Rolling into Nashville, and later in the week St. Louis, we were smack dab in the middle of a heat wave experiencing highs of 105 degrees. Nashville is a crazy town, and apparently, the center of the universe for bachelorette’s. They were riding around on party bikes, in party vans, on party trucks, they were everywhere -which leads to the question, where are all the bachelors? The Country Music Hall of Fame was impressive, although somewhat lacking. I suppose I expected more artifacts highlighting the careers of some of the old-time greats such as Little Jimmy Dickens, Bob Wills, and of course Hank Williams. In addition, a lack of captions on certain displays was disappointing. Case in point, Jerry Reed’s recent induction to the Hall of Fame last year included an award for Best Supporting Actor for 1979 with no mention of the movie -Smokey and the Bandit. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun seeing some of the classic films and guitars of the legends.
The great arch in St. Louis is magnificent. Having only seen it from the outside, it was a real treat to be able to go up inside to the top. First, you cram yourself through a four-foot door into a cylindrical pod on rollers. This pod follows a track up to the keystone at the top of the arch. This endeavor should not be undertaken by those afflicted with claustrophobia, or a fear of heights as you can feel the subtle movement of the structure when up at the top. After visiting the top, and walking around in the extreme heat, we decided to go cool off at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Fun place, especially after a flight of beers in the Biergarten (the indoor, air-conditioned area of course).
The drive to Sioux Falls was long, and upon the final approach, we were faced with a very strong headwind that dropped gas mileage down to 7-mpg. The constant rain was no fun either -not to mention having to once again set-up in it. There was a low-pressure cell sitting right on top of Sioux Falls sucking all the moisture in a line of storms from the Gulf of Mexico. It cleared up a little for Thursday and Friday and we were able to explore the town a little.
Rapid City is situated in the great plains on the crossroad of I-90 and I-29, making it an ideal stop for the next destination. According to the most recent census, Sioux Falls has a population of almost 175,000 and is one of the fastest growing cities in America. The downtown area hosts many shops and restaurants. Perhaps the main attraction are the falls, and for this trip, they were raging due to all the rain. The people here tend to be kind and soft-spoken, but you can tell there is a certain strength and pride in the manner that they conduct themselves. Tomorrow we head further west towards the badlands and camping without hookups.