Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hettinger, ND to McLaughlin, SD

The blog for Saturday June 25 was posted Sunday morning June 26, 2011.

After having breakfast in the café where all the Hettinger locals meet for breakfast, Cal was on the road. Within 14 miles we were leaving North Dakota and entered South Dakota. 

We are traveling on Hwy 12, also referred to as the Yellowstone Trail.  They say Hwy 12 was the first transcontinental automobile highway through the northern tier of states. It goes from Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts to Puget Sound in Washington State however it began as a road from Minneapolis, MN to Yellowstone National Park.  In the early day of the automobile, often locals would build the roads themselves so they could get to town and markets. Thus the Yellowstone Trail was built by local citizens.

The weather was lovely today however there was a slight headwind, but it did not seem to affect Cal.  We came to the town of Lemmon.  I saw a sign for the Petrified Wood Park.  I decided to drive the 3 blocks into town to see what this was about.  OH MY! 

The prairie area 25-30 miles around Lemmon has a large quantity of petrified wood. In 1930 a gentleman (an amateur geologist) from Lemmon began collecting Petrified wood. He hired men (during the great depression) to work for him to haul the petrified wood to town and develop this park.  It was amazing!  I called Cal and told him he must stop and see this park/museum.  Petrified wood is trees/wood that has been covered by soil for millions of years.  Over this time period the wood has been replaced by minerals forming rock/petrified wood.

Petrified Museum Building
Smooth Round Stones found in the area

It was about when we realized we were going to have problems finding a motel for tonight.  This weekend there are family reunions, weddings, class reunions, etc filling the motels in the area.  We not only inquired about motels but also about camping areas. There was nothing! Therefore we had no choice but drive into Mobridge for the night. Cal did ride longer today so that we would be as close to Mobridge as possible.  The latest he has ridden has been , but today he rode until .  I stayed fairly close to him so that when he decided he had enough, I would be there for him to load.           

In the end Cal rode 85 miles before he stopped.  We loaded the bike and drove 30 miles into Mobridge, SD.  Tomorrow we will drive back to where he stopped this evening and he will continue peddling east.  

Mobridge is on the Missouri River, so after tomorrow we will be east of the Missouri River and all of the major flooding issues. Tomorrow we will also be in the Central Time Zone. Closer home!!!                                         
Farmers still find Petrified wood in their fields. In that farmers do not plow the fields as has been the practice in the past, they do not find as much now.  People use it decoratively in rock gardens, etc. 

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