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Day 11 - Pierre, South Dakota

We thumbed a ride and got a ride real quick in the back of a truck hauling some pigs. Ziggy and I climbed in and man did it stink. It stunk so bad, when we stopped at a rest stop, I got out and begged the driver to let me ride with him. He said OK. I wasn't worried about Ziggy though. She stunk real bad anyway. She hadn't had a shower in days. And to tell you how bad she stunk, when we stopped at a truck stop to get something to eat, the pigs were knocking on his door begging the driver to let them ride in the cab too.

There was an old broken down truck in front of Old Belles Truck Stop. Along the way, I found out this guy's name was Jammy McPherson and had been a truck driver going on 60 years.

Ziggy climbed out of the truck, looked around, and put her South Dakota hat on.

We grabbed some lunch and headed back to the truck. It was baked beans and a glass of water. Don't EVEN ask for the recipe! I asked Jammy if it was OK with him if smelly Ziggy could ride up front with me.

He said, "Sure. I'm used to the smell. It don't bother me."

I told Ziggy we would check into a Best Western Hotel and she could take a bubble bath. She was happy about that. Loves bubbles ya know.

So, down the road we went. Jammy told us of his trips criss-crosing the United States all those 60 long years and how he was getting ready to retire. I asked him how it made him feel about being a part of America and on the road so much.

He said, "You have no idea how beautiful America is unless you see every corner of it. I've been blessed. I've been from Canada to Mexico and from the Pacific to the Atlantic. In my 60 years, I couldn't be prouder to belong to a country that allows me the freedom to drive from one end to the other without fear or worry."

Jammy pulled up to the base of Mount Rushmore. We didn't have much time so visit because we had to be in Pierre, South Dakota by nightfall to get a special South Dakota favorite dish made up by an old farm lady, Jenny McTaggert.

We said our good-byes and thank you's to Jammy, but he said he would wait for us. He would be going straight through to Pierre.

"That's great! We won't be long!" We both said. Well, I said, Ziggy meowed.

Looking up at this national teasure, I told Ziggy, "South Dakota was the 40th state in the USA and it became a state on November 2, 1889."

She told me to stay where I was and count to 100 and take a picture. I did. Here it is. Look between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. What a pistol!

We hopped back in the truck and got a ride right to Jenny McTaggerts' farm. It was a good thing too. Supper was almost ready. We invited Jammy to come in with us, but he had to get his pigs to market. As they pulled away, it sounded like the pigs were having a celebration or something. I looked at Ziggy and she meowed, "They won't be celebrating too much when they get to market."

Jenny was very happy to see us but was taken aback to the odor coming from Ziggy. So she said, "You ain't sittin down to my Sheperds Pie until I give you a bath cat!"

So she gave a Ziggy a bath she'll never forget. Scrubbed her with good old ivory soap. I've never seen Ziggy shine so much. Then we ate and man, was it ever good!

I asked Jenny about where Sheperds Pie originated from and she said, "In a land where sheep were a main food supply, it is not surprising that mutton and lamb form the basis of many Scottish dishes. I am of Scottish heritage and my Mom and her mom made this dish every Wednesday night. But over the years, instead of lamb, or mutton, we used beef instead. Here's the recipe!

Jenny Potters' Shepherd’s Pie
Serves 2

1 lb. lean hamburger
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
3 cups mashed white potatoes
grated cheddar cheese or American cheese slices

Brown hamburger. Add onion soup. Pour into casserole dish. Add mashed potatoes. Top with cheese. Pop in 350 degree oven until cheese melts.

Sheperd me O Jenny!

_______________________________

As she gave me the recipe, I snapped a pic of her for our photo album.

We're off to Bismarck, North Dakota and I promised Ziggy we would stay at a Best Western Hotel for some much needed sleep. So we said our goodbyes to Jenny and headed north in a Greyhound Bus. We got into Bismark at 4am and checked into a Best Western. I fell into bed as did Ziggy. We were just so tuckered out.

I woke up in the morning to Ziggy singing in the tub. She was taking her bubble bath. I thought after the scrubbing Jenny gave her, she wouldn't need it and I asked her. "Ziggy, what's with two baths in one day?"

She meowed, "I'm meeting three pen pals today! What's it to you?"

Oh oh. Who could she know in Bismarck, North Dakota? We'll see tomorrow. Won't we?

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