In February my mother-in-law flew out to see her daughter’s family an hour south of Seattle for a birthday and a couple concerts. (Hey! This is a musical family. We’re very supportive of one another’s performances.)
Traffic was light across Minnesota and North Dakota, but not non-existent. I found myself wondering where the other people on the road were going and why at a time like this? It was weird to pass shopping malls and restaurants with no cars in the parking lots. Gas stations were open, but most highway rest stops were closed. When we stopped, I went ahead of Mom (at the vulnerable age of 94), wiping down surfaces with the Clorox wipes I had found under the sink at home. I discovered that although truck stops regularly clean the tops of the hand rails in the handicapped toilets, they mostly miss the bottoms. Yuck. Maybe I should carry Clorox wipes all the time.
Of course, restaurants were closed, and Medora, North Dakota, where we stopped the first night, has no fast food—something I would normally appreciate. Fortunately, I had made a quick trip to the grocery at home for a can of chili and corn chips, instant mac and cheese and a selection of Hormel Completes for the microwave. I also brought a Tupperware of raw vegies and the last of the Christmas cookies out of the freezer. One night we found KFC, which the hotel allowed us to eat in their empty dining room.
We stayed two nights in Medora. The day between my husband and I took advantage of the trip to wander Theodore Roosevelt National Park, grasslands and badlands of awesome beauty. The handful of other cars we saw had North Dakota license plates. We got closer to the bison than to other people—a wonderful place to practice social distancing.