Today, when I wasn’t busy keeping up with how the Super Bowl was going, one of the projects I had on my plate today was seeking to work out the logistics of a road trip that I am planning with my mother this July after the wedding of my cousin. I still have to figure out at least part of the schedule, but it looks like after returning to Portland after the wedding, there will be travel to Rapid City on Sunday, and then a return flight from Rapid City the following Sunday. With Monday devoted to seeing the sights in Rapid City, namely Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, I thought to visit the rest of the states that I have yet to see in one circuit, as they are all in the middle of the country. And, I think, looking at Google Maps, that I have figured out a way to do it that offers some offbeat and typically Nathanish tourism as well as an efficient route throughout seven states, ending up in Rapid City on Sabbath evening for a good night’s rest and a well-deserved flight home.
For Tuesday, I have planned a drive to Chadron, Nebraska, which offers some interesting tourism, most notably the Museum of the Fur Trade at the site of the Bordeaux Trading Post. After that I think it would be possible to end the day, after driving through Western Nebraska as well as Western Kansas, to somewhere around Salina or so to spend the night. The next day I think it would be possible to drive to Oklahoma and see some Cherokee related sights, including Sequoyah’s cabin and possibly the Cherokee National Museum and National Prison in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, before ending up somewhere around Springfield, Missouri or so. Then, on Thursday, I would like to stop by in Keokuk, Iowa, to do some Civil War tourism to see sites related to Samuel Ryan Curtis , and then a stop in Des Moines to see the Civil War memorial there that is near the State Capital grounds, before ending up in Clear Lake. Friday morning would begin with a trip to see the Civil War memorial there and would then include a drive through part of Minnesota, including perhaps a trip to Mankota to see the site of the sanguinary end to the Dakota War in 1862 to end up around Bismarck, North Dakota, where there are Sabbath services, and then afterwards a drive back to Rapid City to finish the circuit.
There are at least a few reasons why this is a somewhat typically Nathanish version of a road trip. For one, my interest in history, while broad, certainly has a focus on certain historical elements, and the fur trade, the history of tribes within the United States, and the Civil War are all major elements in my own interests within American history, and there are some sites in all of those areas that are somewhat obscure to the larger population and which will offer the possibility of larger writing on my part during the course of the trip. Looking at the travel, it does look to be a pretty ambitious set of goals but by no means extremely so, especially with the relatively relaxed last two days of the trip which combined only sum up to around 13 hours or so of driving. The busiest days are in the middle of the trip, and much depends on how long it would take to get through various museums, which is the wild card in this as well as many other such trips. The monuments themselves should not take particularly long, at the very least, assuming the GPS in the car is working correctly and there is enough parking close to the monuments. We will see how these plans progress, of course, over the coming months.
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