Day 9 Summary
Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Brainerd, Minnesota
Monday, July 24, 2006
I had been to Sioux Falls a few times before, but I had never gotten the chance to explore some of the sights downtown. So, this time when I was in town, I made sure to go to Falls Park, home of the gaunt Big Sioux River and the waterfalls that put the “falls” in Sioux Falls.
The city has built an observation tower in the park that overlooks the waterfalls and the downtown area. The view from the top was nice, but because the park is set in the valley of the river, it’s not possible to see much of the outlaying city or countryside.
After spending some time at the observation tower and then walking along the trails that meander along the river, it was time to get out of Sioux Falls. Rather than taking Interstate 90 into Minnesota, I wanted to go an alternate way that led to the tri-state border of South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota.
The border, which is only one of a few tri-state borders in the country that is located entirely on land, can be found about 10 miles east of Sioux Falls. It’s easily accessed by using paved farm roads that go through rural countryside.
To the northwest, nearly 30 yards away from the spot on the roadway where the three states converge is a small parking area and marker designating the tri-state border. Although the marker is now located entirely within South Dakota, it was once cemented to the middle of the roadway. After somebody ran into it in the 1980s, however, it was moved away from the road and to its current location.
After spending some time at the border, I made my way to Hills, the southwestern-most city in Minnesota. From there, my unconventional route led north to Pipestone, east to Slayton, southeast to Windom, and then north to Redwood Falls. The reason I went the way I did was so that I could see Murray, Cottonwood, and Redwood Counties – three of the six Minnesota counties that I had not yet visited.
Since I had the chance to see those three counties, however, there now remains only three counties in the entire state that I have not been to – Le Sueur, Blue Earth, and Faribault. Hopefully, I can make it down to these final three sometime next summer so that I can finally say that I’ve been to all of Minnesota’s 87 counties.
From Redwood Falls, U.S. Highway 71 took me into Willmar. From there, it was easy to get on Minnesota Highway 23 heading toward St. Cloud. And, of course, from St. Cloud, it wasn’t too hard to get back home to Brainerd to end my 2006 vacation.
The reflective water in Covell Lake in Sioux Fall's Terrace Park
A duck enjoying a leisurely swim in Covell Lake
The following three photos are from the Shoto-Teien Japanese Gardens, which are located inside Terrace Park
The soothing cascading waterfall in the Japanese Gardens
Here's the view of the waterfalls and downtown from the observation tower in Falls Park
A closeup of one of the smaller waterfalls in Falls Park
Here's the road that leads to the tri-state border - to the left of the road is South Dakota and to the right is Iowa
The tri-state border marker
This road forms the border of South Dakota and Minnesota - SD is on the left and MN is on the right
Here's a picture of where on the road the three states meet up
The road through Windom
In an example of how "German" the city of Sanborn is, one of the bussinesses in town is "Deutschland Meats"
Low-grade camcorder pictures:
A typical elm-lined street of Hills
This gas station in Hills was one of the few places I saw during my vacation selling gas for more than $3.00 per gallon