- 567 miles
- 10 hours of driving
- 3 tanks of gas
- 4 States (Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota)
Murr and I have cocktails on my deck the night before we leave, and that is a bad idea. I’m slow and just a bit hungover in the morning, but nonetheless we are up at 7 AM. After packing and doing a final walk through of the house, we are on the road at 9 AM. Thus our Epic Trip has begun! It takes two hours to drive out of Chicago towing #TeapottheTeardrop (Murr’s name for her camper, and incidentally one of the hashtags you can use to follow our trip on Instagram. You can also follow on Twitter (@GarthAFowler1, #GarthandMurrEpicTrip2021), Instagram (@GarthAFowler) and Facebook (Garth A Fowler)). Then it is the long flat roads of Wisconsin and Minnesota until we cross over into South Dakota and find our spot at Sioux Falls KOA.
For those of you not in the know (like I was), Sioux Falls is a great little city (pop 195K). Day one we lounge around the campsite a bit and just before 1 PM we drive into Falls Park. Murr buys a bag of nuts at the local farmers market, and then we head over to the Falls Visitor center. There we met Josh and his canine companion, Echo. He’s on the tail-end of his own Epic trip, 2.5 months in a camper truck departing from Green Bay, WI and then hitting up the Smokey Mountains, New Orleans, multiple parks in the Southwest, up into Glacier, Yellowstone and now in Sioux Falls visiting family. He’s just released an album (Recluse and the Journey). A long day of posing for photos in the sun makes us tired and by 7 PM we are in the camper watching a movie and out early.
On Sunday we drive through downtown Sioux Falls and Murr does some shopping for hats. Then we find a very cool art store (Sticks and Steel). Located in an old train depot, it is nestled in Sioux Falls’ Brewery Row, so afterwards we grab some nosh and beers at Remedy Brewery. Afternoon beers make one (me?) drowsy, so a little nap back at the KOA and we start our packing process by taking down the tent of Teapot. After sunset we hit the Arc of Dreams, a very cool sculpture in downtown Sioux Falls that spans the Sioux River. It’s next to Monk’s Alehouse, a craft beer bar where I find an St. Bernardus Abt 12 for a mere $6! Murr has a glass of wine. Eventually, it is 11 PM and needing to finish packing and checkout by 11 AM on Monday, we call it an end to the day — and our stay in Sioux Falls!
Sioux Falls get top points, and Murr and I seriously discuss coming back sometime in the late fall, or even the winter as I imagine it would be great to visit when it is a bit cooler and snow on the ground.