The hydraulic levelers are retracted under the coach. The Jeep is secured to the rear of the motorhome. We go through a check on the exterior lighting systems to insure all are working properly. We double check the bay doors under the motorhome to insure all are secured and locked. With the engine running, a final check of the seven gages on the instrument panel to insure they are operating correctly.  A glasses are put on followed by seatbelts. Our mileage and time of departure are noted and our easterly journey continues.

We are back on Interstate-90 following our noses straight east. About 70 miles from Mitchell we pull in a Flying J – Pilot truck and RV stop in Sioux Falls, SD, for diesel fuel. These stations are usually easy to find, clean, roomy, and easy to navigate as was this one. I have a charge card through Good Sam which gives us a reduced fuel rate for using the Flying J – Pilot brand. The savings is considerable when buying 50 to 90 gallons at a time!

For those of you wondering - the gas tank on this buggy will hold 100 gallons, and I check the mileage about once a month to see how far we go on a gallon. It has ranged from 8-1/4 to just over 10 miles to the gallon. At least the price of gas is falling!

As we were heading back to the Vegas area and slowing down our 2014 excursion I got diesel near Santa Fe, New Mexico and was pleased to pay a new low for the year of $3.35 a gallon. So this year we are really going through the fuel, but at least it is 80-90 cents lower than last year.

Our total trip on this day is the same mileage as yesterday. Our 300 miles will end in Rochester, Minnesota, about 80 miles south of Minneapolis & St. Paul.
We crossed into Minnesota about 30 miles east of our gas stop in Sioux Falls, SD. Immediately we noticed a change in road conditions. The Interstate-90 in Minnesota was going to be under construction for most of the 200 remaining miles of this day. It restricted our speed to 55 MPH but we moved right along without any stoppage. We arrived at the Autumn Wood RV Resort in South Rochester around 2 P.M.

Our stay there was going to be for one week. Surprisingly us, the lady attending to the office at the RV Park asked us if we were going to be patients at the Mayo Clinic. When we said, “No” that kind of surprised her as I guess most of the RVers do come there for healthcare needs.  Anyway, it was a very nice park and it fitted our needs perfectly.

We went to town (5 miles) the next day. The Mayo Clinic and many medical buildings cover everywhere in downtown Rochester. On the perimeter of town we found the corporate headquarters of IBM.

During the week we took the 80 mile drive to Bloomington, the southwestern suburb of Minneapolis, to see one of the truly wonders of the U.S.A., The Mall of America.

We got to Bloomington around 9:30 A.M. The stores don’t open until 10 A.M. but they let everyone in the enclosed mall. The enormity of the mall is striking. A glassed in space-aged structure houses 560 of the usual vendors. I never saw a shop that was boarded up and they were expanding the top floor for more shops. A food court, but many premier sit-down restaurants are on the top floor of the mall. We naturally ate Mexican! Movie theaters and a top-notch adventure park are all in the mall.

We stayed in the mall for about five hours. The crowds got larger and larger. This was a weekday but it felt like a Sunday. Brings to mind the old saying, “If you build it they will come,” to which I added, “If they come in such droves, build it larger!” We were not really there to shop but this was a wonderful and unforgettable experience.

Our week in Rochester ended quickly and we were back on the road heading for our next destination. We are heading about 250 further miles east to the Stop-N-Dock Marina & RV Park in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

More from Two Rivers.

Regards to all,

Travel Blog: www.BooniePeople.com

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