From Tennessee to Omaha, Nebraska by way of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Part 3)

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”
― G.K. Chesterton

K2 and I consider ourselves travelers and not merely tourists of this great country and planet.  Not because we have been everywhere and seen everything, but rather, because we have not.  There is always some hidden gem to find, some unexpected beauty, some life altering experience or picture that will be embedded into one’s soul for a lifetime.  I am fond of saying while on any new trail or excursion, “let’s see what is around the next bend or over the next rise.”  Something beautiful just might lie in wait for some weary eyes, of course, it could also be a bear, but the point is you just do not know until you go.  I would not want to miss it, would you?

Back on the road after the efficient Chick-fil-A stop, K2 and I made our way to Kansas City.   Being so close to the great state of Kansas and having never been before, we decided to take the short drive over the state line to at least say we have been and although we spent less than five minutes there on this trip, we can now check it off our “have visited list”…can’t we?  Oh, come now, I know you have done it too!

Our time in Kansas was like “Dust in the Wind”…

It brought to mind another time and another road trip that I had taken with my two older brothers and my father to see the Black Hills in South Dakota.  We had stopped in Iowa after a day’s drive and decided to take a short drive into Nebraska just to say we had been and of course to take pictures as proof for any nay sayers out there who would question our venture into the Cornhusker state.  In the spirit of Caesar, we did just that as we came, saw, and conquered our objective and had the digital pictures to prove it.  All was well until the next day while driving across South Dakota when one of my brothers, who we shall call K3 as to protect the innocent, asked to see the camara and view the pictures we had taken thus far on our trip.  As I am admiring the scenery out of my back window of never-ending farmland that stretches to the horizon and counting antelope that were more plentiful than cars that day, I hear a blood curling scream from beside me that still makes me shudder to this day.  While I will not repeat the exact verbiage used by K3, his look was one of total disgust and horror when I turned my head and saw him staring blankly at the digital camera, which was now void of all pictures taken along the way.  I am not sure how he managed to erase everything, it could be just a gift he has, or maybe some clandestine plot to erase all evidence of us ever visiting the state of Nebraska, but nevertheless he did so will skill, efficiency, and adeptness that only comes with years of practice or a God given talent for mischief and mayhem.  Needless to say, he was banned from ever holding the camera without supervision the remainder of our trip.  We did plan on going back through Nebraska on our way back home, but “knowing how way leads on to way,” we did not make the journey back on that trip home.  We do still have the stories, the memories, and the echo of sheer terror from K3’s mouth to our ears that will never leave us.  Is that not why we wander?  For the everlasting memories and stories of the adventure itself.  And yes, for those of you who are wondering, K3 is still banned from all cameras for any family gathering or trip.

With Kansas in our rear view, K2 and I made our way through Iowa and finally into South Dakota.  We pulled the 4Runner into our destination in Sioux Falls in the early evening.  The best time of the day in my opinion, where the day settles down with the setting sun and there is a calm across the land as darkness begins to surround you.  A momentary cease fire before the changing of the guard where the dominant sun gives way to the moon and the creatures of the night take their turn roaming the surface of the earth for their short season.  Nashville, Tennessee to Sioux Falls in one day with our sights set on Montana and Idaho, but I wonder what lies in wait around the next bend…

Happy Wandering!


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