Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I only had to walk out to the snow-packed ramp, outside of Missouri Valley, Iowa and put out my thumb. My first ride appeared immediately.

A man who liked to talk, picked me up in his black SUV. As we chatted, he drove me all the way to a Flying J outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

I was amazed to find that, after all of the snow that had fallen in Iowa, there is no snow in South Dakota.

I got another ride out to a rest area outside of Sioux Falls. I was now on I-90.

The driver had to turn and so I was left there.

But I made a phone call and soon a cop appeared.

And he began "The Great South Dakota County-Mountie Ruthie Relay."

He drove me to the next County. Another officer picked me up. That cop drove me to the edge of the next County. And the process started all over again. I was in and out of a number of rigs that night.

Each cop has a unique personality. That fact made for an interesting ride.

And when the last cop delivered me to another rest area, I was over 250 miles away from where I had started.


I spent the rest of the night on a bench inside the main building. And in the morning, I met the nice man who cleans the main building. He gave me the number to the local County-Mountie who came to pick me up...and gave me a hot cup of coffee in a large, paper cup.

I sipped it in his rig as he drove. He pointed out interesting points on the landscape along the way. He also told me stories about the history of that area.

When he dropped me off at in a town that's ten miles into the next County, I was far away from the rest area. I waved at him, smiled and headed up the ramp into the cold wind.

As I walked to the road, I remembered the cop who said, "God bless you" to me in Creston, Iowa.

It was Sunday and I gazed at the vast expanse of cleared fields around me. I knew that I was blessed.

A man in a fancy car with dealer tags drove past me and then stopped quite a ways up. Then he drove the car, backwards, all the way back to me.

I marveled at his driving and laughed.

He told me that his coworkers believe that if he ever gets a speeding ticket, it will be for driving a car too reverse.

He works at a car dealership in the area and was on his way to Rapid City, South Dakota. He drove me to that city and dropped me off by a truck stop.

It was cold and I was getting tired so I called the local cops. They came and drove me to a shelter. While I was there, one of the homies stole my 80 gram Thinsulate gloves.

I have only liner gloves to use now.

Nobody got my 200 gram Thinsulate boots, however...they remained tied to my warm feet.

I ate lunch there and decided to return to the road. There was no point in staying on a mat on the floor of a men's shelter because there was no room on the women's side for me. Besides, I don't respect thieves.

So I walked a long way back to the Interstate. It was cold. And I felt it nipping at my fingers.

When I reached the ramp, a man in a big, dark rig stopped and picked me up. He took me to a motel and bought me this room. He also gave me a few bucks for breakfast.

I will enjoy that. And then I'll get back on the road.

Today, if I am lucky, I will finally leave South Dakota. :)

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