Tomorrow morning, all five of us will depart for Big Adventure 2017. Preparations have been underway for some time. I hoped to have all 3 children packed by Monday night, but realized that my oldest has an alarming lack of t shirts that are not emblazoned with the name of his school, an academic group, or a sports team. I take my pictures on vacation somewhat seriously, and would like for him to not look like a walking advertisement for Kiker Math Pentathlon in every image.
So, last year, we traveled through Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. This year, we are headed to the Dakotas. I must concede that at first I was ambivalent about the Dakotas, but the trip is a good distance for a road trip and there are a decent number of national parks and/or monuments to visit in the area, so I just decided to make the best of it. I’m actually excited now! There is a LOT to do in South Dakota! And a lot to do on the way to South Dakota! Our route is kind of weird – we’re going East to then go West. We’re going Austin to Oklahoma City. Then we will spend two nights in Omaha, NE, one night in Pierre, SD (I read an article that it is actually pronounced PEER…?!) and then head over toward the Badlands/Black Hills area. After four nights in Custer State Park, we’ll head north to Dickinson, ND, which is just east of Medora, ND, where Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located.
On our way home, we’ll see Devil’s Tower National Monument and maybe one other thing – maybe Great Sand Dunes National Park, but that will depend on how the drive home is going.
Last year, at the end of our trip, Chas and I both talked about what we would change “for next time.” I definitely overpacked for the boys (a constant issue for me), and also packed too many things to keep them occupied in the car. I also thought that we could have packed a cooler that had more food for meals on the road, instead of stopping to eat at a restaurant all the time. I’m trying to improve on the overpacking, but I don’t know where we are on the cooler because part of the fun of a road trip is trying out local restaurants that you don’t have in your town.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to get in the car and go! We cannot wait to see new things, visit new places, and spend time together.