Minnesota Rest Stops


April 24 & 29, 2017

We were passing through southern Minnesota on our way to South Dakota and we stopped in two communities, Blue Earth and Austin. We went to a few rest stops too, not as cool as the South Dakota ones but they all had interesting historical markers to see.

Rest Stops

1. The first one was the Oakland Woods Rest Area. It is located in Albert Lea, a place were we stayed at once about 14 years ago on a trip to Iowa. We stayed at the Budget Host in town (no longer there).

The marker outside, Minnesota State Parks are the topic.

Inside is a list of how far this stop is from other cities.

2. Des Moines River rest area

There is also some signs here describing Minnesota prairies.

3. Clear Lake Rest Area

The marker below.

The marker we found here.

4. Enterprise Rest Area

This one had the prettiest setting of all of the rest areas we visited in MN. Located in Lewiston, MN. A closer view of the maker there.

We enjoy our visits to the rest stops and enjoy seeing the markers they all have.

South Dakota Potpourri-Rest Stops and More!


April 24-29, 2017

In our 6 days in South Dakota we saw a lot of interesting things between our main destinations. We encountered historical markers we had to stop and read. The rest stops alone were worth taking a few minutes to see.  We will be showing you places not covered in our other posts since the visits were short.  We covered the state from end-to-end horizontally.

On our journey we explored three rest stops along I-90 in South Dakota.

We will begin with the first rest stop on the state border just after leaving Minnesota.  This is the Valley Springs Rest Area. See a map of the other rest areas we visited, all impressive!

We are informed of what highway we are on.

The rest stops in SD are clean and attractive, also many contain a picture display of major attractions in the state.  You can see it at the corner of the building.

At this rest stop there are several markers, the first is Minnehaha County, where we were. Let’s read it.

A Purple Heart Memorial Highway marker is also there.  

Another distinguishing feature of South Dakota rest stops is the large teepee-like structure at most of them, and there is another marker there also.

The 2nd one is on the other side of the state in Spearfish . This is the Northern Hills Rest area, near the Wyoming state border.

The most interesting rest stop is  the Medicine Creek Rest Area.

Also called the Presho Rest Area, located in the middle of the state. This was the 3rd rest stop.  This rest stop commemorates when the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed this area. There is a LARGE  Sacagawea statue on a hill overlooking the Missouri River, great view from the hill! You can see the community of Chamberlain below.

The white bridge is the historic Chamberlain-Oacoma bridge, dedicated on September 25, 1925.

The Lewis and Clark Memorial Bridge on the right, the one we crossed to get here.

Many signs and plaques to read here, an important area to be sure.

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Some parts of our trip took us off the main highways and we passed many markers we didn’t previously know about.

This one is in Bridgewater, west of Sioux Falls.

Also this one in Humboldt in Minnehaha County, we saw both of these on our way to Sioux Falls on Day 5 of our trip. The famous Pumpkin Center marker. It is two-sided.

We saw this on the roadside on our way out on Day 1. Porter Sculpture Park. It is located in Montrose, SD. It wasn’t open for the season yet 😦

 

We wished we could have stopped in De Smet to see one of Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s former homes, but we didn’t have the time on this trip.

A seemingly infinite regression of power lines going to the horizon.

Did you ever hear that song, “Eat at Joe’s”?  Well, you actually can in South Dakota.

Here is the song if you don’t know it.

It’s official name is Joe’s Cafe in Alexandria. You can’t miss the friendly Sinclair dino at the driveway, great place for a selfie!

 

 

Here’s Joe’s, I heard it is a popular place!

We discovered this beautiful place on our way out on day 1, the Snake Creek Recreation Area.  We got video driving through it too, our first experience of the changing terrain from the eastern edge of the state. It is just west of Platte.

The long straight road after leaving here.

Soon we arrived in Winner for gas, we  saw a McDonald’s that looked straight out of the 1970’s!

Shortly after that we entered the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

In Okreek we saw Calvary Episcopal Church,  adding interest to a largely treeless land.

The landscape is beautiful too, this hill can be seen from here.

We came across two other markers in Martin on our way to Wounded Knee.

 The first marker refers to the Civilian Conservation Corp.

The second marker, a plane crash occurred near here.

 

That about covers odds and ends of South Dakota, more added after our 2nd trip there in 2018.

 

 

Sundance, Wyoming-Gateway to Devil’s Tower


Days 4 & 5

4-27 and 28-2017

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.

Inside the restaurant and our dinner, yum!

On the left of Longhorn is Deluxe Harley Davidson and Vilas Pharmacy.

Right of Longhorn is Mae Mae’s Gifts and Jewelery.

On the corner right of here is Dillon Sundance Hardware, across from the bank.

The people we met in Aladdin in the afternoon are members of the Wyoming State Historical Society.

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.

To the right of the museum is the Crook County Courthouse.

Other businesses downtown. Next door to the Bear Lodge is the Arrowhead Motel, affiliated with Budget Host.

These businesses are right of the bank. L-R, the far left and far right buildings are unoccupied.

Security Insurance Agency

Wyoming Pioneer and Sundance Times Newspapers.

STEVENS, EDWARDS, HALLOCK & CARPENTER, P.C

 

The Crook County Museum will be expanding into a larger building at some point.

This poor tree is trying to tell us spring is here.

Bearlodge Engineering and Surveying

A Veterans’ Memorial

The Dime Horseshoe Bar

This bar is a major gathering place during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

On the left is 1875 Gallery, Wild West Espresso, Sundance Realty LLC and Higbee’s Cafe.

A few remaining places downtown.

Country Cottage Flowers and Gifts

 NAPA Auto & Truck Parts

Both of these gas stations are on Cleveland Street downtown too.

Rolling Metal Sinclair

Fresh Start

A beautiful mural on a wall.

After filling up at Fresh Start, it was time to depart from Wyoming. Maybe we can stay longer next time.  Not long out of town we saw Sundance Mountain which was soon lost to sight.

It is now the 5th day of our trip and we turn eastward toward home again.