My alarm was set for 4am.
Who was I kidding?
At 4am, I turned off my alarm, thinking, ummm… No! And went back to bed. Knowing that Day 1 was going to be one of our longest days of the whole trip, and knowing that we were both exhausted from doing so much running during the previous four days, I went back to sleep.
At 6:30, I woke up again, and this time we both got moving.
By 7:30, we were packed & ready to go, and stopped for breakfast at Long’s Bakery.
Let me tell you about this little gem. The first time I ever heard of Long’s, my friend K was helping me move my half of our stuff into the apartment before the wedding, and she had attended UofI when she mentioned that Long’s makes the best. Donuts. EVER! Since then, Long’s has been on my To Do list.
Two years later: Holy crap! How have we not tried these before now?! They were amazing. We had chocolate covered chocolate cake, glazed, and (my favorite) sugar cinnamon cake. Holy crap. Best donuts ever! So for less than $6, we had breakfast for two days. They are open 5:30am-8:00pm every day; and it’s a good thing they are not on my route to work.
Today being our long day, we had a lot of road to cover. In short:
Illinois: lots of construction cones, no workers
Iowa: lots of construction cones, workers present
Nebraska: not there long enough to have a summary (but, new state #1! Whoo-hoo!)
South Dakota: beautiful! I had no idea that SD was this pretty. I guess I had imagined it as being a lot like Illinois, Iowa, or even Kansas. Flat, corn, nothing to look at, that sort of thing. Kinda like home. I was pleasantly surprised–I love having my assumptions challenged. (New state #2!) Tall grasses rippled in the wind, making an ocean of waves. We did pass Laura Ingall Wilder’s home, which I thought was cool because I read all of her books a lifetime ago (being the dork that I am).
So far, what I loved about this part of the trip was that we had no set time or place to be anywhere. We could be as leisurely as we liked. The original goal was to make it to Omaha before calling it a day. We got there far too early to stop, so we pushed onward, hoping to make it to Sioux Falls.
Sioux Falls also came too soon. We stopped at a lovely little Mexican restaurant where the food was delicious and a good price. We stretched our legs by walking around the Scheels nearby before heading back out on the road again.
SD really impressed. With the big sky unobstructed by buildings or hills, we had front-row seats to one of the prettiest sunsets I have ever seen. It was a spectacular end to Day 1 of our road trip.