Great Yellowstone Adventure 2009, Days One and Two.

Sioux Falls, SD – Parents everywhere were shocked yesterday when they heard the story of the two kids, 9 and 3, who endured a 10-hour drive with virtually no complaint.

“We had one backseat skirmish,” reported Michelle, 33, “but General Greg put the hammer down and we heard no more.”

The altercation began when Ethan, 3, stole Laurel’s camera. Laurel, 9, protested loudly and Ethan threw the camera.

“I just can’t believe it,” gasped a skeptical citizen when this reporter relayed the story of the uneventful road trip. “Those parents must’ve drugged them kids or somethin’. There ain’t no way in hell those kids were content to ride for 10 hours in that truck with only three stops.”

It seems they were. Ethan, 3, burned off some pent-up energy that evening at the campsite by rigging himself up a stationary bicycle. Video will follow when technology allows.

When asked about some of the interesting things they saw during their drive, they reported on the loess hills in Iowa and the Pump-n-Munch gas station outside of Sioux City.

The family moved through four states the first day of their trip; Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, and…Minnesota?

“Yeah,” Greg, 30, relayed. “It started raining just after we set up camp, so we decided to take a little drive over to Minnesota.”

“What about you, Michelle,” I asked, “What did you think when it rained on you right after you set up?”

“Shit,” was her matter-of-fact response.

This reporter stated, “Uh…I don’t think I can print that.”

“Well, that’s what I thought, and you asked me what I thought.”

It seems the family has made a habit of camping in rain, but the good news is that the storm blew past in less than an hour and the family was able to restore their good humor. It helped that camp was unscathed.

The family reports that South Dakota looks just like Missouri, only when they rolled into Sioux Falls, it was about 20 degrees cooler than the day before in Missouri.

“It was comfortable. It was really comfortable. It also stays light until well after 9 p.m. already, so it was somewhat disorienting.”


Day Two dawned sunny and clear, with temperatures promising the 80s. Michelle, Laurel, and Ethan went for a run/bike on the camp trail, then everyone enjoyed a bacon and pancake breakfast at the campsite. Then, after showers, the group headed into Sioux Falls proper to visit its namesake.

“The falls were beautiful, but would have been more so if it weren’t for Ethan having a Grade A, Number One, US Choice Fit about the spray from the falls,” Michelle grumbled. “On the bright side, we got a couple of really good family photos – if you ignore the obviously angry 3-year-old.”

Falls Park was host to a Culture Festival, and the family tried to attend, but Ethan was so tired and hungry that they only stayed a few minutes, then moved on to find lunch at Burger Time.

“Ugh,” Michelle lamented, “I had to get snotty at Burger Time. It’s this quaint little place where there are no inside tables, but only picnic tables outdoors. Ethan and I went and found a spot at one, but then some broad got out of her truck and said they wanted that table because they had parked right in front of it and she was trying to get out when I just sat down.”

This reporter asked, “What did you do?”

“I put on my smartass voice and told her, ‘Yeah, well, we were here first but we’ll be glad to move if you must sit next to your rig.”

Turns out, that woman was a strange bird anyway. Her husband had to make repeated trips up to the order window to satisfy her and she ate with her pug on her lap.

Later, in talking to Greg, Michelle remarked, “You know, that kind of woman is the scary kind of weird – you know, the kind of weird you can’t see coming because they look alright on the outside but then they open their mouths and it’s like, BOO! I’M WEIRD!!”

The family finished up their lunch with ice cream cones from the BJ Milky Way. Dipped cones, no less.

The family intends to spend the rest of the day near camp in Sioux Falls, then head out early in the morning. The destination? Mt. Rushmore.

Stay tuned for further reports. Meanwhile, enjoy the photographic essay below. Mouse over for captions, click to enlarge:

IA Sign SD Sign SD Answer to Vegas Casinos SD Rain Blurry MN Sign Brandon SD Lookout Tower

SD After the Rain from Brandon Tower

Sioux Falls Campsite

How Real Roasters Roast Marshmallows

Making Friends in Sioux Falls SD Sioux Falls Queen City Mill Ruins Happy Family in Sioux Falls - Except for Ethan Happy Family Except Ethan Part II Sioux Falls Namesake

View of Sioux Falls from Tower

Bagpipes at Sioux Falls Culture Festival

Burger Time

Milky Way

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