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Johnson: Road trip to South Dakota

I drove to Belle Fourche, S.D., last week for a meeting with The Fence Post team and people from our sister paper, Tri-State Livestock News, which has an office there.

I hate to brag, but I did bring some much-needed rain for the area with me. In fact, it rained both nights that I was there.

It was a long drive but the scenery was magnificent, and I managed to stop a few times along the highway to take some photos.

I had never been to Belle Fourche, so it was somewhat of an adventure.

And I was born in Sioux Falls, S.D., so it was a little bit like going home for me.

When I got to Belle Fourche, the first thing I did was to fill up my gas tank. Wow, total gasoline price sticker shock. The day before I filled up the tank in Greeley for $1.99 a gallon. In Belle Fourche gas was $2.32 per gallon.

After two fun-filled days of meeting and eating it was time to go back to Greeley. I admit there were some late nights and I got up at 6 a.m. that morning so I was pretty tired.

But, I have kind of a lead foot so I try to stay alert and watch out for the law.

But the drive was so long that I had to stop a few times to get out and do some jumping jacks to keep myself from nodding off. I couldn't drink coffee to stay awake because I had already consumed my two-cup limit. After that it just makes me twitchy.

It was especially hard to stay awake when I was in radio-free zones, of which there are quite a few.

I think singing along with the radio keeps me awake.

After about 6 hours of driving I finally pulled into my garage.

My first thought was to put on my PJs and crawl into bed. But, of course, I was too wired after the long drive and didn't sleep a wink.