We began our morning at a WalMart in Sioux City, Iowa. As it was Sunday, we looked up nearby Masses on our MassTimes app (that is SO handy!). We decided on a Mass at St. Michael in South Sioux City, Nebraska (Sioux City is in 3 different states – Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota (where it is North Sioux City).) It has been so interesting to attend Mass in so many different places, visiting with the people of each parish and seeing how different each church can be. It also does make me miss our beautiful St. Michael parish, wonderful priest, Fr. Buettner, and our fellow parishioners simply because we have such a wonderful parish in ALL ways! After Mass, we did some shopping, changed clothes, went to the bathroom multiple times, bought the necessary caffeine required for the day (for adults ONLY), and started driving.
As I favor the backroads, we chose a US highway to drive south on that supposedly followed the Missouri River and was a scenic drive. Well, I believe we glimpsed the Missouri right after we got on that highway and then never saw it again while we were on it. We did, however, drive through some nice, small towns and see lots of farms as this was definitely more Big Ag country (lots of Round-up Ready corn being grown in that area). We were heading down to Atchison, Kansas, which is on the Missouri River, so we tried to continue to follow the river. We started down a smaller state highway near the border of Missouri and Kansas. This was not a busy highway at all. After we made it into Kansas, we saw the river fairly close to us, and we were all excited to finally be travelling where we could see the river. However, we didn’t go much further before we suddenly encountered a Road Closed sign. There was absolutely no warning; there were just barricades with a Road Closed sign. Fortunately, there was no one else on the road around us, so Charlie somehow managed to turn the van and camper around and begin heading back the way we came. I started looking on my phone, which fortunately had a signal, and managed to find a different road that it appeared we could take. We turned on there and eventually turned on our GPS to take us a different way (we would have turned it on earlier, but we were afraid it was just going to take us back to the road we had just left). Well, that was a real opportunity for driving down some big time back country roads, some of it was even through the Iowa Tribe Native American reservation. We finally made it back to civilization and Atchison, Kansas, where we were all in desperate need of bathrooms.
After gas and bathroom breaks, we drove up to Benedictine College to see the campus and view the Missouri River from the cliffs where the monastery is located. It was a beautiful site. We all enjoyed some running around time out of the van (Charlie wrestled with a couple of the boys – they all needed to get that out of their systems, Charlie included!), and then got back in to drive to our campsite. We drove over the river into Missouri to Lewis and Clark State Park where we also stayed when we visited Atchison 5 years ago for a friend’s wedding. We let the kids play on the playground while we fixed dinner, but the mosquitos were so bad that we didn’t keep them outside for very long. We even managed to get laundry done, and then it was off to bed for all of us. It had been a long day of driving without much play, but it had been a good day.