Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Day 35-July 5, 2011- Lake Okoboji, Milford Iowa
Meet the Ellsworths–owners since 1959 of Mac’s Corner near Stephan, South Dakota. I filled up the tank and went inside to buy a cup of coffee. There was none, but Mrs. Ellsworth asked me to wait while she brewed a fresh pot. She said OK to having me take this picture, but she would not tell me her husband or her first names. I told her my name is Cecelia. A customer chatting at the register told me that I looked like a Cecelia.
I nearly cried this morning at my good fortune driving down this isolated road...just me, the dog, a car full of dwindling artwork, and the breathtaking beauty of prairie land. Wheat and corn, and grass for miles. Tiny towns with proud names like Winner and Reliance. Indian place names like Pukwana, and Oacoma and more from the Crow, Creek, Sioux and Kiowa people. We crossed the Missouri another two times today. What a vista at Chamberlain SD for Lewis and Clark to behold from the bluffs back in 1804!
Welcome to Minnesota the sign read, but this was not the case. All campgrounds in state parks, rest areas, weigh stations and all state services are non-operational since July 1 because of a budget impasse in their senate.
I cut short my visit to that state (sorry Garrison Keillor), saw great stretches of ankle and knee high corn from I-90, then turned south into north-western Iowa for a campsite and another welcome sign.
I found a quiet forest campground at Gull Point State Park on the banks of Lake Ojokobi near Milford Iowa. It’s just my style. The sites are amply spaced out, deeply set in groves of oaks, and the lake is an easy walk from our tent.
The temperature has moderated after a heavy morning rain that I missed. Etta loves the place. She’s discovered fearless rabbits munching out in the open in the grass, and loves the fishy smells at the shoreline. The mosquitoes have found me too, and are plunging their proboscises (probosci?) for a dinner feast.