What an amazing journey to the Dakotas! A few weeks ago Michelle, Gabi and I loaded up in Truck Norris and headed north. We have been to the Dakotas before but never for an extended period of time. We were hired to do two weekend retreats so we decided to maximize our time up there and fill in the dates in between with Family Worship Nights and leading worship at churches. We had been looking forward to this trip for quite a while but had no idea how incredible it would be. I wanted to just give you a quick recap of our adventure. 


We started out EARLY on a Wednesday morning and headed to Amarillo. Yep, just like the song says..."Amarillo by morning. Up from San Antone." That was our first stop on the way to the Dakotas. We were able to meet our friends, Billy and Cindy Foote, for dinner then go see the famous Cadillac Ranch! We took our spray paint and left our mark on several of the cars! What a blast!

We were then supposed to head straight north to Rapid City, SD for the 1st retreat, but since the camp had been without power for over a week, thanks to a massive snow storm, the retreat got moved to the other side of the state! So we then drove through Kansas and Nebraska seeing field after field of corn and soy beans being harvested. 12 hours in the truck seeing nothing but fields can make one a bit stir crazy! We landed in Omaha and stayed the night. 


We got to the retreat and spent three days at Lake Poinsett, SD and had a great time! Beautiful place and wonderful people! Our next event was a Family Worship Night scheduled in Hettinger, ND, yeah all the way back on the other side of the state! Our goal was to be able to see Mt. Rushmore since we hadn't seen it  and it would be our first time in that area of the state. We packed our things at the camp jumped back into Truck Norris and flew back across South Dakota racing the setting sun. We were lucky enough to make a pit stop a the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD so Gabi could experience the beautiful art made out of corn cobs! We traveled down I-90 through the beautiful wilderness of corn fields and soy beans again and got to Rapid City with only moments to spare. We followed the signs and drove along the curvy mountain roads and then, as we rounded the last corner there it was in all its glory! Mr. Rushmore! It was beautiful! We were all screaming we were so excited! We found a place to pull over and were able to take a few pictures with the giant faces! It was incredible, and we just beat the sun set! 


We spent the next week making our way back across the states being blessed beyond our wildest dreams! We did a few Family Worship Nights, a Worship Team workshop with several churches in the Sioux Falls area, met amazing new friends and experienced a very small bit of what life is like in the great frozen tundra of the north. We finished out the week with the 2nd retreat in at beautiful camp called Wesley Acres. 

We had the privilege of  leading worship at Valley City UMC on Sunday morning and doing a Family Worship Night that evening. We had a wonderful time in the City of Bridges and look forward to going back soon!

We headed to Omaha, NE for one last Family Worship Night and then began our trip home. We realized it would be about 13 or so hours in the truck if we drove straight through, but we were ready to be home, so up early and off we went! What a fun time we had listening to audio books, playing games and just reflecting on how amazing our trip was. We were able to make new friends, see new places and have a blast doing what God has called us to do as a family! 

We look forward to heading north again soon! Thank you to all our friends and churches who made this trip so memorable! There are so many more stories we wish we could share but we would be here all day if we did that! Thank you for taking time to find out what life on the road with the JGB is like. We hope to make it to your area soon! If you would like to bring the JGB to your church contact Tisha at tisha@justingravesband.com and we will see you soon! 


AuthorJustin Graves