Escape from South Dakota
When we checked the highway conditions early this morning, we found that the I-90 was still closed in several places west of us, and would likely remain so until at least Sunday. We dragged out our well-thumbed map of the Central States and decided to head west for a few kilometres, then take Highway 218 north, which, at least on paper, appeared to run in a straight line up into North Dakota, where it would intersect with I-94, where we could at last start heading west, thereby avoiding the winter storm, which was still producing rain where we were, but up to 4 feet of snow in the higher elevations of the Black Hills.
We left Mitchell at 9:30, and after a last glance at the map, headed west, then north on 218. About 2 hours into the trip, we suddenly realized that the highway we were on was now heading east, and was not 218. We stopped at a gas and convenience store, where it was confirmed that we had missed a turn some 20 miles back, a turn which apparently had escaped the mapmakers. We backtracked and got on the right road again, and finally intersected I-94 just over the North Dakota state line. After fuelling up Lucy and ourselves, we finally headed west, buffeted by recurring rain showers and strong winds, The highway however was bare and dry, so we turned on the cruise control and let her fly across North Dakota and into Montana (“Keep moving along folks, nothing to see here”). After a couple more fuel stops, we arrived at a campground just over the Montana state line, after almost 10 hours of driving.
It seemed only right that as we approached the end of the journey, we should be rewarded by this:
We are at last back on schedule, and will be heading for White Sulphur Springs tomorrow.