(Ron writing) Today we moved from Pierre SD to Brookings SD. Before leaving Pierre we refilled one of our two propane tanks and filled the truck with gas. Whenever I've filled the propane tanks before I've been charged by the gallon. Here I was charged by the pound. The attendant set the tank on a scale, filled it, and noted the weight. Must be some local law or custom. Also very interesting are the gasoline prices here in SD. I found this pretty hard to believe but it is true; the "plus" gasoline has an octane rating of 89 and the price was $3.03. The "regular" gasoline has an octane rating of 87 and the price was $3.13. I was confused and thought that the station had mis-priced the gas so I asked the attendant. It turns out that our tax dollars are subsidizing ethanol to get folks to use it. The "Plus" gasoline is 10% "corn liquor" and has a higher octane for a lower price! I'll bet they aren't selling much of the regular gas.
We were driving into a strong headwind today so it was lucky we had the high-test gas. Not very good mileage I'm afraid. We first headed east on HW 34, which follows the Missouri River for a ways. Then we went north on HW 47 to HW 14 and took it all the way to Brookings, which is just a few miles from the Minnesota state line.
Today's drive was mostly through farm country. Lots of corn, beans, and wheat along with grazing lands where cattle were being raised. The crops sure look good.
We made a short stop in Huron to have lunch right beside the largest pheasant in the world. I'm not sure about the validity of that claim but at 40 ft. tall and weighing 22 tons it sure is the largest one we've ever seen. There was also a nice mural on the wall below the pheasant. The town had lots of murals so there must be some artistic folks living here.
As we were driving through the small town of Volga we saw a young man selling red potatoes, sweet corn, and green beans off the back of his pickup. They looked good and it turned out they tasted even better! We cooked the potatoes and corn in foil on the grill. That meat is delicious custom-smoked tri-tip that our friend Norm Graf sent along with us and those tasty pickles are a home-canned gift from our friends Clyde and Eileen Judkins.
We are staying in a very nice campground in a Brookings city park. There are lots of huge trees for shade, the sites are very spacious, we have electric hookups and the price is just $10 per night. Pretty hard to beat that! We plan to spend at least a couple days here before we head over to Madison which is just a little south of here.
If any of you loyal blog readers have questions or comments about what we write or about this new vagabond life we are living feel free to send an email and we'll be happy to answer them.
PS: Hello to my ESL students and co-teachers! I was thinking about you folks today. I miss our Saturday morning class time together!