Days 73-75: South Dakota, North Dakota & Minnesota

2

August 24, 2014 by Briana

Day 73 (8/12/14): Spearfish, SD | Jamestown, ND

IMG_7373From South Dakota, we headed up to North Dakota. The landscape of North Dakota is mostly flat with some occasional hills. However, we saw countless fields of sunflowers and straw-looking crops. As the breeze blew the ocean of wheat, we finally understood the meaning of “waves of grain” and were mesmerized by the swaying stems.

While traveling, we eventually saw a sign for the World’s Largest Metal Sculptures on the Enchanted Highway. We were towing the trailer but were still tempted to take the 32-mile, 2-lane highway to see the multiple metal sculptures at different points along the road. We have a strange fascination with World’s Largest items, which you might remember from the post about Missouri and Illinois.

"Geese in Flight" - one of the World's Largest Metal Sculptures

“Geese in Flight” – one of the World’s Largest Metal Sculptures

However, we remembered our ordeal on the 2-lane road next to Lake Michigan with nowhere to turn around and didn’t want to run into a similar situation. So unfortunately, we couldn’t take the Enchanted Highway. We did at least get to see one of the sculptures though off of the main freeway. As we continued driving, we passed the Missouri River on our way into Bismarck and kept heading east to our campground in Jamestown, ND.

 

Day 74 (8/13/14): Jamestown, ND | Prior Lake, MN

World's Largest Buffalo

World’s Largest Buffalo

We only spent one night in North Dakota and began making our way to Minnesota. As we were leaving Jamestown, ND, we saw another World’s Largest from the road: the World’s Largest Buffalo (statue). When we reached Minnesota, we realized why it’s called the Land of 10,000 Lakes as we passed lakes left and right.

IMG_7425Another fun fact worth mentioning about Minnesota is that they’ve had the cheapest gas we’ve come across so far at just $3.29/gallon! That was nice considering how much gas we’ve been going through on this cross-country journey, especially when we’re towing the trailer. However, we hit some traffic through Minneapolis on our way to our campground. It seems like any place worth living is going to have some traffic, so Minneapolis might be promising.

After getting set up at camp, I was craving a real meal. We’ve been on the go so much lately, that our meals have primarily consisted of fried, greasy foods and snacks. I needed some yummy food with substance, so we explored the area surrounding our campground in Prior Lake. We found ourselves in the nice Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville at the Chianti Grill restaurant.

Lobster Ravioli

Lobster Ravioli

It ended up being a great choice! I loved the huge chunks of lobster in my Lobster Ravioli, and Justin enjoyed the Chicken Saltimboca with a side of delicious mashed potatoes.  It had been so long since we’d had a nice dinner. We couldn’t find any decent food in the areas of South Dakota we visited, and we realized they were all small towns. While we’ve enjoyed seeing small town America, we’ve decided we’re too much of foodies to live in a small town. Haha!

Chicken Saltimboca

Chicken Saltimboca

On our way back to our trailer, we took a closer look at Burnsville and really liked what we saw. It seemed like a nice area and was really green with newer housing spaced apart. There was also a decent balance of chain and unique, individual restaurants. Plus the suburb has the convenience of big box stores, such as Target. It’s nice to be back in civilization! 😉 We’re really looking forward to seeing downtown Minneapolis!

 

Day 75 (8/14/14): Minneapolis, MN | St. Paul, MN

IMG_7336IMG_7306After being on the road for 74 days and putting over 15,000 miles on the truck, it was time for another oil change. We took the truck to the GMC dealership first thing in the morning to get it taken care of. From there, we found a barbershop for Justin to have some grooming done. He’s letting his beard grow, but he couldn’t take his hair curling around his ears and desperately needed a trim. It was the first time he’s had his hair cut during our trip and the first time anyone other than me has cut his hair since we’ve been together (nearly 8 years!). The trailer isn’t ideal for cutting hair. Plus, it was nice to sit back and let someone else do the work for once.

With Justin’s spiffy new hair do, we ventured over to Minneapolis’ downtown area and were pleasantly surprised! Downtown Minneapolis is lively, diverse and colorful. There are rooftop restaurants, flower arrangements along the sidewalks and numerous old churches adding to the character. We headed over the Mississippi River to the revitalized northeast area and ended up on the quaint brick Main Street where we had lunch at one of the sidewalk cafes. It was a beautiful day with perfect weather. Everyone seemed to be out and about.

Several people said that Minneapolis is the most bike-friendly place in the nation. However, they also mentioned that the winters are brutal. If every day in Minneapolis had weather similar to today’s, I could live there. We loved the downtown area, and the suburbs seemed really nice as well. Being born and raised in Las Vegas though, I’m not sure if I could handle the winters there.

Downtown St. Paul

Downtown St. Paul

Since Minneapolis is one of the Twin Cities, we had to also see it’s twin while we were there. After lunch, we took the short drive over to St. Paul, MN. It may be Minneapolis’ twin in proximity, but it doesn’t match Minneapolis’ vibrancy and liveliness. If I had to choose between the two, I’d definitely pick Minneapolis over St. Paul.

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2 thoughts on “Days 73-75: South Dakota, North Dakota & Minnesota

  1. […] Day 75: on the I-94 E from Downtown Minneapolis, MN, to St. Paul, MN […]

    Like

  2. Philip S Nielsen says:

    Have fun!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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We’re the Bennetts, Justin & Briana, and it’s time for a change! We've left our jobs and everything else behind to start fresh somewhere else. They say it's all about "location, location, location," and what better way to figure out the best location for us than to explore the entire country searching for it? We’ll be driving across the continent with a truck and travel trailer on the cross-country road trip of a lifetime! Tag along with us and our two dogs, Meaty and Saucy, as we explore North America searching for our next destination!

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The view from the top! The High Bridge Trail led us up above Box Canyon Falls over a suspension bridge where we could see the river flowing through the canyon, spilling down through the narrow rock walls, and forming the towering waterfall plunging far below.  Had we not kept exploring from the base of the falls, we would have missed this vantage point above.  Moral of the story... always keep exploring, or you’ll never know what lays ahead.  Tag a hiking or travel buddy who’s never satisfied, always wanting to venture on and see everything possible! Behind the scenes of Box Canyon Falls. Swipe 👈🏻 for more pics of the waterfall, walkway, and viewing areas.  Does this remind anyone else of that scene from Jurassic Park III with the birdcage? We kept expecting a pterodactyl to swoop down and try to grab us.  Haha! 🤣 While in Ouray, we visited the town’s own “wonder of the world,” Box Canyon Falls.  A short hike took us through the box canyon to the dramatic waterfall which we were able to view from the partially enclosed walkway as well as down below at the base of the falls.⠀
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There’s a $4/adult entrance fee for Box Canyon Falls, but since it’s considered one of the must-dos in Ouray, we were willing to pay to see it.  What’s been your favorite tourist attraction that you thought was worth paying for?
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