Making the way to Mt. Rushmore I stopped in a small town for some gas and realized I was getting more used to the feel of a small town. I had to purposefully think back to other places I’ve lived to compare the difference. Making my way over, I took some highways that weren’t interstates which meant seeing a lot of fields.
I made my way to Mt. Rushmore and as I got closer I could see the monument and it was cool. For a moment, I considered pulling off the road to take a picture and call it good, but I knew that wasn’t sufficient. I went and paid the $10 for parking which seems ok, but they do say it’s good for a year in that car. While that’s nice, I’d be quite surprised if I found my way back.
Walking up to the monument is a nice walkway with pillars that house flags near the top, 1 per each of the four sides. Engraved in the associated sides of the pillars was the order of which each state was admitted to the union. Getting a closer look at the monument, I thought it was neat and had a big smile on my face. I’m not quite positive on the reasoning for such a reaction since it isn’t the most exciting thing, but I still thought it was neat. I liked how the faces looked as part of the mountain. I liked they represented 4 people that made a strong impact on the nation. It is interesting to think back and wonder if they would’ve ever anticipated something of this nature and what they would think if they knew it had taken place. I also like the idea of creativity and ingenuity with hard work to make something like this happen. It is a testament to humans, our ability to make such things a reality. It is neat that people got to work on it, got paid for efforts and people, both Americans and foreign can come and appreciate it. There is also a small industry from tourists visiting that have given people jobs.
Upon leaving the monument, I needed to dial in some sleeping arrangements. I was feeling somewhat confident due to working with someone in the past who is a friend of mine still. She also happens to be a good overall person with connections in SD. I reached out to her and told her my brief idea of plans and asked for insights. She told me her sister was willing to let me crash in Wyoming as it was going to be 20 minutes or so from a town in SD. My first night in SD ended up being put off a day, even though I had spent day time. It was a joy meeting my friend’s sister and her family. They were very welcoming; the kids even drew up two signs! As I typed that I realized I should’ve taken a picture. I’m still not the best at taking pictures obviously, but it was still nice. They had a camper that I could sleep in with my own space which was nice.
The next day, I did a quick workout before showering and hitting the town. I thought I’d try my luck at a local brewery before reaching out to some leads in Sioux Falls. Prior to getting to Spearfish, I decided to check out Devil’s Tower, the first national monument of the USA. I got somewhat close and took a picture. There had been some traffic and frankly, I was antsy to get started on the day trying to make progress.
I drove to Spearfish and popped into Crow Peak Brewing and saw people were in the back and rather than continuing in aimlessly, I walked out. Just then I met Josh, one of the partners and told him about my journey. He said he had some time to talk. He had been exposed to craft beer elsewhere and had sold his ranch before reaching out to join and expand Crow Peak Brewing. It is something he enjoys.
I felt proud and accomplished. Started the morning with 1 meeting and got it done. Meanwhile, my friend, her sister, and my friend’s friend were all providing some suggestions and working on some connections for me. I had some potential contact in Sioux Falls, along with a place to crash. I thought If I could get one gym in before making the drive, the next day ought to be easy enough getting one more each in a bigger city.
I found Crow Peak CrossFit on google maps and drove over. It was different as I was driving down a gravel road into a wood like area. I wondered if the GPS was accurate but reassured myself that in these smaller areas, gyms could be anywhere. I met a coach as they were about to start a class, and she was kind to provide me contact information for the owner.
I contacted the owner who was willing to meet, just needed some time. It was great for me. I went to the library for a few hours and contacted a contact from my friend got through her connections. (it’s ok if it seems a little unclear, that is a more realistic representation and I’m ok with that). I called and was able to set something up for the next morning. I then met with Kelie, who felt a need for the gym in town, and they had a space to use for friends from her parents. One thing led to another and now they are nearing capacity for the space with people enjoying the outdoor atmosphere. As I was departing, Kelie was kind to give me a T-shirt!
With 2 meetings completed, I was ready for Sioux Falls. The only issue was instead of the 3-hour drive I thought I had, it was 5 and half hour drive. I don’t know how or why I was so mistaken. Perhaps I had looked up Sioux Falls from a different area or made some mistake earlier. Either way, I was wrong and had a drive ahead. Luckily for me, the person I was staying with said it wasn’t an issue. I tried to convey that if it was, I could find other accommodations for the night, but it was fine.