Rapid City Outrageousness!
We got on the road later than expected, so we opted out of driving through the Badlands. Both of the kids fell asleep in the car, so we opted not to stop for dinner in Wall. Our guardian angel was certainly watching over us - the skies were grey all day long, but when we pulled into Rapid City it started to rain. We checked in to our hotel and headed downtown to eat dinner at the Firehouse Brewery.
As we were driving, the rain really started to pour. There was ridiculous lightning. The streets were starting to flood a little bit. When we got downtown, the emergency sirens started going off. We parked and turned on the radio just in time to hear that there was gigantic hail in the area. We decided to high-tail it back to the hotel. It was a crazy drive back, through torrential rains, flooding streets and with the sirens blaring. When we got to the hotel, we each grabbed a kid and ran inside to our room to watch the news.
We were extremely lucky that we timed things the way we did, and that we stayed where we did. There was a tornado warning (nothing touched down, but there were multiple funnel clouds spotted over town) and the interstate was closed north of Rapid City and, later, east of Rapid City where we'd just been driving due to tennis ball-sized hail that was breaking sunroofs and windshields. There was also flash flooding all over the area.
It seems that the storm has passed and we are hopeful that the interstate has reopened and we'll be able to head on to Wyoming. We're going to try to go see the giant rock faces this morning to keep Sydney happy. I keep thinking of our last trip through here, when we camped down in Custer State Park (scene of much havoc last night) in ridiculously hot weather. What a different experience this year! My thoughts are with the South Dakotans who will have much cleaning up to do today.
Now we head off to Cody, Wyoming, and tomorrow will take us through Yellowstone. I'm looking forward to our sightseeing, but boy am I ready to be home!