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Showing posts from June, 2015

Road Trip 2015: Day 2

Day 2: Sioux Falls, SD to Custer, SD

We woke with the sun and enjoyed a quick cereal breakfast before packing up our campsite and heading out. Traveling across the entire state with hopes of stopping along the way, we left not too long after breakfast. This was the view during the first half of our drive:

Along the way, we stopped at 1880 Town, about two hours east of Mount Rushmore. It's a ghost town, with some original buildings and some reenactments, a memorabilia shop, and a diner inside an old train. We enjoyed a simple and leisurely lunch in a dining car, a nice break from driving.


Though I planned to keep this stop fairly quick, we decided to explore the site, spending more than an hour walking around the grounds and taking pictures like good tourists. There were a few pieces of old Wells Fargo stuff, including this old wagon and some signage in town buildings. 

Some buildings are totally open to walk through and others are preserved. My guess is it's based on what is r…

Road Trip 2015: Day 1

As part of my goal to bring my daughter to each state by the time she's 18 (in a somewhat meaningful way, no airport layovers), we packed up and enjoyed an 8-day road trip through five states, camping in tents all but two nights.

It was an awesome trip, filled with adventure, storms, mosquitoes, friends, historic sites, and quiet moments without cell reception. My next few posts will capture the spirit of each day of our trip. Feel free to ask questions about where we stayed and what we did. There aren't a lot of tent-camping review sites to reference when planning this type of vacation, so I'm happy to offer feedback based on our own experiences.

Day 1: Southeastern Minnesota to Sioux Falls, SD

We made a last minute decision not to visit the Laura Ingalls site in Walnut Grove on our way to Sioux Falls. There are times of year when there's more going on, so we're saving that for another time. That meant we could take a longer morning to load the car and get ready w…

Straw Bale Garden for the Win

This is my second year using straw bales for gardening. I've expanded with more bales, plus I'm growing food in dirt beds around the property. The dirt beds received a lot of amendment to make them viable, but I'd say my bales are still the most robust.

Behind the house, there's a small 50 sq ft raised bed. In past years, everything failed. It's packed clay with zero nutrients. So I worked hard to amend the soil to accommodate more root veggies and grow something successfully. This bed houses radishes, beets, carrots, radicchio, mesclun greens, romaine heads, and peas.


The greens are growing strong. I can barely keep up eating enough, so soon they'll be shared with family and friends. The onion tops look healthy (though I doubt I'll see full bulbs at harvest time), and carrots, with some thinning, look healthy. The photo above is early in the season.

The beets grew for two weeks and then disappeared. The radishes looked like they were thriving but in the e…