Leaving Paducah we head west and north to Kansas City and then to Sioux Falls. Not much to report about this leg of the trip. Passing through Saint Louis, one gets the impression that although there might be nice areas of that city, you sure can't see them from the interstate. There is nothing in the west like the urban decay visible in Saint Louis. At least our crappy California neighborhoods have palm trees and the buildings are not old enough to be literally falling down. Literally... Falling ... Down ...
Entering Kansas City we also encountered the typical big city urban scenes of the east coast, as depicted in the movie Escape from New York, and I was worried that Eva had booked us into an area even worse than the one we encountered in Memphis. However, the last mile to the Best Western changed from decaying slum to office buildings. The Best Western had a nice courtyard into which we emptied the dogs.
That evening we had BBQ from a restaurant named Q39 in our room. Once again, excellent brisket, although not quite as good as Lucky's. I have resolved to buy a smoker when we return in order to recreate what we ate.
Interstate 29 was closed due to flooding, so heading north to Sioux Falls we detoured over a hundred miles through rural Iowa, the land of archtypical farm scenes with Red barns and rolling Hills. In contrast to the city, it seemed as if every immaculate farmhouse had been repainted within the last year. On the way we passed a historical marker commemorating the horrible ax murder (unsolved) of 12 people in 1912.
We made a short stop in Atlantic, Iowa and ate the leftover BBQ in a public park with restrooms cleaner and more graffiti clear than any you could ever find in a public park in California. The park boasted a Civil War memorial and a log cabin built in 1865. The dogs claimed the park as their own.
After seven hours on the road, we arrived at a huge Best Western in Sioux Falls just crawling with kids. This is still the land of right wing, gun tote'n, unkempt cigarette smokers. Saw a sign driving into town: "Eat Steak, Wear Fur, Keep Your Guns". I love it! Eva remarked that among the beautiful people of California she might be just OK, but here ... here she was top shelf, prime woman material. There were still patches of snow on the ground here.
Tomorrow, Keystone South Dakota