Day 2: Little House on the Prairie and crazy 17 miles!
We woke up in our comfy hotel beds and had no clue the day would end with us taking our trailer down one of the craziest 17 miles in all 50 states.
First, look how cute our trailer is on the prairie of South Dakota. I know the pic is a bit blurry but you get the idea! We were so excited to be out west and experience the different terrain!
We are traveling with friends which makes the experience so much more fun! The kids enjoy having people their age to enjoy the new adventures. I was torn about going to Little House on the Prairie. I wanted to get to the campgrounds before nightfall and set up camp and have time to cook and hang out. But, I also wanted to to experience Little House on the Prairie and what De Smet had to offer! When would we be here again, so to De Smet we went and the Little House on the Prairie experience did not disappoint!
I read the Little House on the Prairie books to the kids and Annie took 2 years of a Little House on the Prairie class! The kids were excited (except maybe the teenage boy but he did find activities he enjoyed).
There were replicas of Laura's home including sod houses, a barn, people dressed in the era, a covered wagon ride, ponies to ride, a class to take at the one room school house, straw to twist, rope to make (a huge hit with all the kids and the activity the boy loved), simple toys to make, and even kitties to snuggle!
Ben and I on the covered wagon ride! What a fun experience and they let the kids drive.
Kitty snuggles make the world a better place!
Making rope! The kids LOVED this experience and took turns until they all had a piece of rope to take home.
We wrapped up our time at Little House on the Prairie and headed to Spokane to spend 3 nights at a campground there! The kids were hungry so we decided to stop to eat. We are used to finding a plethora of restaurants when we travel, this is not the case out west! We definitely had to plan accordingly! If there was a town and we were hungry waiting until the next town was not a good idea. Also, traveling with a trailer complicated food stops. We needed to find parking and drive through fast food restaurants were not an option. We found a restaurant with a drive through but the dining room was closed due to "Covid". In fact, 2 different fast food restaurants had their dining rooms closed. We ended up a fabulous local BBQ joint! The stop took a little longer than we would have liked but they had amazing rib tips!
Wall Drugs was another place we wanted to visit. We slid in there 15 minutes before they closed. They close at 6pm which seems early to us so we got there at 5:45. They had locked many doors but I did find one unlocked and we went in for just a few minutes! It was just enough time grasp the huge size of the store to purchase a sticker for the trailer.
We headed on to the campgrounds. The email confirmation said that you could not use your GPS to get to the campgrounds but we used it anyway. I read the email directions and between the GPS and written directions, we went the wrong way. The email said we would get to the campgrounds before we came to the tunnels but we didn't. We ended up on highway 16A also known as Iron Mountain Road.
Iron Mountain Road in the dark with a trailer is not for the faint of heart. It is a mountainous road to say the least. The tunnels we weren't supposed to go through were just over 10 feet! Our trailer is over 9 feet! They were also one lane tunnels so they were narrow enough we could reach our hands out and touch the sides! I called all of my friends that were traveling with us. I messaged them and got no answer. Cell phone reception is very limited in the mountains. It is a good thing it was dark because looking over the edge of the mountain would have been extremely frightening. We eventually found the campground! Our friend bought us a sticker that says the following because it is what we lived through at 11pm (1 am our time) with a trailer in the dark!
After we got to camp, we set up the tent.. Our friends had made dinner so we sampled it and told everyone our adventure on Highway 16A! We slept well that night!