Days 1 and 2

The goal for the first two days was to get across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and half of South Dakota, not necessarily as fast as possible, but without a lot of stops. Our first night was planned for Albert Lea Minnesota and our second night was planned for Oacoma South Dakota.

We were cruising pretty good through Wisconsin when we decided to break our “side trip” rule. I saw signs for the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail and told Kathy it would be nice to see what kind of hotels and motels were available if we did the trail next year. Off we went down WI 80 to Elroy, then along WI 71 to Sparta. We found one quaint motel right along the trail (stayed there once before many years ago when we did the trail with the kids) and a couple of others to consider. We also found out there are quite a few places we could consider right in Sparta. Our little detour cost us about an hour and a half, but it was fun having the time to say, “Let’s do it!”

Lunch was “on the road” at a wayside. Kathy likes to make a simple carry along lunch – this time a blend of tuna, cream cheese, walnuts and water chestnuts that we spread over crackers. The spread, some grapes and a cold drink was enough to keep us until supper.

We pretty much cruised the rest of the way, getting into Albert Lea about 5PM.

Day 2 was a straight shot across the second half of Minnesota and the first half of South Dakota. Not too much to see along this part of the route except vast fields of corn, wheat and soybeans. Still, the size of the fields is awesome when you consider the amount of food and food products that is produced on this land.

We did manage to find the Badger game on SiriusXM and that helped the drive time go fast. GO BADGERS! We also made a stop at the first rest area as we entered South Dakota to load up on brochures and maps. At the rest area, the gent behind the counter suggested we make one last stop just before getting to the hotel in Oacoma to visit the rest area on the east side of the Missouri River.

The stop was well worth it. The rest area is located on a high bluff overlooking the mighty Missouri, offering great views of the lands to the west. They also have a great museum display on Louis and Clark and their journey through South Dakota as they searched for the western passage. But the real star of the rest area is a fifty foot stainless steel statue of an Indian woman cloaked with a star quilt. The statue is named Dignity: Of Earth and Sky and was created by the artist to represent the “courage, perseverance and wisdom of the Lakota and Dakota culture in South Dakota”.



Tonight will be at a hotel in Oacoma, and tomorrow we head across the Missouri to Custer State Park through the Badlands. Then our camping adventure begins!

One thought on “Days 1 and 2”

  1. Hello. While I wait years to “ramble” to my desired destinations, of course free of any alarm clocks, I’m thoroughly enjoying your “retirement adventures”. Safe travels to you & Kathy, my “condo” friend.

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