Our time in our little house on the Prairie had come to an end. The moving truck was all packed. Carrie and Lydia? They'd flown on ahead to Salt Lake City. For Tyler, my dad and I it was time for our "Man Adventure".
And what an adventure it was. At the start of our journey, before even leaving Sioux Falls we had to take a detour to get a car trailer tire changed.
Finally on the road, it wasn't long until I broke out the DVD player for Tyler. He was excited. We had a lot of little presents all wrapped up for him. The deal was, if he was good, he got to open a new present every so often. His first one was a new DVD for him to watch.
So, with Tyler watching "Tyty's computer" I drove off, Sioux Falls and our little house on the prairie in our review mirror. There was a light rain, it seemed fitting for the bittersweet moment. One adventure was over a new one was about to begin but first, we had to get there and getting there was an adventure in and of itself. As I had told Tyler since the time I first accepted the job, it was our "Man Adventure".
Driving accross the plains you get a few hours out from Sioux Falls and there is nothing around for miles and miles... but more miles and miles. The endless fields have a simple beauty to them. No daunting mountains. No mysterious forests. What you see is what you get and what you see is seemingly endless wind swept prairie.
For most of the drive Tyler was happy... But the other half of the time it was an adventure... like fighting a fire breathing dragon and you're about to die is an adventure. I love the little man and his rather healthy set of lunges.
He just didn't understand and as long as I remembered that I kept my patience. He was leaving his home. He told me as much. "Dada you are being very naughty. We must go home. Dada, home is that way. Go that way." Yes, he was pointing straight behind him.
When we finally made it to the Air Force Base outside of Rapid City we hurry and unload some of our suitcases, put on a sweater and head off to Mt Rushmore (or Mountain Rushmore as Tyler called it). I realize I'm kind of lost, so a quick call to my buddy Austin and we're on track again.
As we're driving up the sun is setting and Tyler is getting tired. But we were on our man adventure. My dad has never seen Mountain Rushmore and so we were going. I'm not sure who was more excited to see those "Famous Faces" my dad, or Tyler.
We did the trail, the entire trail up and down the stairs.. Tyler says, "Dada carry me." So I did. What a work out. I felt bad that some of the exhibits were closed down but we got to take some pictures still (luckily).
My dad's favorite part, learning how they carved the presidents out of the mountain.
Tyler's favorite part, either being carried everywhere or the crazy elevator dance.. or the puppies.
Everyone passed out pretty quickly when we finally crawled into our beds. I would have slept like a rock but a three year old foot kept kicking me in the back.
Day 2 Tyler got to see "Mighty Machines" play in a sand box in the middle of... well nowhere really. He unwrapped more presents., got to hunt for the yellow moving truck (at first he was really worried when he couldn't see it) and watched his DVDs some more.
After driving for hours and hours he tells me, "Something's making my eyes close." I tell him just go ahead and rest your eyes. Next time I check in the mirror, he's out, a crayon grasped loosely in each hand.
Day Three is all about the trains (there certainly wasn't anything else to look like). We spotted probably a dozen trains making their way across Wyoming. There's some really pretty parts of Wyoming... but what we drove through wasn't it.
We also spotted some smart cars. Tyler LOVES smart cars. At Tyler's insistence we stopped a couple of times so he could stretch his legs (and wouldn't drive me crazy).
When we caught up with my dad again we stopped at a McDonalds. Tyler played with his toy.
As we finally arrived in Salt Lake City I was exhausted but had so much fun with Tyty and my dad.
There's a lot about a move that can be frustrating. Don't believe me? Try and back up a long truck just perfect to attach it to a 2 inch hitch for a trailer.
Sometimes the difference between an adventure and a nightmare... is as simple as enjoying the ride.
(Tyler STILL loves to hear bed time stories about his Man Adventure)