Little House In South Dakota

If you’re just joining us, you may want to start at the beginning of our adventures with Maiden Voyage and Whirlwind Visits. When we last checked in, we’d spent a rainy day driving through Custer State Park to Mount Rushmore. Sesame Street’s It’s A Rainy Day played in my head. If you don’t know it, look it up. You’re welcome, in advance, for the earworm.

After Mount Rushmore, we headed for Rapid City, South Dakota, to dine at Firehouse Brewing Company. The food was very good but the beer was nothing to write home about. We bought a much needed warm blanket at Walmart and settled in for the cold, rainy night at a KOA campground in Rapid City.

The next morning, we got on the road early and headed east on Interstate 90. The flat land and endless views offered another song for my internal play list: I Can See For Miles and Miles by The Who. We crossed the imaginary line into Central Time and crossed the Missouri River. There wasn’t much else to see until an Ingalls Homestead sign popped up near De Smet. I was so excited! Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books were some of my favorites growing up. We had to stop.

The buildings on the homestead were all replicas, but the land itself is the land Charles Ingalls homesteaded. The Surveyor’s House and the First School are actual buildings from Laura Ingalls’ childhood. So cool!

We treated ourselves to a hotel room in Sioux Falls, SD, that night with dinner at the local Red Robin. And the next morning we were off again, headed toward Forager Brewery in Rochester, Minnesota. The sun came out! So, of course, the Sesame Street theme song seemed appropriate. Yes, I sang a couple of lines. Sunny day, sweepin’ the clouds away

At Forager, Mark enjoyed a couple of beers: Antiquated Methodology and Kaleidoscope Kookaburra. He bought two crowlers of the latter on the way out, which he subsequently shared with friends along our route. Sorry, none left to sample when we get home.

We left Forager, aiming for Decorah, Iowa, and another brewery called Toppling Goliath. But guess what popped up before Decorah — another Laura Ingalls Wilder sign! We had to stop. Again. We pulled into Burr Oak, IA, and found the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.

Decorah and Toppling Goliath were not far Burr Oak. There we touched base with Eric, one of the brewers, whom Mark had met in 2018 on a previous brewery road trip. We ate dinner and Mark ordered a beer flight: DDH Pseudo Sue, King Sue, Scorpious Morchella, and Term Oil S’mores. No favorites among them ’cause they’re all good! He followed that with an Assassin 2022. After dinner, we sat outdoors for well over an hour listening to seventeen-year-old Carter Guse play his guitar and foot tambourine while singing songs from the fifties to the present. He even took requests. Very entertaining!

We tore ourselves away from the music and checked in at Pulpit Rock Campground in Decorah for the night. More adventures in Iowa and beyond coming soon…