Year 2 Day 254 to 256 South Dakota (With a Jaunt into Iowa)

A couple of days ago we hosted my cousin, Steve, for a ribs BBQ that was topped off with blueberry buckle and ice cream. Steve brought a BBQ sauce that the family of a friend makes. Called “Daddy Sam’s Bar-B-Que Sawce”, it was delicious, as was the whole meal. We spent the evening telling stories about our family, with focus on our two mothers, who were sisters. It was a hoot! When he left, he took this “ghost” picture of him outside of LeuC. We had some outside lights on LeuC so he could find his car in the darkness.

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The next morning, we bundled up LeuC and headed down the road. Our drive was a long one with over 300 miles made. While long, about 5 hours, it was an easy drive since it was all along freeways. We left our site in Wisconsin, crossed the state of Minnesota and entered South Dakota. Our current campground is the Big Sioux Recreation Area, just a few miles into South Dakota, and just a few miles shy of Sioux Falls.

Our campground is lovely, with some elm and cottonwood trees offering some privacy. Since it is the middle of the week and after Labor Day, the campground is mostly empty but will be filling up over the weekend.

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It also has a 150-year-old long cabin. Good old Ole Bergeson and his brother, Soren, built it in 1869 and were the first settlers in this area along the Big Sioux River.

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Today, we just rested from our long drive yesterday. However, since we were so close to the Iowa border, I just had to hop into our little Fiat and drive across the border and stick my toe into that state. I know that I have been in Iowa before, since as a kid, my parents took us kids with them as we camped our way across the 49 states of the continental US during a number of summer vacations. However, since being a kid, I had never had a chance to return.

Our camp is in the extreme southeastern corner of South Dakota. We are just a few miles west of Minnesota and just a few miles north of Iowa. Thus, it only took me about 10 minutes to drive into Iowa and park at the Gitchie Manitou State Preserve, along the Big Sioux River. It is a portage point for canoers.

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I learned later today, while doing research on this preserve, that in 1973 it was also the site of 4 grisly murders. Three brothers who were poaching deer came across of group of 5 teenagers having a campfire and smoking marihuana. They shot four of the teenagers in cold blood then grabbed the marihuana and the remaining 13-year-old girl and returned to their farmhouse, where she was raped. They later let the girl go, since she was so young. She later identified the three brothers who were convicted and are still serving life sentences. So much for my exploration of Iowa…

Tomorrow, we will be going into Sioux Falls. It is actually our legal home residence. We maintain a post office box there. Under South Dakota state law, by spending one night in the state, you can become a state resident. We did that over 11 years ago as we prepared to move onto our sailboat and sail around the world. Our mail forwarding service would then send our mail to where ever we were. As we are still nomads, we are maintaining our South Dakota residence and our mail forwarding service. However, since we are so close to town, we will be going into town to pick up our mail, which includes our absentee ballots for the upcoming November elections.

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