Road trip: Vacations are worth their weight in wombats

There is an art to a good road trip.

You have to have goals but be flexible. Two days in, we have already had plenty of opportunities to exercise this mantra. But thankfully, it seems we’re all on the same page when it comes to this approach.

Even with all of the flexibility in the world though, you need things to occupy your time. Music. Jokes. Mad libs. Crosswords. Books. License plate tallies – now at 42. Etc.

Hence today’s installment: A smattering of quotes and other tidbits from the trip so far. We wouldn’t have made it to Rapid City in such good spirits without these.

In the middle of our 16-hour day on Thursday, Angie whipped out mad libs. We began to populate them with random words, some with a connection to our trip so far and others not so much.

Apparently, Tony Bennett has a lesser known hit: “I Left My Toenail in San Francisco.” Also, wombats are a form of currency (see headline).

This morning, as we sped across the last half of Minnesota, we were greeted with a cheery billboard: “Only 355 miles to Wall Drug.” Hooray! You can never start preparing too soon for such a destination.

We wanted to make a fairly quick stop in Sioux Falls at a Target or Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. Angie learned that neither Julia nor I are really very familiar with the city; she also learned that I sometimes tend to fly by the seat of my pants, as evidenced by my directions.

“This is going to sound rather vague as far as directions go, but look for civilization and take that exit.”

South Dakota is a great state in its own way. Not the least of which are its endless supply of billboards announcing various must-see destinations and services.

“Dick’s Body Shop. 24-Hour Toe Service” – hmm, interesting.

“Wall Drug Sign in Kenya, Africa” – which, by the way, I intend to find when I get there.

“Wallways in Season” – decorated, of course, with Christmas holly

There are many other signs. In the numerous trips I’ve taken across this stretch of the country, however, I’ve learned that Wall Drug is the real deal and all others are pretenders when it comes to promoting the heck out of its products.

After a short 432-mile day, we made our prerequisite trip to Wall Drug (of course). We will spend a couple of days visiting Anna Ruth, another SIM missionary preparing to go to Burkina Faso, and getting acquainted with Rapid City before heading west to Sheridan, Wyo.

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