Student Teaching in Pierre

6am—Lisa and I made our way from Quakertown after a full breakfast with our families at John’s Plain and Fancy Diner, and made it through the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana on our first 12-hour day of travel.  We stayed with Lisa’s aunt and uncle for two nights to rest up for the second ‘road trip.’  On the last day of the year, we started our trip from Kouts, Indiana by Chicago and went through Iowa up to Minneapolis in Minnesota and got on route 90 to Pierre. As we were about 300 miles out from Pierre, a white-out kicked in on the interstate.  I could hardly see and it seemed extremely dangerous to keep driving.  Soon enough, we saw flashing blue and reds on the interstate and police were taking everyone off the road.  We had no idea what was going on, but stopped at a McDonald’s to ask.  The locals in the golden arches told us that a tractor-trailer had flipped and there were several cars involved in the accident just three miles or so up the road.  If we were just a couple minutes more ahead of schedule, we would have been in that accident.  We met a woman with her kids in the McDonald’s who was asking all of the people in the restaurant how we could get to Pierre.  We followed that woman, who followed a local, through some back-roads that eventually got us back on the interstate.  She was so helpful and it felt like she was an angel in disguise.  After 16 hours in the car, we made it to a bed and breakfast in Pierre.  What a way to spend the last day of 2011.  I’m so grateful that I could have Lisa join me in the journey to South Dakota—not only for her company, but to switch off drivers.  I don’t know if I could have done it without her.  We made it to Pierre just in time to watch the ball drop in Times Square.  On January 1st, we drove just a couple miles down the main drag and pulled in to the Pierre Indian Learning Center.  My home for the next four months….

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