|Day 4 - Minnesota and South Dakota - Snake Creek Rec Area, SD
||[Aug. 10th, 2004|10:00 pm]
Trip Odometer: 1536 mi|
[14 miles west of Platte, SD on the Missouri River]
This morning we took off out of Eagan, MN with revised plans – originally we were going to go directly to our next stop in the middle of South Dakota.
However, Megin had mentioned that the sculpture garden in Minneapolis was really nice, and we should try to see it. Forest recommended the SPAM[tm] museum in Austin, MN. So we decided to significantly extend our day and try to do both.
Megin was right – the Sculpture garden was very cool – not quite as good as the one in DC but it certainly comes close. It does, however, win in that it has a “Mini Golf by Artists” section which is a 10 hole mini-golf course designed by artists. There are some really inventive (and evil!) holes here. We spent a lot of time exploring one that followed the pachinko board of life where you were either a rock star, office drone (a la Office Space), or slacker stuck in your parent’s basement. I’m not sure I like any of the choices, but there you go….
Driving a hundred or so miles south brought us to Austin, MN, the home of Hormel Foods and SPAM[tm]. We took the tour, learned all about how SPAM[tm] is made, the history of how SPAM[tm] saved the allies in World War 2 and so on. It was an amusing place and didn’t take itself that seriously at all – which was quite a good thing.
The rest of the day was spent driving at absurd speeds (I live for the 75mph speed limit!) through southern Minnesota and South Dakota. There were way more cows in South Dakota than there were in Wisconsin, which I guess is why Wisconsin might be the “Cow Center” without actually having as many (that we saw) as, say, Pennsylvania.
We arrived at our destination – Snake Creek Recreation Area – just after 9pm which was briefly after sunset (we did get pictures of sunset from the side of the road – it was stunning). We then ran for the river and got to see the last bits of sunset behind a bridge across the river, this place is absolutely beautiful.
After setting up the tents and having some cheese dogs, we cleaned up and walked to the far side of the campground away from any street lights and took in the stars. Not since I was on top of a hill several miles outside of Harrisburg have I seen so many (or seen the Milky Way). Even better, it must be during a meteor shower right now since we saw close to 25 shooting stars over the course of 45 minutes or so.
Anyway, today ended by filling out some postcards and going to bed, quite happy and looking forward to the Badlands tomorrow.