It figures. Two days after I start my road trip my brother’s wife has her baby. My nephew! I received the text with photo of little Jimmy while driving on I-90 through S. Dakota. I had to pull over since I burst out in tears. Why so emotional? It is just my brother and I in our family. I never wanted my own kids and Peter married late and is 52 now. Yep, an older dad. They had to jump through some hoops to get pregnant. Needless to say and long story short, little Jimmy is going to be spoiled rotten by his aunt. I see a little competitive shooter in our future!
This is the first time I have driven out to Perry. My 5th year in a row and I usually fly and have someone else drive my gear. I had the time and I love road trips more and more and to see parts of this beautiful country we live in is priceless. It is by no means cheaper to drive. Holy cow, every time I pull in to get gas for the FJ I cringe. I have been lucky to stay with friends half the time which saved a bit on hotels. I purposely wanted to spread the trip out rather than cram in 15 hours a day of driving. I stopped in Missoula the first night and stayed with friends of ours. I was filled up with a great dinner and some 18 year old scotch. Night two I made it to Sheridan, WY where one of Charles’ brothers lives. Sheridan was winding down from the their big rodeo they had the weekend prior. I love walking through town there. The Saddlery is one of the coolest stores. They are the mecca of cowboy/girl supplies. Tryst me, anything western you may want can be found in this town. Not to mention the famous Mint Bar. Day two I pushed it out to Sioux Falls and hung out with my pals Shelley and Caleb. They run GunUp Magazine which I write for. They live right downtown and in the same building as the office of GunUp. Nice commute. Of course we shared a few Manhattans but thankfully I did not overindulge. I had no idea I was driving through Sturgis on the way. Of course I had to pull in town and check it out. I am one week early for the big bike rally. The town was in frantic set up mode. Huge outdoor bars were being built. What a spectacle. I can only imagine the scene next weekend with thousands of bikers. They had a huge tent selling Sturgis tees. Which of course I bought a couple. S. Dakota up to Sturgis is stunning. But then it is nothing but flat. Several hundred miles of I-90 was tedious. Yesterday I drove a another 10-11 hour leg. I wanted to push through Illinois and then stop just in to Indiana. I received my Utah CWL just before I left Seattle. The only state not honoring it along my route is IL. I drove down south of S. Dakota in to Iowa on 80 instead of 90. I did not want to go through Chicago. I was so tired by that point and took the first exit of hotels I could see. It brought me to Portage. Cute area. And it has a Bass Pro Shop next to a LongHorn Steakhouse so it must be decent place. I made it to Perry yesterday and took half an hour to unpack the truck. Being a month on the road and shooting multiple matches with multiple guns requires a lot of stuff. The weather was pretty bad coming and hopes to get better as the week goes on. Tomorrow the matches start. I will hang out on base today and get my credentials and stroll the last day of Retail Row. Not much left at this point but it is a good excuse to run in to friends and catch up.
Road Trip Standouts
*The landscape from Missoula to Sheridan was A-Mazing.
*Tons of antelope. Tons
*Two birds commit suicide in to my car. No broken windows or dents.
*Lots of corn in Iowa
*WY speed limit is 80mph. As it should be.
*Cows in S. Dakota huddle. I know, weird for me to notice that, but it is true.
*Chislic. Not so much.
*Manhattans are much cheaper in the midwest