Updated: Oct 9, 2021
Leaving Sioux Falls was bittersweet, but we were really looking forward to seeing Rick and Barb again (for a reminder of our last visit click here ). This time though, we decided to take a bit more time to get from point A to point B. And it was so much more relaxed, at least for us, Stella would beg to disagree. She disagreed to the point that not 10 minutes before we were leaving she escaped the camper! Yup, you read that right, the little bitch bolted out the door when we least expected it. So the chase was on, thankfully the chase only lasted to the RV next to us, what happens next left both me and Stella a wee bit pissy and I can't speak for her, but I was somewhat worse for wear. So picture this, (doing my best Elmer Fudd impersionation), I tiptoe around the other side of our neighbor's RV, and saying in as gentle a tone as possible, "hey baby girl" and "it's ok", because talking nice to an irritated cat is going to work (said no one EVER). Then I see my opportunity and try to calculate how much chaos is going to ensue. I found her between the dual axles and there it is, her tail, just flipping back and forth telling me EXACTLY how pissed she is. Well, it's now or never, and you all know what happens next! It was the human that pounced, and knowing I had a very small window, so I quickly grabbed her tail and gave in a yank and dragged her out from between the tires. All the while she is screaming like she is in the fight of her life, and hissing like I've never heard her hiss before. But this is a battle I won't lose, as quick as I can I grab her by the scuff of her neck and she is instantly limp. I'm thinking, excellent! She didn't get the chance to scratch the shit out of me, so I win! Did I mention that the slide was out on the RV, and that I was under said slide? Yeah so again, you know what happens next! As I'm backing out from under the RV with Stella now subdued, I do the obvious, I scrape the back of my neck and across my shoulder blades on the corner of the slide. I can't begin to spell the new words that I made up at that point, but needless to say, for the next couple of hours we weren't exactly friends. I have 3 words seared in my brain for our take off "to-do" list: Harness, Leash, Knot!
With that crisis behind us, we were off! The final destination on this leg of our journey: The thriving metropolis of Piedmont, Missouri. Along the way we made a few stops, met some great people, and indulged in all things "local". Did you expect anything less? If so, then you clearly haven't been keeping up. Not to worry, you're forgiven. Anyway what follows is the highlights of our quest to get back to family. Don't worry, compared to some of the mis-adventures so far, this one was a cake walk. Apparently we are getting really good at this traveling thing, who knew? (Answer: EVERYONE).
The biggest thing we learned from our trip to South Dakota, was the simple fact that the "on the road" bit should not be more than 3 hours. Any more than that and you miss the best part of the overnight and in 2 days or so you are tired and cranky. With that in mind our first stop was a beautiful place called Bodega Victoriana Winery and Wedding Barn in Glenwood, Iowa. As you can see from the pictures below, it was just the perfect spot.
We got there on a Thursday and the timing couldn't have been better. We arrived before anyone else and enjoyed spending time with one of the owners and trying all the wines they had, and I'm here to say that there wasn't a bad one in the bunch. After our tasting we took a glass of our favorite and checked out the layout of the building and the grounds and simply relaxed. Shortly after we decided, it was time to sit, play some cribbage and enjoy a charcuterie board and man was that delicious! Holy cow!!! Once the charcuterie was gone we had to go back to the camper and check on Stella....all was well, and since they didn't close for another 2 hours we decided that round 2 was in order.
By the time we got back, the regulars were there as well as another couple that decided to stop for the night. The regulars welcomed us with open arms and invited us to join their table and were genuinely interested in us and our adventures. It was truly like being back in Keene at our friends Jackie and Rick's house for an episode of Thirsty Thursday. In other words, it was like going home again. I hope to go back one day, and if we do, it will definitely be on a Thursday.
The next morning arrived, and with the short jumps in mind I scheduled a night at a place called Mulberry Pond Pumpkin Patch in Hiawatha, KS. Why? Because duh, Pumpkin patch in October and the name Hiawatha just rolls off the tongue. Seriously, you had to ask?
This is the time you take out a map so you can follow along because it just makes more sense when you have a visual. So we left the Winery in IA, had to make a stop in Missouri for fuel, had lunch in Nebraska and in the end spent the night in Kansas. So...there's that....
It was the best spot to be this time of year. There was a corn maze, pumpkins galore, a bunch of activities for visitors, a pond to fish in, cats everywhere, a gift shop loaded with locally made goodies, and the bonus was the ability to plug the RV into electricity and it's a good thing because the battery in the chassis was on it's last leg, but more about that later. In the meantime, enjoy some of the highlights of this most delightful spot.
The next morning we had to make a stop before leaving town, and once again O'Reilly Auto Parts came through. We needed a new battery and after much sweating (on Mike's part), and surprisingly little swearing (also on Mike's part) the old battery was out and the new one in. Side note: We also had an issue with our generator, and because our guy at O'Reilly knew another guy that works on generators, with a quick call our problem was solved. Onward....
Next stop: Of the Earth Distillery in Richmond, MO.
A little off the beaten path, but a really great place to visit, especially if Amanda is there. They have all that you see above, along with cocktails, charcuterie boards, and sandwiches. We met a bunch of great people and just sat on the patio and relaxed until close. I know, sounds boring, but hey not every stop is full of excitement, sometimes, boring is good.
And for our final stop before hitting our next "Home Base", we decided to stop for a few days. So it was off to an actual campground. I give you: Lazy Day Campground in Danville, MO
We spent 3 days here enjoying the quiet. We also managed to get a fair bit of chores done. The best part was the reading, the fire time spent with Stella, clearly not stressed out anymore. Mike cooked on the grill, we played Cornhole, we walked. It was awesome. But there was an even better spot waiting for us. Once we left it was off to visit family...again.
So here I sit in their house writing away perfectly content, listening to everyone sharing stories, after a day running errands including a stop at the library. After I upload this we will be off the grid with the exception of any time we happen to go into town, or the very rare moment a signal gets through. With that said I would like to send out birthday greetings to my nephew, Jason. A very happy 18th to my oldest grandson, Ethen, as well as Happy Birthday to my grandson, Dante! I love you all!
The Souix Falls story is next, but it's going to be a bit. We are going to enjoy the time off the road and off the grid.
In the meantime....Be well, be happy and safe travels