Yesterday at 6:15 in the morning Mike and I were wheels up and headed west. For the first time in a couple years we are finally taking a vacation together, just the two of us. We are loosely labeling this a honeymoon, however, as I write this we are in a tiny cabin, each in small separate beds wrapped in individual mummy sleeping bags haha.
I’m getting ahead of myself, back to the open road…
Our journey began in Dubuque, so we had to get there first.
on our way to the Great River Road
I was tasked with planning the route (a bold move on Mike’s part), and in order to follow the scenic Great River Road up to La Crosse, we needed to go off the GPS and just follow my instructions. After a happy accident of 133 being a different road than I thought it was, it turned out to be the right road. So that was lucky. Once on 35 we were rewarded with beautiful mountains (Mike called them hills until he realized that he trained for Tough Mudder one town over, then they were more than just hills haha) on one side and the Mississippi river on the other. A view that I came to miss once we were on highway 90.
the Great River Road
After a leisurely lunch at Del’s Cafe in St. Charles, MN (the only stop that we made all day), we were back on 90 headed through the entire state of Minnesota.
our favorite ad on the menu, sorry I can't rotate it - I'm writing via my phone.
a photo taken for a birthday text to the lovely Meg Hoppe
I was amazed with how fast we made it through Minnesota. It took as long as expected, but the time flew. In fact all 10 hours of driving flew past! It was mixed with flowing conversation and comfortable silences, and only one 30 minute nap on my part.
wind farms everywhere!
Very shortly after entering South Dakota, we were exiting 90 and almost to our first destination, the Palisades State Park. There was no one at the entrance of the park to break our $20 bill, so we headed into the town of Garretson to get change, grab some food for breakfast the next morning and have an early dinner. At the grocery store (I use that term loosely), we inquired as to our dining options. The cashier said there was only one place to eat, the bar at the end of the street. As we were headed back outside, we were confused, there was a steak place right across the street. Operative word being WAS. So the bar it was for dinner.
We were greeted with good food and $1 bottles of beer.
After dinner, we headed back to the park to pay our entrance fee and find our cabin. There was no one else there, and by there we mean anywhere. Except for the cabin that had a light on but no car near it, so probably a killer. A killer that I deemed the Campsite Killer. We’re both still alive as of right now, so that was probably a gross generalization of the lone occupant of the other cabin.
Heat and electricity, perfect for spending the night.
view from our cabin porch
After bringing our bags in, we decided to hike around a bit. We saw massive birds that we first deemed a turkey, then it flew so it was decided that hit was a hawk. Then we saw a bunch of them and they became vultures. Lastly we decided on pheasants. We hiked until it got dark. Since we still had some time before bed we played cards: war and no name. While we played, we talked about my how my grandparents played no name every night and their strategies. And Mike finally beat me at no name! (Mimi, watch out – when you come to visit, Mike has gotten better!)
I was getting tired, so we called it a night at 9:30, and now here I am, awake at 4.
I forgot to mention, we have 2 house sitters, so bad guys who somehow know where we live, our house is not empty 🙂