“Tornado watch…and getting stopped by the police….”
Emma & Nathan’s Travels
Friday consisted of another 600 mile day with the aim of working our way down to Houston, Texas. We started off the day heading to Falls Park, in Sioux Falls on the eastern border of South Dakota. It was a very pretty park full of waterfalls and rocks! It seemed a good place to go for a walk or take the kids for a picnic! We began walking up the left of the river and continued until we saw a bridge to cross over the the right side. It didn’t actually take us back down the river to begin with so we walked a bit into the historic town. The sun was shining and it was lovely! Definitely a place to stop if you’re paddling through! Next up was lunch and we fancied somewhere different. Chili’s bar and grill in Sioux City was the winner! Added to that was the fact it was across the border in Iowa! As we entered the border Nathan decided to crack one of his not so witty jokes…”I OWyA mum…” to which I replied “what for giving birth to me…” yes I would agree 😂. The service at Chili’s was fantastic and the food was delicious! The bonus was it was happy hour 3-7pm where a glass of wine or beer was only $4! We took advantage of their wifi and caught up with family and friends and it was the first time where we hadn’t felt rushed! We must have been there about an hour and a half!
Sioux City looked like it was having new roads built as the satnav was having a fit directing us around! We drove along a river where people were jet skiing and the houses were huge with big terraces and balconies! On our way out of the city we saw a pig on the side of the road dancing so we honked and waved! He reciprocated! Not sure what he was advertising but he must have been very warm in that suit!
Then began the last stretch of the journey down to Lawrence, Kansas. We hopped over the border into Missouri then out again as we entered the city. Singing along to the radio to Pop2K and hits from O’Town, Britney Spears, Vanessa Carlton, I mean there were some songs we truly sang our heart out to!
Our evening was spent planning our trip for Saturday whilst watching Vin Diesel in The Pacifier, a very odd role for him but it was easy-watching all the same! Midnight came around and we were feeling a bit peckish so we ordered Dominos right to our motel room door! The best part was that it didn’t even feel dirty 😂 and we could save some for breakfast! Bud light, wine and pizza! Despite not doing much today it was a good day!
Saturday morning started late and we headed down to Fort Scott, a short two hour drive. As we arrived the town seemed eerily quiet with barely a soul outside.WWe took a moment to look at the memorials in the square outside the fort then we headed to the visitors centre…The ranger behind the desk informed us that the town was on Tornado watch as well as severe weather warning for sky to ground lightning, hail and rain. She then proceeded to tell us if we hear the tornado siren to follow the rangers orders to get us somewhere safe. Whilst we know that tornados would be dangerous we were also a bit excited at the prospect of seeing one. We exited the visitors centre and headed out to the buildings. This shows the Dragoon barracks on the right, the post headquarters next to it then officers quarters no 1 and officers quarters no 2.The Fort had people dressed as they did back in the 1840s carrying on life as normal with visitors wandering in an out of their homes. It was very realistic! Fort Scott was built in 1842 and it was part of a line of forts from Minnesota to Louisiana to help enforce a promise of ‘perms and Indian frontier.’ The soldiers were there to keep the peace between white settlers, natives and relocated tribes from the East.Cannons located in the post headquarters. Troops from Fort Scott went to fight in the Mexican-American war in 1846. As America began to expand westward, the promise of permanent Indian territory faded and in 1853 the army abandoned Fort Scott. It was sold at auction in 1855 to the town of Fort Scott. Back of officers quarters one and two Quartermaster storehouse. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 the army returned to Fort Scott and used it as a base to protect Kansas from confederate invasion. They reoccupied the fort buildings including stables and the hospital and began building new buildings across 40 miles! It successfully rebuffed two captures by the confederate army!
We had just reached the storehouse when a man dressed up came over to us and informed that they were closing everything down because a small tornado had formed just south of where we were so everyone needed to move on if they were going somewhere else or seek shelter inside. We chose to move on and headed south down towards Tulsa, Oklahoma. When we arrived at Fort Scott the temperature was 87 degrees, as we began to drive it dropped to 66! The sky was black and angry and the heavens opened. We were on the lookout for this so called tornado! Sadly all we saw was lightning that streaked down to the ground. To the left of us the sky was moody, yet to the right of us it was blue sky with some thick white clouds! Talk about bizarre! As we crossed the border into Oklahoma the weather cheered up and we were greeted with 96 degrees, a hot wind and sunshine. We also had historic Route 66 markers on our way down to Oklahoma City! There was the blue whale of Catoosa which was built in 1970 as an anniversary gift for Hugh Davis’ wife. You used to be able to swim in the pond around it until it closed in 1988. It has since been restored. We also left our mark on the table!
Dinner for the evening was to be at Pops! We headed along there and my hayfever was playing us so I closed my eyes for five minutes only to wake in a gas station with flashing lights behind. We had been pulled over. The officer comes to the window and asks for ‘license and registration’ so we hand over driving license and passport. He informs us the reason we got pulled is because we were doing 65 in a 35moh zone! I was fuming! He then disappears. It doesn’t seem like some of these towns get many visitors from the UK as they seem baffled over our passports. About five or so minutes pass with Nathan informing me that the road suddenly changed and that’s where the police was. Officer Harris comes back to the window and politely tells us to watch the speed more carefully from now on and to have a nice rest of the day. Phew!!!!! Thank god we only got a telling off. Needless to say it’s not even 1mph over the limit allowed now!Another Route 66 roadside attraction! They serve burgers and sandwiches and we opted for a burger wrap which would have been nicer had I not had to pick the tomato out of mine despite requesting it without 😂. Even so it was yummy! The shop boasts 700 soda flavours including Ines which are disgusting such as green apple and jalapeño or peanut butter and jellyas well as sodas from around the world! So many different varieties. We headed to our motel for the night as the sky continued to fill with lightning and thunder.