Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Road Trip Day 6--With a Flashback to Day 5

Traveling throughthe Midwest, we saw so many red barns and white farmhouses; most were far away from the highway, but could be seen hovering on the horizon. They were really quite picturesque, and added a lot of charm to the countryside.

Last night I was so tired when we got back from Psycho Suzies, that I forgot to tell you about my driving mishaps. (Oh--BTW, my car keys showed up. They were in the bottom of one of our suitcases! Don't know how they got there, but I'm just glad to have found them.)

Back to my driving mishaps: The Mall of America is the size of 70 football fields, as I mentioned, and Hubby and I both have arthritis in our knees--he more than I. There were scooter chairs available for rental, so we decided that it would be worth paying $30.00 each to be able to tour the mall without making ourselves miserable.

I should mention the driving instructions were pretty cursory; "This is forward, this is reverse, this is the knob that controls your speed. Here's the key, have fun." The first thing we needed to do was find a camera store to get new batteries for my camera. I arrived at the mall with my camera in hand ready to take a picture of the sign over the entrance; I aimed, pushed the button, and a message appeared instructing me to replace batteries. So off we went on our wheelchair scooter, armed with maps, in search of the camera stores. The first store we went to was a photography studio: "Have your little ones picture taken here." Wrong stop!

We finally found a Ritz Camera Shop on the second floor--map location E290. I thought we would park our scooters and walk in (We were toldld we could do that, as long as we kept the ignition key with us.), but hubby just drove right in, so silly me...I followed. We bought the batteries, loaded them in the camera, and headed for the door. At least Hubby did. I had to turn around before I could exit. (You remember I said backing up in my car was a challenge? Apparently my disability extends to scooters!)

First I put it in reverse. My scooter was very slow in forward gear, but just sooo full of pep in reverse! I backed into the display counter with a slight bang. I turned the steering handle and switch gears to forward and bumped a hanging display rack, sending it all askew. Hubby had made it outside without a problem, and as I emerged from the store in red-faced embarrassment, he proceeded to laugh... and laugh some more. I high-tailed it away from that establishment without looking back!

Other than slight problems in the elevator--entering and exiting, the rest of the morning went well. I was getting the hang of this scooter thing! When we decided to stop for lunch at Johnny Rockets, the plan was to park the scooter and sit at a table to eat. I parked the first time near--okay, I slammed into--the wall. Hubby says, "Don't park there, bring it into the seating area." So, I drove into the seating area and stopped near--okay, I slammed into--the garbage cans. There were four of them abutting each other, and I pushed them sideways about six inches. Some poor, unsuspecting fellow, sitting back to and eating his lunch had no clue that he nearly ended up in the garbage can. (Did I mention these scooters don't have brakes?) At this point I could hear my supportive husband laughing his ass off as I backed up and finally maneuvered the scooter into a spot near our table. There was no "Are you okay?" just a whole lot of guffaws!

We returned the scooters at the end of our shopping and mine was none the worse for wear...tough cookie, that scooter!

For some reason my next picture decided not to download for some reason. It was a picture of the sign: Welcome to South Dakota--Great Faces, Great Places. The countryside looked the same as Minnesota, until after we crossed the Missouri River. All of a sudden we were into some major rolling hills, and even a few mountains of on the horizon. We stopped at a rest area, where I read about the Badlands National Park with the picture of some badass mountains on it; see below:

In side the rest area, I spotted the following poster; I am very afraid that it may have some connection to my driving mishaps, but I can't be sure. I immediately donned my sunglasses, turned my collar up, and slunk out of there!

Below is a picture of the changing scenery; we went from cornfields, to soybean fields, to sunflower fields, to cattle ranches. We saw the gate at the entrance of a dirt road that said "Garson Ranch; established 1890." The ranches were huge; we saw acres and acres of grazing lands, with herds of cattle here and there.

Then there were hayfields. Huge rolled haybales 4 to 5 feet in diameter and 10 or 12 feet long were stacked in random places, awaiting the truck that would haul them to the barn for winter keeping. I tried to get a picture of the stacks, but a 70 miles per hour (the speed limit in South Dakota), it's tough to get a good shot. The pile you see below is an example:

We are staying in Murdo, South Dakota tonight, and made sandwiches for a light supper. (We had delicious hot turkey sandwiches with mashed potatoes and sage stuffing and gravy at The Blue Line Cafe, just east of the SD border.

At the last rest area we pulled into, I couldn't resist taking a picture of this newspaper dispenser. Apparently, even in the wild west, people get lonely and are looking for love!

Well, we are about 170 miles from Mount Rushmore. Until tomorrow--Night, night! Hugs to all.


Steven Anthony said...

they never tell ya how fast those scooter things really go...hehehe

great pics, thanx for posting, it makes me feel like Im on a mini vacation:)

btw: thank you so much for your kindness when reading my blogs;)

safe travels my friend

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Since at some point today you passed a few hundred miles directly below me, I hope you at least WAVED! :)

Exciting!!! Plus you're making me hungry.

Meeko Fabulous said...

Oh Eva! I'm totally enjoying living through this trip vicariously through you! Those damn scooter things are so hard to maneuver! I got to use one when I sprained my ankle. It was the "worst sprain" my doctor had ever seen. Anywho . . . Keep the stories coming! :)

Entrepreneur Chick said...

I recently had a dream I was on a scooter like that! Weird.(You so cracked me up about the guy and his lunch). You are cussing more in your posts. You should stop reading my blog right away.

I'm the one your mother told you not to play with.

Housewife Savant said...

How is it the folks using scooters at Walmart can't comb their hair, brush their teeth or change out of their pajamas, but they can manuever a scooter while shopping, working their oxygen, and yelling at a half-dozen similarly unkempt kids in tow?
THEY never smile.
It's a good thing you didn't kill anyone, namely that snickering hubby.
I'm glad you're taking us on this trip!

glnroz said...

looks like you are having a great time. Good for ya'll. I enjoy hearing about your trip.

Feeling Fit With Dana said...

Stopping by from SITS! I was giggling at your scooter story, sorry :)

It sounds like you are having a wonderful time on your trip. My hubby and I plan to go to Mt Rushmore sometime. I had friends that just got back and they loved it!

Hope you have a safe, but fun trip!

love lives in the kitchen said...

still in the trip?
wish you a great day!

Cathy said...

I love the scooter issues! I was laughing out loud. Sounds like such a fabulous trip! Can't wait to see the Mt. Rushmore pics!

~Thought's By Dena~ said...

Hi Eva found my way to you thru Meeko.....Im in Nebraska so Im waving at you as you pass me by!!! Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!!!

JennyMac said...

Great pics....including your Wanted poster. I have a friend in the FBI...I will never tell on you. :)

Eva Gallant said...

glad you guys are enjoying my trip with me! I waved and tooted the horn, Veg! Didn't you hear me?
Meeko! so glad someone understands that the scooter was tricky! And to all you gigglers---wait til you're old and have to use one! I'll be giggling from above (or more likely, down below!)
And Ent. Chick: I never did listen to my Mom when she told me not to play with someone, Damn it!

thatdesigngal said...

Crazy, I had no idea that the Mall of America was THAT big. I knew it is was the largest but geeish, that is insane!