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Richard and Marge Kleinjan’s Excellent Adventure
Sep 26, 2011
Richard Kleinjan called our office first thing Monday morning to order a new copy of our July/August 2011 issue. It seems their issue, which contained our feature on things to see in each of South Dakota’s 66 counties, had become tattered and torn because he and his wife used it as they visited every one of our featured sites.
Other readers have called to tell us they’ve gone to a handful of places, but the Kleinjans are the first – to our knowledge – to have completed the statewide journey.
They began not long after the issue hit the stands in July with a trip to see the Grandfather Rock near Flandreau in Moody County. They finished on Saturday with stops in Jackson and Jones counties and a drive on the Bad River Road into Fort Pierre. Kleinjan told us he was unfamiliar with many of our recommendations, and believes many aren’t locally known, either. “You don’t read about them in any travel brochures,” he says.
The Kleinjans were enjoying breakfast in Edgemont one morning when he asked a local about the hieroglyphics in Red Canyon. “I’ve lived here 20 years and I’ve never heard of it,” he told Kleinjan. And he says many in Brookings County are unaware of Sam Mortimer’s historic cabin, which stands in Oakwood Lakes State Park near Bruce.
Another memorable stop was the Stratobowl in Pennington County. Kleinjan said he and his wife stopped there 53 years ago during their honeymoon, but didn’t venture down into the bowl. “You get a better idea of why they launched there than when you just look down from above,” he says. “It’s well protected, so the wind wouldn’t have any effect on the balloon.”
So after two months of travel, the Kleinjans are back home in Arlington. The next task, he says, is organizing the pictures they snapped at every stop.