Hank -We started off by taking a couple days off on our own. We left our bikes at the Ace Hardware bike shop. We rented a car and drove to the REI store in Des Moines. The inflation valve on my sleeping pad was randomly failing. It would suddenly deflate one or more times during the night. We returned it and I got a different one but it still has the same inflate/deflate valve system. We knocked out haircuts and Kathy got a pedicure so we are both beautiful again. Rather than pitch a tent in all the rain or pay for a hotel room we decided to sleep in the car at a truck stop. The rain last Saturday night wasn’t just insane, it was William Tell Overture storm worthy. But we stayed dry. In the morning we paid for showers and then drove to Sioux Falls just to sight see. (I know, we put in lots of miles in a car.) The Falls Park is pretty cool. We camped at a KOA campground that night. On Sunday morning we returned to Yankton and met up with Deb and Dan and everyone else at a campground in the Lewis and Clark Recreational Area.
We had a fun time with our friends Deb and Dan and their children and grandchildren and their friends Sean and Cathy. They were at the campground for the week. It was great how the timing worked out so we could join them. We relaxed and caught up with everyone, spent a day on a pontoon boat, and played games. The grandchildren are cute as all get out. Kathy and I must be patient but we’re really looking forward to having our own. Kathy usually treats everyone else’s as her own anyway.
Dan brought his ukulele and he joked I could help him with his Am7 chord. That’s the chord played when you strum all open strings. He had a book of songs and I brought a few with me and we got through them all more than once. Our finger tips were sore but we had a great time. It was hard to leave them.
Kathy – We have not taken any extended time off to relax during our first eight weeks on the road. We decided last Saturday we would drop the bikes off for tune-ups in Yankton, South Dakota and then rent a car to do whatever we wanted for a few days. We first stopped by the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota. Thank you Wendy and Jack in Livingston, Montana for suggesting we stop by the National Music Museum we really enjoyed it! Then we drove 4.5 hours to Des Moines, Iowa to hit REI one of our favorite stores for outdoor supplies. After that yes, we did clean up with haircuts and a pedicure so we don’t look homeless. Had a wonderful dinner then the plan was to camp out that night. Well, a nice thunderstorm was brewing so we decided to sleep in the car to save a few bucks. It wasn’t so bad. I blew up my sleeping pad and laid down my seat for a pretty comfortable nights sleep at the truck stop. I learned that some truck stops have showers that you can pay for to clean up. So, in the morning we paid the hefty price for the showers and I was pleasantly surprised that they were very clean with fresh towels too! Sleeping in rental cars and truck stop showers, oh how my life has changed in just a few short months! We enjoyed our two days of exploring Vermillion, South Dakota, Des Moines, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
We returned to our starting place, Yankton, South Dakota on Monday where we met up with our best friends from Guam. Deb and Dan were stationed in Guam the same time we were and we hit it off so well that we spent most of our time together during that time. The last time Hank saw them was when they visited us in Spokane about 18 years ago. I last saw them 11 years ago. It was so great spending Monday thru Thursday with them including the 4th of July. There are just too many wonderful memories to write down, but know our time with them, their kids, their grand-kids (who are SO cute!) and their friends Cathy and Sean was simply outstanding. We picked up the bikes on Thursday, loaded them up, and headed out in the afternoon. It was hard to leave them. We miss them already.