Apr 16, 2024

Driving the Road To Nowhere – Nebraska

After navigating a lengthy section of "deconstructed" highway, followed by a quick drive through the Rosebud Tribe reservation (including a rather impressive and seemingly out of place casino on the South Dakota-Nebraska state line), it was mid-afternoon on one of my longest days of driving down the “Road To Nowhere.”  And I still had one of the loneliest stretches of U.S. 83 ahead of me before day’s end – the sandhills of west-central Nebraska. 

Before that, however, I wisely made a rest stop at the first sign of civilization just nine miles past the South Dakota border.  And it turned to be a very worthwhile stop in lovely Valentine, Neb.

Jan 31, 2024

Driving the Road To Nowhere – South Dakota

The first leg of my road trip down U.S. Highway 83 (aka “The Road To Nowhere”) through the heart of the country yielded some unexpected fun in North Dakota, such as Fort Mandan and the Lawrence Welk Birthplace.  What would the second leg through South Dakota bring? 

The answer:  Outside of Pierre, not much, unless you count an unanticipated off-road adventure. 

Dec 21, 2023

Scenes from the Lawrence Welk Birthplace, Strasburg, N.D.

Picture yourself cruising through the rolling hills and farmland of southern North Dakota early on a late summer morning. 

The sun is still rising and the dew has yet to completely evaporate.  Passing cars are few and far between. 

Then, suddenly, without warning you pass this sign near a quiet intersection with an otherwise barely noticeable gravel road.  What would you do?  Would you speed up and try to get away as quickly as possible?  Would you simply be amused by the happenstance and continue on, accepting that it’s past “tourist season” to visit?  

Or would you do what this commoner did, find the nearest spot to turn around and check it out anyway?  Of course, you would! 

Oct 25, 2023

Finding Fort Mandan and Lewis and Clark’s trail

One of the things I enjoy most about a loosely planned road trip is stopping at points of interest along the way which I either knew very little about or didn’t even know existed beforehand. It didn’t take me long on my drive on U.S. 83 (aka the Road To Nowhere) to make such a stop – just over an hours’ drive south from Minot, N.D., in fact.
The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center seemed to be a “can’t miss” site on the right side of the road. After all, which historical figures and famous trespassers are more important in North Dakota’s formative history? 

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...