We've been on the road for 2 weeks. Or more accurately, we've been in the air. That means we have flown well over 1500 miles, slept in 7 different places, eaten several ounces apiece of jerky (beef, elk, and next up buffalo), drunk many local microbrews, swum in 4 pools or lakes, ridden a dozen miles of bike trails, washed 4 small loads of laundry, debugged one malfunctioning internet connection and one toilet, given up on countless failed T-Mobile connections, and celebrated the clear flying conditions and perfect performance of our small Cirrus airplane.
Personally, we have not performed so perfectly. I would say that my husband and I are a bit road weary right now. We have learned we're pushing too hard. The best news is that there is so much we've already seen of American towns that we end the day saying, much as we did every day of living 3 years in China: You'll never believe what I learned today! and This is a really big, diverse country! The worst news is that we've barely had time to write up notes, look at our many hundreds of photos, or record first impressions, let along try to form any "big picture". We need to learn to pace ourselves better.
Today, we are on an unplanned layover in Rapid, which until a few days ago we called Rapid City, probably like you still do. Just now, in our independently-owned eco hotel, a Chinese student from Shandong province, in the rough and raw northeast of mainland China, came to our room delivering a small bag of colorful candies as a welcome to Mount Rushmore country. She was as surprised at my Chinese babble as I was at seeing her face here in southwest South Dakota. (She's here on a 3-month work-travel program supported by local industry.)