Domicile Smoky Domicile

[Yep, this blog is behind again…. as autumn scatters leaves around us, the blog is still back in early July.]

During our stay in Rapid City and on our hikes up Bear Butte outside of Sturgis, we could see the smokey effects of wildfires burning well across the US-Canadian border. As we drove eastward from Rapid City to Sioux Falls, the smoky skies worsened across the flat plains where nothing stopped the smoke:


On July 5, huge storms with high winds and at least one tornado ripped through parts of central South Dakota. On our drive along I-90 we saw a couple semi-tractor trailers on their sides, and although I missed pictures of those, evidence of the damage was strewn across the pains. If you’ve traveled this interstate, you’ve seen all of those parked truck trailers advertising the Borglum story, like this one:


Several of those were no longer standing after the storm:


We lost count of the number of billboard signs blown over…



and grain silos that looked as though a giant had pummeled them:



We’d spent the night before listening to the NOAA weather radio beep and had kept a close eye on the weather maps to see how the storm tracked. Seeing its effects left us grateful it had scooted past Rapid City to run through sparsely populated areas.

Al’s Oasis along this strip of highway gets a lot of attention, but after a couple of meals there we’d decided it was time to find a restaurant rather than an attraction. Using our handy Garmin GPS, I saw a restaurant off Exit 150, so we stopped for gas. The nearby restaurant didn’t look promising, so I asked in the gas station.

“Go over the overpass,” the woman said. “There’s a cafe over there that a lot of people like.” I asked about parking for our rig and she said no problem, so away we went.

Jiggers turned out to be our travel-day highlight. Not only was our server a refreshing breath of down-to-earth honesty, she delivered our breakfasts with a dash of frustration about her co-worker, an Internet rumor that turned out to be false when we checked it later. Of course, for us, the food had to be good, and it was:


We eyed a loaded cheeseburger being delivered to a nearby table and decided right then and there that the next time we’re anywhere near Kadoka we’d stop at Jiggers again — for burgers….

…and we did. After a week or so in Sioux Falls (where we took care of mundane stuff like new eyeglasses RV maintenance and repairs, and worked out by running up the steps in the tower at Falls Park), we ordered those burgers at Jiggers:


And they were as good as they look!

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
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