Nebraska to South Dakota

Hot Springs South Dakota Chalkboard Table

Delightful Chalkboard Table

This is not my favorite way to travel. I feel like I’m rushing. But the truth is I’m anxious to be home and the weather is terrible and that has cut short a few days of driving now. Plus, I was planning on camping the whole way home, but frankly, that’s not happening in a foot and a half of snow, and these hotels are tearing up my budget.

I met a lovely old man at the hotel somewhere in Nebraska last night. I commented on his Alaska license plate, and we mused about how much warmer it is in Alaska than in freaking Nebraska. We actually ran into each other like three times between my trip to the pool, multiple trips to the car, and then my trips to the hot coffee in the lobby.

He asked me about my route, and I told him I was headed to Mt Rushmore the next day. He suggested stopping in a town called Hot Springs along the way. He said there was a pool there heated by the natural hot springs in the area. I thought that sounded nice. I love swimming, so I looked it up and headed for Hot Springs in the morning. It was a relatively short drive from the hotel.

Frankly, it wasn’t exactly what I had expected. I wanted something very spa-like and tranquil, and it’s totally my fault for not doing my research, but this was definitely more of a waterslides  / kid friendly kind of place. Plus, the water was cold. I mean, I’m a gets-cold-easily kind of person, so it wasn’t like cold, cold. But it certainly wasn’t hot. Since there was barely anyone else there on this fine Monday morning, the lifeguard noticed that I was kinda of huddled in the corner shivering, so he suggested I get in the kiddy pool. He said it was warmer.

So that’s a little embarrassing, but it was in fact warmer than the main pool so I hung out there for a while, but I still wished it was hotter and it’s not like I can swim laps in a foot and a half of water. Eventually, he just told me I should go in the hot tub. As I entered the hot tub, I saw a sign that said it cost more to hot tub and only people with certain colored wrist bands were allowed to enter, and I went in anyway.

The hot tub was hot. And glorious. And I finally was able to relax and enjoy myself and stayed in there as long as I felt was possible without getting severely  dehydrated / behind schedule.

After the pool, I pulled over at a random coffee house and got one of the most delicious soy lattes I’ve had in a really long time. The place was called Mornin’ Sunshine, and apparently it’s a brand new business in town. If you ever find yourself in Hot Springs, South Dakota in need of a caffeine fix, I recommend this place. They also have a chalk board table that I made good use of.

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