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Pedaling South Dakota: Day Four
Jul 28, 2016
Carl and Jan Brush of Yankton are loyal readers of our magazine, and avid bicyclists. This summer they are combining those two loves on a cross-country trip, using past South Dakota Magazine stories to guide them to interesting people and places. They've agreed to post some reports from the road so we can go along on their eight-day, 360-mile journey.
DAY FOUR: History Goes Better with Coca Cola or Straw Bales
Our first stop today was Carthage, home of the Straw Bale Built Museum. We didn't request a tour since we had previously visited. The history of straw bale construction is displayed here. Very interesting! North of town we saw a huge field of modern straw bales.
There were no other towns on our route. The cattle were fascinated by our trike and followed along for a while. We came across an oil pipeline under construction. But don't worry, it won't leak!
Spirit Lake, south of Willow Lake, was a welcome sight since we had only 10 miles to go. White pelicans are common in this area. Arriving in Willow Lake, we checked into the Home Town Hotel. This was designed and built by Wayne & Sherrie Tellinghuisen in 2012, after a fire had destroyed buildings on Main Street. At the same time, local investors built a restaurant and a grocery store. We first read about it in South Dakota Magazine.
In 2000, progressive folks in this community saved and repaired the building now housing their museum. Saving the historic Coca-Cola sign was a large motivator in this project. Locals here meet every Wednesday afternoon to share coffee, pie and history. We got there in time to grab the last two pieces of pie! The ladies were very eager to share the town's history.
In 1951 the women in the town built a city park. They raised funds to purchase trees by raising and selling potatoes. Additional funds were raised by selling embroidered name strips, which were added to the commemorative quilt.
Click to read Day One, Day Two and Day Three of Carl and Jan's journey.