Travel Diary
September 18, 2002
Clear Lake, IA

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We spent last night in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Approaching Sioux Falls from the west makes it obvious that it is the beginning of the mid-west. The landscape turns from vast prairies of interesting grasses and sparse herds of cattle into lush agricultural hills with regularly spaced towns and farms. No pictures of this lovely area. We were driving, and you wouldn't see much through all of the bugs on the windshield anyway.

The audio proved to be very entertaining. We amuse ourselves on driving days by turning on the radio and channel surfing. Here are some highlights from a radio station we found in southwestern Minnesota that told us they were going to do the news. We expected Saddam Hussein and instead this is what we got:

  • The crime report including one report of theft of three wheels from a circa 1983 Oldsmobile on a used car lot. This was followed by a subsequent report of theft of the fourth wheel later in the day.
  • A report from last night's school board meeting announcing approval of the purchase of a new school bus.
  • The local school district enrollment figures for the current year including 183 students in the 7th through 12th grades for this year. Slightly down from last year.
  • The agriculture report featuring quotes from the close of today's Chicago Board of Trade including pigs, soybeans, Minnesota wheat, etc.
  • The funeral report including 4 recent deaths in the area followed by details of the services. This report was sponsored by the local elder care facility.
  • The hospital report (no, we're not making this up) reporting 3 people (and their names!) who were admitted, 2 people who were discharged, and one birth.
  • Advertisements included a spot for accessories for your combine, and another nicely produced spot for herbicide (only one application needed per year!)
At the end of the news, the announcer wished the local teams well for this week's Homecoming activities. Then they played a full length version of the school fight song -- including the cheer at the end! Go Tigers!!

Sorry there are no photos of this lovely part of the country, but we think the audio portion of this leg of our journey was really worth sharing with you. Really, we didn't make any of that up...

Tonight we're in Clear Lake, Iowa. Truly the Midwest in all of its glory.

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