Leaving Bismarck we were located east of the Missouri River, we drove south on the Lawrence Welk Highway. We passed through the tiny town of Strasburg, North Dakota (pop 410) close to the border of North and South Dakota.
Lawrence Welk was born in the German speaking community of Strasburg in 1903. He left school in the fourth grade to help on the family farm and did not learn to speak English until he was 21. It would be interesting to learn more about how he went from tiny Strasburg to the bright lights of Hollywood.
My mother’s favorite show was The Lawrence Welk Show. After it was no longer a weekly hit, it was shown on PBS. In my hometown of Charlottesville it came on once on Saturday and twice on Sunday, same show each time. My mother watched all three shows every week. It wasn’t that she liked Lawrence Welk that much. She loved the singers, dancers and the music. Thank you Lawrence Welk for the many hours of entertainment and joy you gave her each week!
We crossed over into South Dakota and just like in Montana and North Dakota, we passed field after field of sunflowers and farmland with endless bales of hay waiting to be sold or used for feed during the long winter soon to come.
We saw on the local weather that some parts of Montana and Wyoming, including Yellowstone National Park will be getting snow by Labor Day.
We arrived at our next stop, Herried, South Dakota (pop. 438) for a short two night stay. Our second day there the winds picked up with gusts well over 45 mph. We put the slides in and listened to the wind howl. One of the worst storms we have been in was in June, 2015 in the South Dakota Badlands where we had a thunderstorm with strong wind. I am not a fan of Midwestern weather!
During our short stay in Herreid we drove to Mobridge, South Dakota to see the disputed grave of Sitting Bull and a marker honoring Sacajawea. No one knows for sure where either Sitting Bill or Sacajawea are buried. Both North and South Dakota claim to have the Indian chief’s remains. To access the memorial site we crossed the Missouri River and on the west side we entered the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Below Sitting Bull’s memorial, close to the road and in a much less scenic location, is an obelisk marker honoring Sacajawea, which is the spelling used most often in the east and by the National Park Service. In the western states Sacajawea is spelled Sakakawea and is pronounced differently. It is believed she was buried somewhere near the site of old Fort Manuel about thirty miles north of here.
Next up: Pierre, capital of South Dakota