Thirty-five years ago, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, my husband and I got married. The officiating minister was my father-in-law. A lot has happened since then, of course, including seven children! This trip that we are on at the moment was the idea and the gift of our children, as a celebration of our anniversary.
We left yesterday morning, perhaps a bit later than we wanted to, after seeing the kids off to church. It was a long day in the car, driving first to Dallas and then heading north through Oklahoma and Kansas. We stopped for the night in York, Nebraska, where a room had been reserved for us. By then we had driven past a mind-boggling number of corn fields and grain silos.
This morning, it was back on the road past innumerable cornfields, with occasional soybeans thrown in for variety. Then, at last, the landscape began to change from crops to pastureland set on large rolling hills. Until today, we had never heard of the Sand Hills of Nebraska. They are so beautiful and lonesome-looking, and as I found out when I looked them up, for the most part they are a pristine ecosystem as the land is not suitable for growing crops.
Shortly after lunch we crossed into South Dakota. The landscape changed again as we drove along, now including gullies with water at the bottom and both bare and grassy buttes. There were miles and miles with no sign of human habitation other than the power lines which ran beside the road. Towns were tiny and the population size ran from 91 to a couple thousand. It was an enchanting drive, but I sure would hate to break down in such an isolated place!
We reached the ranch shortly after 3:00 this afternoon and Mercy was keeping a lookout for us. It sure was good to see her again! The view here is spectacular and we are looking forward to doing some sightseeing with Mercy tomorrow. Tonight, we had dinner with the ranch owners and their family and their other two summer workers. It is so fun to be exploring new territory! Walter and I have never been to Nebraska or South Dakota before.