"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
Happy New Year to all of our friends and family who enjoy reading about our adventures. It was a great year and plans are already in the works for the new year. We will celebrate our 5th year of Adventures in Travel in February, yaay!
We apologize for not publishing much over the last couple of months, life has kept us quite busy over the fall months and Christmas season. A highlight of the Christmas season was the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train coming through Columbus. Al got a great video over 1000 people have already viewed. See it here!
Another highlight of the season was a house with a 40 minute synchronized music and light show. See it here!
We will be spending the winter catching up on trips that took place after Labor Day. Also updating older posts that need it. Our “Westward Ho! South Dakota and Wyoming” trip was amazing! Go back to begin reading about our trip here. Made some new friends along the way, as well as with enjoying time with long-time friends.
We hope you had a great year too, see you on the road! Happy New Year from Al and Laurie!
After our visit to Devils Tower, we arrived in Sundance at 4:45 PM. There was quite a bit of snow here, the elevation is 4,750 and population is 1,182 and located in Crook County. Another snowstorm hit overnight, blowing out of Montana, where they had a winter storm warning. It was Winter Storm Ursa.
We were tired after being on the road for 12 hours and checked into our home for the night, Bear Lodge Motel. We had a pleasant night here, notice no vacancy. It’s a popular place!
After checking in we had dinner at the Long Horn Saloon + Grill, great food in a relaxing atmosphere. They show the front of the steer in the front of the building…
and the back end behind the restaurant. Cute! He was repainted black and white in July.
They have museums all over Wyoming, including Sundance. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to see it inside.
Sundance is famous for being the namesake of the Sundance Kid. Just outside on the left is a bronze statue of the Sundance Kid on a bench that you can get a selfie with. He was covered with snow on April 28 😦
Learn more about the Sundance Kid here.
The historic Sundance State Bank that he robbed is still here too and still in business. They are now operating out of newer, larger building a couple blocks away.
As we continued to head west, the more snowy it became at the tops of the highest hills. We had to take a selfie at the state border, we reached it by 1:50 PM. After a stop in Aladdin at 2:06 PM, Devils Tower became visible by 3:30 PM, partially obscured by the incoming mist and rain.
There was also a marker at this pull-off giving an overview of Devils Tower.
This view was seen shortly before entering the park. Also in the view are cattle grazing, a tranquil scene.
We’re here! It is really amazing to see it in person. We arrived at 4:04 PM. Get a souvenir at the Devils Tower Trading Post.
The staff at the booth went off shift at 4:00, so we just took care of business at the self-service kiosk and drove into the park.
The road curves to the left and we saw Prairie Dog Town. They made cute little squeaks when they saw us.
Closeup of the cute little guy, they are quite skittish.
Another great view of the tower from within the park.
We could hear thunder in the distance, it was time to go. One more picture before leaving, we tried flagging down that space ship but they didn’t see us 🙂 We love that movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
It just so happens this is the geographical center of the United States and there is a really great marker here. It is located at the Tri-State Museum and Visitor’s Center. The states represented are South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. There wasn’t enough time to stop in but there was plenty to see outside.
This is a lug tractor, named for the studs on the back tires.
There is also a great historical marker describing this unique spot.
There is also a bust of George Freeman Mortimer, a man who contributed a lot to the health and vitality of the citizens of South Dakota.
Belle Forche is also important geographically in another way, it was an important part of The Great Cattle Trail . That would not have been possible without the railroad.
There is also a historic log cabin at the museum too.
Aladdin, Wyoming has only 15 residents currently, up to 500 when coal mining was done here. It has a charming General Store. This tiny town is also for sale for $1,500,000. We stopped by the store, it attracts people from all over.
We also paid a visit to the nearby Coal Tipple. a structure built to assist in the mining. It was built in the late 1800’s. After parking in the lot, we walked up the path leading to the top.
Plaque near entrance.
The tipple is on your left. We could hear some people talking at the top and we went up to investigate.
Almost to the top. This is where the fan housing was,this is on our left.
It turns out we happened upon a meeting by the Crook County Historical Society. We met local historian and author Pam Thompson, also Treasurer Rodney R. Knudson and a couple of engineers.
The were discussing whether the tipple should be restored or torn down. It was becoming unstable and if anyone tried to climb it, it could cause injury. The fence around it is easily scalable by someone who wanted to get in. They were happy to talk to us fellow history fans from two states away and I recorded a message they had to our readers.
One town we HAD to stop in was Mitchell, South Dakota. See their visitor guide here. Stop by the Visitor’s Center across from the Corn Palace. It’s the same building the gift shop is in.
Out front is a sculpture and a plaque. Photos by Al.
Corn is the theme of this community. It is even on the bottom of the lampposts downtown.
The World’s OnlyCorn Palace is a must-see for any visitor to this state. Of course we did! It has been a centerpiece of Mitchell since 1892, still looking brand new with recent renovations.
We arrived at 12:40 after leaving Madison at 5:30 AM. You could see it on your right as you approached downtown, the turrets reaching toward the sky.
The Corn Palace is an entertainment venue, inside is a large auditorium for shows. They were setting it up for a circus performance that was going to take place that evening.
When you come inside the lobby, friendly volunteers welcome you and have some information available about the Corn Palace and other South Dakota attractions. The columns inside even look like corn cobs.
On the main floor and the 2nd floor and displays and pictures of the Corn palace years ago. A plaque dedication the “new” Corn Palace upstairs.
The LED lights add an elegant accent above the entrance.
The pictures outside are new every year and are made of corn and other agriculture of South Dakota. These pictures are on the front of the building.
These are on the right side of the building. Here is this year’s pictures, beginning with Elvis, the largest picture. Then the 5 smaller ones just right of Elvis (click on image to enlarge).
Across the street is the corn palace gift shop and mall and a chance to get a great selfie like we did.
Stop at the Corn Palace, you will have a great time!