Thursday, October 23, 2014


It was a Thursday afternoon, not so different than the hundreds of Thursday afternoons that had come before.  Oh, it was unusual in that it was the 23rd of October, the sky was blue, the sun was warm, and the temperatures were hovering in the lower seventies, but other than that, a pretty ordinary day.  We were faced with one of those seemingly omnipresent choices.  With company coming, we needed to prepare food, to clean bedrooms, and to scrub toilets.  Or, we could act on an impulse (provided by descriptions from a friend) and simply get in the car and head to LaBolt to see the dam and walk around the lake!
Enjoying the ride there, noticing the trees bereft of their leaves and the unusually green grass for this time of the year, we come into town enticed by the only thing we know about LaBolt
The LaBolt Farmers' Elevator.  How could you listen to any local radio station and not be aware of the existence of this iconic structure?  It was during our extended tour of main street (?) that we discovered
Not having had lunch, we stop.  The two proprietors meet us at the door.  They have just shut down the noon special, but we can order from the menu display.  I opt for a piece of fresh pumpkin pie.  Cath has a hamburger with a toasted bun.  Good food.  Sustenance to carry us onward to the siren that called us there.
Never have we felt so welcomed!  Not deterred however, (we had no fireworks, we weren't going to start a fire, the alcohol was to come later, we don't carry guns, we didn't go swimming, and we never stood still long enough to loiter!) we proceeded.  Imagine our surprise to discover not only the lake, but
The path around the lake was actually a disk golf course, with holes that were difficult and yet, absolutely beautiful.  But I get ahead of our walk.  We actually started toward the dam, and found a way down to the trail that invited us.
Our meanderings took us through trees, around bends, over bridges, and as a side trail, to an amazing
under one of the walkways.  The shadow of the tree pointed the way through.  Another day, we thought, and went back to the main trail.  Emerging from the forest primeval, we were greeted with yet another South Dakota biome
The colors and the contrasts immediately caught my eye, and just beyond the tree lay true South Dakota gold.
From forest to prairie in one short walk! 

I have neglected to mention that up until this time, we had the park completely to ourselves.  Imagine our chagrin when a car pulled up, and from it two disc golfers.  Nice kids.  We let them stay.  In fact, I caught them in the act!

The whole concept of the game was heightened by its surroundings!
 In fact, I was especially drawn to what I have dubbed the pretzel tree
The trip round the lake was about a mile in length, and was truly an amazing way to spend a Thursday afternoon.  But, the cleaning called, the pie crust had to be made, the fudge needed to be cooked, and there was bridge to play (after all, it is Thursday), so back into the car we go and head for home.  Smartly we had asked the proprietors of our dining establishment how we should go home.  There answer was quite succinct.  Head south on the paved road.  When the paved road seemed to end, turn left onto the next paved road.  Always turn left.  What the hey, the tasks could wait a little longer.  Voila.  We end up in Strandburg.  We have never been to Strandburg.  It was here that the only disappointment for the day occurred.  Rivens General Store was not open!  Somewhat despondent, we headed south (on the paved road) and eventually ended up on Hiway 212.  Familiar territory.  Passed Bren's corner.  Passed Goodwin.  Passed Kranzburg.  Wait.  We've never really seen Kranzburg, so we do the tour, coming out just by the Tip Top.  Of course, we had never done the Tip Top before so we HAD to stop.  One beer later (and an order of amazing Chislic) (and the greeting when we walked in of  "Oh, two teachers out for an afternoon") (You can't go anywhere without being noticed!) we sadly bid adieu to the wandering wayfaring and hello to the mundane.  But oh, what a delight we have had!  Beauty surrounds us.  We need but look.  And the chores?  Well, they were still there, but so much more fun to do!  Know you are loved!


  1. This is EXACTLY what happens on our geocaching adventures. We have seen more hidden treasures (places) in our state than I could ever have imagined! I also LOVE this retired life! What a blast we are having. Glad the two of you enjoyed your little adventure. Always more fun to play than to work.

  2. Excellent photo essay BZ. You put me to shame in that I took my camera but didn't take it out of the truck. Though I do find that having a camera sometimes makes me less of a a participant and more of an observer. Anyway, well done.