March 7, 2011


You might want to put on your sunglasses for the first half of this post. I'll give you a minute to retreave them from the car...

...Saturday morning in South Dakota -
The world is suddenly so white, it hurts my eyes to look at it, especially after the light cloud cover cleared. South Dakota is quite literally burried! I think more so than usual. Looking out across the landscape, most of the way, the only distinguishable characteristic is the black smear of pavement, the westbound lanes slipping by through the drifts.

Driving across this white white world, I think back to evenings snuggled next to Mom as she read chapters from The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It's been a long winter even with our conveniences and modern day comforts. Can you imagine living through these winter months in the late 1800's?
Near Murdo, we once again drive past 1880's Town, a roadside tourist trap that I can't wait to be trapped by! I want to go explore, and have been plotting to do so for a couple years now. I think this is my year!

They are closed during the winter, for obvious reasons. Just look around! But one of these summer days when we're passing through with time to kill, I'm going to grab the wheel away from the driver and swing in. They have truck parking across the street.
Yeah, maybe it is just a tourist trap, but it looks like a fun one. I like looking at old buildings, and here you can also walk out of town to a couple of "homesteads," go visit with some longhorns, and don't forget to stop by and chat with the local characters...

...who really clash with the charisma of the place, but are just too cool to ignore. He's been seen walking next to I-90 on his way to 1880's Town for several years now, faithful friend in tow.

Yes, South Dakota was remarkably more white than Montana which has recently gone through a brief but efficient thaw. Short lived I'm sure, but nice all the same. South Dakota, however, missed out, and it white all the way across, no breaks, no ground peaking through anywhere. Even the Missouri River is a solid sheet of white.

The world was blindingly white till we hit the darkness of nightfall in Minnesota. And when the truck rolled to a stop at our delivery in Illinois, it was still too dark to tell what climate we were in. But after delivery, a short drive, and a 3 hour nap, we woke to a much milder climate and bare ground. Even a little green peaking through, though I imagined it was just my eyes still seeing spots from where the sun reflected off the snow had burned my retinas.

We reloaded corn gluten pellets in Decatur, IL and headed to Texas. The Missouri River may have been a sheet of very thick ice, but the Mississippi never submits to winter's rule.

In fact, just as in days of old, it rebels against forces trying to control it, be they human constructed dikes, or winter's ice. Heavy rains have flooded the banks of the Mississippi's tributaries.

Another evening of driving, and I parked at the reciever in Paris, TX at midnight on Sunday, 2,755 miles in 2 3/4 days. At this rate we'll make up for 2 weeks vacation in a hurry!

Texas was a sight to behold this morning. I was in awe.
I feel like I literally went to sleep in one world, and woke in an alien one. 
I had some time to ponder things as we drove the 50 miles from Paris to Mount Pleasant and I think I figured out what happened. While all of us have been snowblinded...
Springtime snuck across the border into Texas.

Its a full out invasion!

see the soft sheen of new green leaves?
But I'm thinking there isn't going to be much of a resistance to it.
Happy Spring Y'all!



Jennifer said...

I remember driving by that dinosaur sculpture when we were up there in '08. We thought it was hilarious. I had forgotten all about it. Glad you got a photo of it.

Debbie said...

I have never been out west and I find your photos and descriptions fascinating! Now I want to go to 1880's town!

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

Sure enjoy your posts on your travels and sights! I will be chkg out where Murdo is - Oh the green grass looks so inviting as we got more snow yesterday!

Dreaming said...

I think about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her life frequently. Funny that you should mention it too! Just after we moved here I reread (probably for the the hundredth time) "Little House on the Prairie" and "Little Town on the Prairie". Life back then must have been so hard. But, maybe no more challenging than driving all over the country!!!
Thanks for the shots of spring - yes...I can feel it (I think)... it's coming!

ACountryCowgirl said...

Love all the pictures and I miss all that snow and south dakota;) I feel like we haven't even had winter here. I am so use to cold, cold, cold, snow, snow, snow and a few blizzards thrown in. Only one good snow all year doesn't seem like winter. Texas looks beautiful though:)

Judy said...

Looking at the SD snow photos, I cold have sworn you took them here in ND! The glimpses of green and then the shots of the flowering trees really make me long for spring. We have had more than a few snowblind days here this winter, sure makes for tough driving at times.
Laura Ingalls Wilder.....need I say more?! Love those books!

sunnycalgirl said...

Such extremes! Great pictures and I too read all of the Little House books along time ago. I don't mind roughing it for a while but not sure about being a frontierswoman..lol!

Shirley said...

You sure get to see a variety of country and weather in one trip. I think everyone here is so sick of winter! It sure is nice to see places where spring is happening.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Love the dinosaur. Love your blog too. I finally thought to bookmark it. Sigh. What a brain.

small farm girl said...

Oh, I needed those pictures of spring.(Winter pictures, not so much. lol) Hurry up Spring, hurry up!!!!!