Long first day out of Manitoba

Although the alarm was set for 5am, we woke up shortly after 4 and got up. Thought we’d get an early start. Wasted half an hour fighting with the coffee maker. Packed everything up, turned off the heat and water, unplugged everything, and hit the road. Quick stop at Husky Gas to fill up the van tires. Too dark to see. Hit the road. Crossed the border with hardly a hello — the guy asked us where too and how much money and waved us through. Passed through Grand Forks — still too early for breakfast or for a Walmart phone purchase. Got to Fargo around 10. Gas and Egg McMuffin and cinnamon bun. No Walmart here.

We left home at around 5am, headed south all the way to North Platte, Nebraska. The weather was cold but no storm. All along the I-29 going south through the Dakotas we had beautiful winter scenery like this.

At Watertown, SD, we stopped at the Walmart and bought our first TracFone. Got a Palm Desert phone number (which turned out to be a mistake — phone won’t activate until we’re in that area code!). Wasted about an hour. Stopped at McDs for lunch, then back on the road. Slowly the -18C climbed as we headed west from Sioux Falls. Roads were good. Scenery continued to be amazing — hoarfrost on the trees all the way. Less and less snow as we continued southwest. Sue drove the last nearly 600kms, about half of it in the dark as the winter sun set at around 5. We enjoyed listening to NPR’s Prairie Home Companion for an hour in the dark.

A gorgeous yellow full moon rose in the east as we pulled into North Platte, Nebraska. Quick stop at Little Caesars for a pizza, the bottle shop for wine and beer, the gas station to refuel, and then to La Quinta. Supper at 8.30. Found out the TracFone won’t activate here. Sue called Alex. All is good.

Sue was asleep by shortly after 10. I wrote my journal and then joined her. We need to get up early tomorrow so we can make it to our next stop before the final regular season NFL games begin at 11am local time.