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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 28 - Rest Day in Sioux Falls





Wonderful rest day in Sioux Falls, South Dakota!











First - Dairy Queen!



Then all the fresh fruit I can eat...










Best of all, a visit with Rosemary Draeger of the Northern Prairies Land Trust...

She takes me to eat at the Overlook Cafe...



...to see the beautiful Sioux Falls...





Then we go out of town to see a preserved prairie...















So many flowers!

Birds!

Butterflies!







Regal fritillaries dance over the prairie.















As Rosemary points out the wonderful flowers...









I enjoy taking pictures even if I don't know the names....





And we enjoy the prairie not just for beauty...

but knowing this landscape enriches the earth...

Food and shelter for birds and butterflies...

Richer soil with each passing year...

Imagine when these miles of row crops were miles of glorious prairies.

Wouldn't that be a sight to see!



I recognize this one!

Native thistle...

Food and nesting material for the cheerful yellow finches




And is this a new kind of dandelion?



Rosemary tells me about first moving here from California.

She felt an immediate connection with the settler women.

Their life was so hard.


In the fall the prairies would be full of the intense blue of bottle gentian...

Seeing these flowers, the women would know fall was here and that the harsh winter was coming when many children would die.

Would they love this beautiful flower in their fields?

Or fear it for knowing winter would be close to follow?




I could take pictures here all day!












But it's time to return to reality...




The noise...

crowds...

malls...








...and gumballs















Meet Mandy...

She cuts my hair...

She talks with that lovely Minnesota type accent with long Os and catchy rhythm.

She's always lived in Sioux Falls...

But she wants to move to Tennessee for the country music.

Her brother, sister and mother all work as nurses at the local hospital.

Her Dad is a gym teacher.

I didn't get a great haircut, but it was worth talking with Mandy.



Later in the day, it's time to eat.

(Actually when you're a biker it's always time to eat).

So Al, Mark and I hop in a taxi for downtown.

Denise, our driver, tells us all about Sioux Falls.

The big talk a few years ago was when they put up a statue of David.

And he was naked!

And he faced a local nursing home.

It upset the little old ladies.

There were letters to the editor...

speeches...

threats...

Someone even put a diaper on him.


Finally the mayor found a solution...

They turned him around...

"David," Mark said..."You mean like Michaelangelo's David?

"Oh, yes!" replied Denise. "It's one of the originals!"





Maybe that story explains the sculpture I see on the corner of the modern young man - discretely dressed...

He stands like the David, contropposto..

all the weight on one foot...
body angled...
Hand to the shoulder
Other hand powerful at the side...


Sioux Falls has lots of outdoor art...




This scary sculpture called Flying Dog....




The soaring eagle outside the quartzite colored Carnegie library...



We try to eat at Minerva's, but they are closed on Sunday...



Some charming accented bikers tell us to try Parkers...






But we find it also closed for Sunday...

In fact, we realize we are the only people downtown on Sunday evening...

We walk a mile to Bob's cafe, also suggested by our bikers...







Bobs is open...















But Al and Mark aren't too sure about this menu...













Cute little diner....

No tables...

Just 12 seats at a counter and friendly service...











They recommend Grille 26 a few miles away...












This is definitely more elegant...




Soft lights....

Great wines...

I wish husband Tom were here.






But I enjoy my fellow bikers....

We have a delightful dinner...

It's been a wonderful day of rest...







And now we are ready to see the rest of America...
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