Go West-South Dakota
Started the engine in Pennsylvania and bolted off like a bat out of hell towards the West Coast. The stir crazy feeling of staying put in one place for too long had finally become too heavy for me to handle. Just in the nick of time I was invited to head to Montana to film a wildlife hunting show for Dan Bantley’s show “Taxidermy Trails” which airs on the Outdoor Channel.
I originally planned on flying, but when I found out my girlfriend had been offered a job at South Dakota State University I decided it was better to drive plus it fit more into the adventurers spirit-style of travel. I prepared my mental state by reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” a book that follows a man and his son on a motorcycle trip across the Northwest which becomes less of a trip and more of a spiritual journey in search of the true meaning of “Quality.”
The first day brought us through Pittsburgh and onto Chicago where we stayed for a night at a noisy hotel full of high-schoolers who had rented out rooms for a party. After leaving Chicago the landscape and people remained the same which consisted of flat cornfields and small-town friendly individuals. Crossing the Mississippi river gave us a short moment of a change in the monotony and assured us that we had finally reached the “West.” This feeling was short live as the landscape changed back into endless miles of cornfields and remained this way until Brookings, South Dakota.
Brookings is a college town home to the South Dakota State Jack Rabbits. The town has mix of the college and the old-time plains feel. Main Street is the oldest and most unique part of the town and contains many buildings that have been there since the town was founded by pioneers in the 1800′s. Before the pioneers, the land was home to the multiple plains native american tribes, including the Sioux and Lakota whose ancestors remain in few numbers outside of the reservations.
Currently, the whole of the great plains is in one of the worst droughts in history. During the day the temperature can go over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and it has yet to rains since I have been here. I would also recommend if you decide to run take water with you, because the heat and distance you can travel can be quite deceiving as I found out a few days ago when I ran too far and became plagued by the heat and soon realized there was no trees for shade within miles of where I was. My run soon turned into an hour-long stagger back to my car while the sun beat down on my skin. The altered state of mind from the heat did give me a new perspective on the world though…
Well, that is the first part of my journey so far. In two-day I will be heading out again towards Montana, so stay tuned for the rest of the journey.