The Great American Road Trip

Day 3: The Grey Heart of America

Saturday morning, we hit the road for Rapid City, SD. We headed north from Kansas City, MO up towards Sioux Falls, SD where we got on to Hwy 90 (which we would continue on for the remainder of the trip). Trying to avoid Winter Storm Vexo which was pounding the Rockies with snow, we headed for the northern route to avoid the storm (which we were mostly successful in doing). This meant a change of schedule and the removal of Grand Tetons National Park from our trip plan (but we made up for it). The day was very grey and I found Iowa and South Dakota to be really flat. However, come night fall, the storm blew in right as we hit the Badlands of South Dakota. It was incredibly dark and raining very hard. But as we came over the last hill, we saw Rapid City off in the distance glowing like the Shining City on the Hill. We drove in to town and found ourselves pleasantly surprised by the adorable creative city. We stayed at an awesome historic hotel called the Hotel Alex Johnson, a landmark 1920's hotel with authentic Native American decor and a cool little bar on the ground floor. We got checked in, redeemed our free drink coupon at the little bar downstairs then hit the hay, anxious to visit Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse the next day.