Jul 13, 2013

Road Trip USA: St. Louis to Sioux Falls

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On July first, 2013 Hannah and I drove across America from Atlanta, Georgia to Portland, Oregon. Here's our adventure! There are pictures after the text; I promise! 

On the second day of our road trip across America we drove from St. Louis, Missouri to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We got up around 6:30 AM and got breakfast at our (super classy!) hotel around 7--there weren't too many options, but I toasted a bagel for the road, and it ended up being pretty tasty. During the morning drive we passed through the outskirts of Kansas City, and ended up getting Subway for lunch somewhere between Kansas City and Omaha. We also ended up hitting Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota during our drive that day.

We had decided to take a break from driving and explore Omaha a little before continuing on to South Dakota. We arrived in Omaha sometime around 3 PM local time, and we decided to go see the  Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge. The bridge is 3,000 feet long and runs from Omaha, Nebraska across the Missouri River to Council Bluffs, Iowa. We drove through the outskirts of Omaha--and got a nice view of the skyline--before parking (for free!) outside of the Nebraska side of the bridge. The entrance area was pretty cool, and they had really fancy vending machines (clearly with travelers like us in mind... you could buy anything from soda to half gallons of milk, baby wipes, pens, car chargers... you name it!). The Nebraska side of the river had a really nice park, and there were a ton of little kids enjoying the fountain and grassy areas. There were also a bunch of swanky apartment buildings. The bridge itself was "cable-stayed", with two large towers connected to cables, which support the bridge deck. Between the two towers was the "divining line" between Nebraska and Iowa, and we got to stand in two states at once, which was silly and fun. On the Iowa side of the bridge was a really pretty park full of trails through the underbrush and trees lining the river.

After walking along the bridge we decided to go on a little adventure to Scheels, a sporting goods store found in a handful of US states. The one at Village Point in Omaha has a large indoor ferris wheel, and rides are only $1.00 per person! The drive was a little out of the way (40 minutes, to be exact), but totally worth it for how silly and fun the experience was. We definitely got a lot of stares as three grown women rode the ferris wheel together!

From there we only had about a two and a half hour drive to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We were staying at the Super 8 Airport, which was fine (although our room smelled a bit peculiar). I couldn't believe how flat the town was! We headed out to get dinner after arriving, and ended up going to a little Mexican restaurant, whose name I can't for the life of me recall. We all got margaritas, and I got a vegetarian burrito with refried beans and rice. The sides were good, but the burrito was stuffed with cooked carrots and broccoli (which seems like a bizarre combination for Mexican food, but whatever), and was kind of disappointing. Good thing the chips were tasty!

After dinner we headed to the falls in Sioux Falls! They're located in Falls Park, where there's an old mill from the 1880's. Unfortunately, I only had my iphone with me at the time, but the falls were beautiful. The water comes from the Big Sioux River, and it cascades over geometric yellow rocks that look like they were cut into little box patterns by the people of Sioux Falls (they weren't). The falls and the bridge between Nebraska and Iowa were probably my favorite parts of the day. We had a lot of fun walking around and looking at the falls, and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for another early morning. Whew!

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