The wild and wooly West
Trip Start May 01, 2010
29Trip End May 29, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
La Crosse was an early trading community, almost dying before the closing of the Mississippi below the Ohio during the Civil War made it an important link with the East. La Crosse is notable for its 25-foot wooden Indian overseeing the river traffic. We arrived in the middle of Family Fair, so had to wend our way through throngs of moms, dads and kids to get our Indian photo and on our way West.
Two key stops on I-90 in Minnesota enroute to Sioux Falls, S.D.: Austin, the home of the Spam Museum; and Blue Earth, where the Jolly Green Giant lives
We also passed through Spring Valley, home of the Wilder family, into whom Laura Ingalls married before writing "Little House on the Prairie." (see our previous blog on LIW) and Richard Sears, founder of Sears, Roebuck.
Passing Grand Meadow in western Minnesota,we passed a huge wind farm – dozens of tall white masts with huge sweeping blades generating electricity. Up close, they sound like jet engines as they whirl around. The windmills are spread across southwestern Minnesota, all the way to the South Dakota state line.
Carolyn reminds me to note that we have seen a variety of critters on the trip, including deer, pelicans, raccoons, foxes, spotted and striped (Dutch belted or “Oreo”) cows, herons, turkeys, Bald eagles and coyotes. The billboard as you enter South Dakota says, “Watch out for Jack Rabbits.” I'm sure they’re no match for the Jackelopes in Texas.
We got into Sioux Falls about 7 p.m., despite our diversions, after a sunny but windy day. Forecast for lows in the 40s, highs in the 70s in the coming week, a welcome change from
cold, wet Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Tomorrow: Rapid City via Mitchell (Corn Palace) and Wall (Wall Drug.