Columbus NE to Hankinson ND

I woke up around 7:00 this morning. It was cold and foggy, so I put the furnace on then went back to bed for an hour, delaying departure from 9ish to 10ish.

By the time I got up, I could tell that this morning fog was not the beachy kind that cloys for days but rather the prairie kind that promises a beautiful hot day. By the time I had the truck hooked up, the sun was already coming out and I shed my fleece hoodie.

The first half of the day was along US-81, a good highway with high speeds except through a small handful of towns. It was steady going. At noon, I hit not only the South Dakota welcome centre, but also summer temps that made me shed even more layers. I was hungry but decided to delay lunch, silly person that I am.

I was about a half hour out from taking I-29 that I had to take a 10KM detour because there was a barn on two trucks blocking the highway. I’m glad my GPS behaved because the police officers directing traffic were absolutely no help, telling me to just follow the 18 wheelers. Judging by the number of them who missed the turns and had to back up, I’d say even the truckers were a little discombobulated by the detour. Anyway, it was on nice roads and didn’t really add that much more to my day.

By the time I reached I-29, I only had a quarter tank of gas left, so I stopped to fuel up and decided that there really wasn’t any good place to park, so I delayed lunch again. What is wrong with me?

It was 3:00 p.m. by the time I got to a rest area and was finally able to have lunch! It was dang time for it, I was getting a little shaky. I had a good break and then set off, with just over 300KM still left to go.

It was to that point a really good driving day; just enough cloud cover not to blind me and, best of all, almost no wind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, of course, I was heading into those prairie landscapes I love so much. I had really earned an easy day, especially since I was covering so much ground.

And then, an hour and a half out, BOOM.

I glanced in my mirrors and saw no evidence of the blowout. I wasn’t even sure I’d had a blowout, but the noise and rig shaking spoke to the contrary. I happened to pass a ‘rest area 2 miles’ sign, so I slowed down, put on the four-way flashers, and headed there to check out the damage rather than pull over onto the shoulder. There was a slightly smaller BOOM as I rolled in.

A walk around the rig puzzled me. Everything looked copacetic. All 10 tires were good, there was no scorched scent. I went in the house and, again, everything looked and smelled good. But I obviously couldn’t go anywhere until I knew what had happened. That noise had been LOUD and really shook the rig.

I did an interior walk through. Soon as I got into the cat area I knew what had happened and I had to burst out laughing even as I scolded myself for being such an idiot.

Here’s an RV travel tip for you fine folks: don’t forget to put your stove top cover back on the stove, especially if it is a large heavy wooden one. If you do forget, it is very likely that it will slide off the counter, bounce off the cat box and gain enough velocity to hit the ground on its edge sufficiently hard to sound like the coming of the apocalypse and then fall flat with a noise that portents that the end of the world has indeed arrived.

My nerves were shot after this. Thank goodness it happened at the end of the day! 🙂

It was really strange to see snow in the shadows along the interstate as I approached the North Dakota border. The forecasts ahead are definitely of the snow melting variety, but I think I need to give it a few days. I paid for two nights at the casino, but will likely stay a third.

I was really excited when I saw the Dakota Magic ball on a post about a mile out as I was really tired. I had no trouble getting settled into the RV park even though it is much more full than the last time I was here. I went to the hotel to check in and got the same unwelcoming clerk as I did last year. You’re in the wrong business, dear.

It’s a beautiful evening here in Hankinson. I have the front door open for the first time since Wichita!

Off to make dinner before I pass out. It’s been one of those grumbly tummy days. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Columbus NE to Hankinson ND

  1. Thanks!

    I barely consider myself to be in ND, however. If you look at a map, I am at the diagonally opposite corner of the state to where I need to be. 🙂

  2. We were talking about that on the way home last night. Oh well, you got to see Terry Redlin’s building. What marvels there are in South Dakota! LOL

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