Saturday, September 22, 2012

Back to the Land of…

We are back in the States. And, as we pull away from the northern border, we are welcomed back into the land of gas below $4. In Canada, gas was always at least $4, but some places it got as high as $ It is nice to be spending less on gas.

Once again, we have entered the land of “free” data. I can finally access the internet without being charged an arm and a leg over my normal rate for data. Hooray! This makes dealing with campsites so much easier. Today, using my roadmap and 3G networks, I was able to determine where we might camp for the night, the costs, and the amenities. Much less stress! No more driving to a place to see the prices and then trying to decide if we might find another more reasonable.

Another nice amenity that is back in this land is rest areas with flushing toilets. Canada and Alaska normally had bare minimum: compost toilets, TP, maybe a lock, no lights.

We are also in the land of dead skunks. I don’t know whether it is the harvest or mating season or just being overrun by skunks, but there have been an impressive amount of skunk roadkill along the Dakota highways.

Staying in a campground at the Newton Hills State Park of South Dakota for $20/night, we actually had access to flush toilets and showers! Although I had a vault toilet at my disposal when we arrived at the camp, I made the extra eighth of a mile walk to the flush toilets/showers, which they called the “Comfort Station.” Just because I could. Made the $20 so much more worth it. Then after dinner, I took a shower, in a building, where I didn’t have to conserve water. After it warmed up (took forever, so much so, I almost gave up on it), I stood under the warm streams until my fingers pruned. It was glorious, and my feet are clean and moisturized again. It has been over a month and a half since I have been able to do something like this. I think I will take another shower in the morning before we leave, just because I can. Probably a good thing I got this opportunity before I stay at anybody’s house. That way, I don’t use up all their hot water. :D

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