Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Most Excellent Dakotas Adventure

21 June 2010

Today marked the beginning of another of Mom and my epic road trips. This year we're heading for the Dakotas. Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands are the first things that come to mind, but the best thing about any road trip are the things you discover along the way.

We made excellent time to the west coast of Michigan, then time seemed to slow as we hit the toll road in Indiana. I-90 is our main route on this trip, and I was reminded of how spoiled we Michiganders are with no toll roads in our state. I think it even grates on our nerves to have to pay a toll to cross bridges like the Mackinaw and the two international bridges, the Blue Water and Ambassador. It was a relief to cross from Illinois into Wisconsin and leave the toll booths behind. I wonder if we'll encounter more tolls on I-90 as we head west.

Our stopping point today was Madison, and thanks to The Beer Mapping project, dinner was excellent at The Great Dane brew pub in Hilldale.  I sampled the Scotch Ale, the Imperial IPA, and settled on the APA. I liked the Scotch, but was in the mood for something drier. The Imperial was very, VERY hoppy -- even more so than Bell's Hopslam or Stone's Arrogant Bastard -- and felt like I was breathing fire. The APA was very pleasant and cut nicely through the rich, creamy Cheddar Mac I enjoyed for dinner.

Our evening ended with tornado warnings for our area. It was a very impressive storm, and luckily, Madison had no confirmed touch downs. With a glance at tomorrow's forecast for Sioux Falls, SD -- tomorrow's destination -- I'm guessing that tornado warnings will be our evening's entertainment again.

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