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Back to Day 2

Day 3 - Friday, 20 June 2003
Starting Location:  Wagner, South Dakota Ending Location:  Wagner, South Dakota
Weather There:  Clear and windy, 70°F

Weather Here:  

Partly cloudy, windy, 75°F
Starting Time:  9:44am Central Time Ending Time:  9:10pm Central Time
Starting Mileage:  63,301 miles Ending Mileage:  63,748 miles
Miles Today:  447 miles Coolest Cop:  That deputy in Miller, SD
Drive Time Today:  9 hours, 54 minutes Best DQ Treat:  Cotton Candy Blizzard

I set the alarm for 7am sharp, figuring we could get some work done on the updates and get it all posted before we left for the days' adventure (which I'd aimed to kick off around 8am). Of course, when the alarm went off, I tried to wake the snoozing masses, but met with a cold reception. I eventually unburied myself, looked at the room's art work with disgust, and woke up the gang successfully after another hour of letting them rot in slumber.

We finally got out of the room a little after 9:30am, and stopped at the local Wagner Food Center. There, sodas, crackers, cheese and a local newspaper were acquired. (And in the latter item, we learned actor Morgan Freeman recently spent a night in the same motel as ourselves, when bad weather forced his pilot to land here en route from Canada to Mississippi -- exciting!)

So, we head out. We get out to the end of highway 46, and head north toward Mitchell. We have been looking at these diamond signs since we hit South Dakota, but there is some debate as to if it indicates someone died at that site, or there was just an accident -- but fear not, I will ask tomorrow when I find a couple (or a hundred-plus) of locals.

We begin with Tripp a bit after 10am. A quaint little town of 800 or so folks, all quite friendly and such. Everyone waved, and it's apparently a state law that you have to wave back, neighbor and stranger alike. It was quite amusing to see the boy looking like he's a friendly sort of chap who likes all the folks driving pickup trucks and little kids riding their bikes down the center of the street.

By 10:30am, we land in Parkston, and begin our adventure anew. We discover internet banking is alive and well in South Dakota, as well as yet another less than busy intersection of First and Main.

At 10:49am, Dimock became our town to tour for a few minutes. (Could we have spent more time there? Honestly, no... there was a lack of many streets to wander about.)

Ethan was the next check-mark on our map of places we stopped, and we arrived there around 11:05am. Another nice town, but just a wee bit too small for my liking if I were seeking it as a new place to call home.

We rolled into Mitchell and hung out there maybe 90 minutes, including an uneventful trip to Wal-Mart (where they said they were quite busy with orders being backed up, but their work activity suggested the customers were interrupting play time), and a wander about the Corn Palace amongst the historic downtown.

From there, we were off to a long stretch to Pierre, which dragged us along I-90 for nearly 100 miles (or 90 minutes), although we first wandered about Fort Pierre, by virtue of it standing between us and the state capital. (And the two are separated by the Missouri River, and while Fort Pierre is in the Mountain Time Zone, Pierre is in the Central Time Zone.

We rolled into Blunt (pun unintended) around 4:20pm (it was 4:19pm, but I opted to round up by one minute to amuse myself). And as quickly as we arrived, we were gone. Well, four minutes later, but not before a young girl (blonde, if you're wondering), in an Explorer gave us a wave. We waved back.

As the afternoon raged on, we wandered into Harrold, then Holabird, Highmore and Miller, where I got to watch as the boy and a deputy sheriff talked away about income tax (there isn't one in South Dakota), low vehicle registration costs (his SUV is $38 a year versus our $450+ a year for a similar vehicle), and other things. With that information tucked away, we set off again and visited St. Lawrence, Wessington, and Wolsey. As the clock struck 7pm, we stick the city limits of Stickney. Aside from a red water tower and a somewhat cryptic naming standard for street names, it was a place we could wander away from without too much distress. And so I did.

We landed in Corsica around 7:15pm. Like several other towns, the place was deserted. By wandering around the back streets, though, we found a couple of girls closing up the city's pool for the night. And then we hit pay dirt by landing at the local baseball diamond, where two teams (it appeared they were both from Corsica), were playing, and the local cop was parked out there watching. Satisfied these aren't all ghost towns, we set on down the road.

7:41pm marked the first moment I stepped webbed foot into Armour. With the population dropping a wee bit year to year, it's standing in the high 700s these days. Once there, we lingered at the home of Rachel's family for a bit before heading on the journey back to Wagner to end the evening about 9pm. The kids went off to the pool as I worked on getting my day in order, although admittedly, it took far longer than I would have liked... but then again, I covered a lot of ground today, too. At any rate, good night!

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