After the storms that pushed through the area on our night in MINIapolis, we had a beautiful Rise and Shine at another horse track before heading out to Sioux Falls. MINI had our clean laundry ready, shrink-wrapped and tagged for pickup in our blue laundry backpacks. What an incredible job they do, putting this whole thing together. It’s a huge undertaking, and each day is very smooth with very few hiccups.
At the Rise and Shine we were parked next to Clark, the Superman-themed MINI owned by my friend Pedro Tomas from Coconut Creek. It was the first time MightyBee and Clark had been together so it provided a nice photo op for us. Superheroes unite!
With plans to visit Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store in Jordan, for the first time on this trip we set out with Pedro, his son Christian and other friends from Florida to visit the store and continue on to Sioux Falls. This was a nice change and I prefer to travel this way, helping each other and talking on the radio to stay alert. It’s almost as if folks have wanted to stay away from us during MTTS, maybe because they thought we would slow them down? The group that traveled with us today now knows that the Beehive does not slow us down when we’re rolling, so I hope we can stay with the group more for the remainder of the trip.
The candy store was only about 15 miles away so we headed out. At one point I realized we were low on fuel, so I asked my Garmin to find a gas station. Once you get off the highway out here, there is nothing but corn as far as you can see, so we ended up following directions to mystery gas stations that weren’t there, burning fuel all the way. Eventually the gas gauge said zero miles left, and it was beginning to feel like we were going to run out of gas on a long road with a lot of corn. I found a gas station about 6 miles away, and by killing the air, being gentle on the throttle and coasting down hills, we made it! When I pumped the gas it took 14.6 gallons!
After that the candy store was just a few miles up the road and it definitely lived up to it’s billing. It was just overwhelming. Lots of standard candy in there but also lots of rare and European candies too. I picked up some Cadbury chocolates I had not seen since I was on the other side of the pond, some Australian licorice and Hope got some things too. They also had a huge selection of bottled soda and 150 kinds of root beer. I left with 4 types of root beer (including butterscotch), a grape Nehi and a red creme soda. Yum.
After that we hit a restaurant in a small town for lunch, and headed to Sioux Falls. It was a brilliant, sunny day and for most of it, it was corn to the left and corn to the right. We also saw some big wind farms with their slowly-spinning propellers. A short time before we crossed into South Dakota we passed the mysterious White Barn posted by MINI months ago. Many people had already posted photos of the barn earlier in the day, so we slowed for a second to pay our respects and kept moving.
About 15 miles outside of town, Hope and I peeled off to set up at Palisades State Park for the night. It was very odd to get off the interstate to find long roads lined with corn and soy fields while looking for a state park. I mean, it was like that scene in Field of Dreams, the helicopter shot, where they pull back and you see all the cars on the roads and all that corn. But sure enough, we kept motoring, made a right turn and went around a curve to find a small village and a golf course, then followed another road up the hill to the park. It’s a beautiful park, right on a river and nestled in a hammock of trees. So weird but cool that we are really in the middle of cornfields in this setting.
We set up quickly and headed to Sioux Falls to meet everyone at Falls Park, a beautiful place with a series of cascading waterfalls as it’s centerpiece. After that we met everyone for dinner and later settled into the Beehive for the night. It was a nice, relaxing day with a much less frantic pace.
Tomorrow it’s off to the Badlands and Sturgis. Really looking forward to the changes in scenery we will see as we continue west. I hear it’s a whole new world out there.