Well my morning started around 5am. Not because I wanted to be up that early, but because that’s when the gentleman who empties the trash at the rest stop set off his car alarm… I was not amused, but I chose to see it as a blessing in disguise my destination for the day was about 550 miles away and I needed to find somewhere to stop around 10am CST for a phone interview. So, I got out my stove and boiled enough water for my green tea and oatmeal. Once I finished I hit the road.
About 4 hours into my drive, as I am still crossing the flattish part of South Dakota, a little old lady cut me off, slam on her brakes and caused both me and the RV in the left lane to slam on our brakes and almost collide into each other.
Both the RV and I decided to pull off at the next exit to check our pants… well he checked his pants and I confirmed that my kilt was still cleanish. The driver and I both pulled into the gas station and spent about 15 minutes commiserating before parting ways. He went back to the highway, I went to a quiet part of the parking lot to have my phone interview.
By the way, can my lawyer friends please look into how stiff the fine is for defacing trash cans with stickers to your blog? Asking for a friend….
So, as I drive across South Dakota it was like someone flipped a switch and suddenly there were hills. I rolled into the Badlands and cell coverage became spotty. My Spotify stopped working and I was forced to listen to my iTunes… so of course this is when I get a phone call telling me the interview went well and they would like me to have a Skype interview with the big boss tomorrow. I think I managed to make arrangements via phone and email, but coverage was real spotty… In fact the only thing more spotty than my phone coverage was my rear suspension… I don’t think I have broken anything, but when I hit a moderate to decent sized bump on the highway I hear the sound of tires hitting and rubbing the wheel well. Maybe I just have too much stuff in the jeep. I shall make eating double rations a priority… you know to lighten the load…
Speaking of lightening the load, Jeff decided to do his part. As I was sitting in line to pay for parking at Mount Rushmore I started to smell antifreeze… I looked down and my temp gauge was still good. Well as I moved up in line, I started to see the steam and watch the gauge go up… The good news was that there was no leak, it was just boiling over. The bad news, the thermostat failed.
So of course I went and saw the monument while waiting for things to cool down. I have to say, Mount Rushmore was just as underwhelming as I remember it being. I took a stroll around the museum and took the obligatory selfie, but I wasted no time getting back to Jeff.
I pulled off the bad thermostat and then filled him with 6 liters of water to get me on my way. I then headed to Crazy Horse Monument.
This place is amazing, and it’s not even done yet. The monument it’s self is exponentially bigger than Mount Rushmore. Not to mention the fact that the museum at Crazy Horse is a hell of a lot more educational and in my opinion culturally significant than the one at Mount Rushmore. They are 12 miles apart physically, but eons metaphorically. Also the video at Crazy Horse will hit you right in the feels… so if you are going to check out the dead white guys at the tourist trap that is Mount Rushmore, drive the extra 12 miles and actually be impressed.
Speaking of being impressive, I went straight to the parts store and picked up a new thermostat as well as antifreeze. I did the installation right there in front of the parts store and then headed west until I found a suitable campground.
I wasted no time getting water boiling as I set up the rest of camp (my hammock). Once it was up and the water was boiling I poured the water into my Mountain House backpacker meal. Tonight was lasagna and it was amazing.
Full disclosure back when I was trying to get other people to find this trip, I wrote to Mountain House and they gave me code for 30% off. I then promptly accidentally deleted the email with said code and had to pay full price… But maybe if I plug them hard enough they will give me free meals next time? Maybe? Probably not, but I am still gonna try.
So to review the day, an old lady tried to kill me, I nailed a phone interview, someone deface a trash can with one of my stickers (ok more than one trashcan in multiple states), I then had to explain my phone cutting in and out as I talked to an HR specialist, my Jeep shot steam and antifreeze all over the line for parking at Mount Rushmore, and I am shamelessly plugging a product that I didn’t actually get at a discounted price. Well, that is a bit embarrassing, but man has today been an adventure!
Daily Scavenger Hunt score: 4
– 1 point for accruing 1000 miles
– 1 point for selfie in front of Mount Rushmore
– 1 point for selfie in front of Crazy Horse Monument
– 1 point for fixing jeep (replacing thermostat) in a parking lot
Total score to date: 6
Do you want to be emailed every time I post something new? sign up for email notifications here: