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August 10th 2022

Got tanks drained. Hooked up and hit the road at 7:45. Took another video while driving out of the Badlands National Park. Stopped at the Minuteman Missile National Park.

Minuteman Missile National Park

Got outside pics and then inside, Cindy and Linda got their books stamped plus stickers. Watched the movie, which was very informative, about 28 minutes long. No charge for this park. We went to the minuteman missiles due to the long launch time of the Titan series. Built out on the plains away from people for safety of people off the field was targeted. Cuban missile crisis, first time minuteman went on alert. In 1967, we had 1k missiles ready for defense of the nation. The local ranchers fought to keep the silos out of their neighborhood from fear of what they were. MAD: mutual assured destruction. Made sure that no one would ever launch, basically a suicide pact by us and Russia. Required a 2-man crew always for security and had to be in sight of one another at all times and could only fire by order of the President. Have been a total of 12 different escalations up to today from us and Russia.

In the 90's we deactivated the missile field in South Dakota and thus why we can not visit these sites. We still have nuclear weapons, just not in the numbers we had at one time. Reagan played a big part in getting these numbers reduced. We still have a rush just as during the Cold War of MAD happening.

A nuclear-missile silo is one of the quintessential Great Plains objects: to the eye, it is almost nothing, just one or two acres of ground with a concrete slab in the middle and some posts and poles sticking up behind an eight-foot-high Cyclone fence; but to the imagination, it is the end of the world. Ian Frazier, Great Plains, 1989

The Cold War and Nuclear Deterrence

The history of the Cold War is still being written. For the millions of people who lived during the Cold War lived through that era, memories and wherein US nuclear forces images remain: duck-and-cover drills, they are) maintained at a cons Cuban Missile Crisis, President Richard readiness.

Nixon's 1972 trip to China, the 1980 US Olympic hockey team's upset victory, and the fall of the Berlin Wall-an event widely viewed as the beginning of the end of the Cold War.

Unlike a conventional war, there are no starting or ending dates, direct military encounters, or casualty counts. Instead, the Cold War is commonly understood as an ideological, economic, and political struggle between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). A key part of the US defense strategy during the Cold War was deterrence, wherein US nuclear forces were (and still are) maintained at a constant state of readiness.

Developed in the 1950s, the Minuteman I missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), part of the triad of air-, land-, and sea-based nuclear weapons.

Innovative solid-fuel technology enabled Minuteman I and later Minuteman II to be deployed remotely from underground launch facilities (missile silos). If necessary, these missiles would be launched by crews stationed miles away. The missiles could travel over the North Pole and arrive at a target in less than 30 minutes.

Minuteman lI's 1.2 megaton warhead was the explosive equivalent of over a million tons of dynamite. There are no active Minuteman silos in South Dakota today, but 450 Minuteman missiles are still deployed in the upper Great Plains. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site was established by Congress in 1999 to preserve two 1960s missile sites: Delta-09, a missile silo, and Delta-01, a launch control facility. The park invites you to explore the history and significance of the arms race and ICBM development, visit sites once off limits to civilians, and learn about the role the Minuteman lI system had as a nuclear deterrent that maintained peace and prevented war.

A National Park for the Cold War

In 1991 as the Cold War was coming to an end, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed by US President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Both sides agreed to dramatically reduce their nuclear arms. Three Minuteman missile fields, including the one in western South Dakota, were chosen for deactivation. As the sites were being shut down, the US Air Force and National Park Service worked together to find a site that would represent the nuclear arms race, the Minuteman's role during the Cold War, and the dedication of Air Force personnel who staffed the sites.

In 1999 Minuteman Missile National Historic Site was established. It was the first national park dedicated exclusively to the Cold War. Launch Control Facility Delta-01 included an underground Launch Control Center (LCC) where two Air Force officers (missileers) worked on 24-hour alert duty shifts, ready to launch missiles if there was a nuclear attack. There were 100 LCCs and each one, like the LCC at Delta-01, remotely monitored ten missiles. If the correct codes and commands were received, Minuteman missiles could be quickly launched.

The lady on duty behind the counter, Lucille, gave us some great info on things to check out while in Oahe located outside of Pierre, so we will have plenty of things to scope out for sure. Just a very nice, wonderful lady.

Oahe arrival

Arrived at our campground at Oahe and got set up, and yes it's humid here. It's a really beautiful place with mature trees for lots of shade throughout the day. However, they are blocking Starlink from acquiring satellites, so will be running on cellular data while here. Went down by the water to check it out, and it's very nice, with a large swimming area roped off from boats and a sand beach. It's an old COE park that the state now runs.

Linda had a challenge with her water in the coach, so we came back and got her water back in her fresh water tank using her wagon and our 6 gallon water jug and our 12v xfer pump. Dinner and a little relaxing time and off to bed.

August 11th 2022

A little slow getting underway this morning. Cloudy but clearing with a temp of 69. Will get headed into town shortly to see what we can see. Headed out at about 8:45am, and our order of stops is shared below.

Fort Pierre has been called the most historic city in South Dakota, and for good reason. It is the oldest continuous white settlement in Dakota Territory, dating back more than 200 years to 1817. As a busy trading post for furs, steam -powered paddle boats traveling from St. Louis made the Missouri River the freeway of that era.

1. Verendrye Museum:

Neat little museum showing the local history with multiple artifacts from people from the area. Wonderful lady that runs the place who shared stories of the area with us.

The Verendrye Museum is named for Chevalier and Lewis Verendrye, two French brothers, who explored the upper reaches of the Missouri River. The Verendrye Museum is located in the old American legion hall, a 1930s vintage building that was placed on the National Historic Register in July 2017. The museum houses a collection of South Dakota and regional artifacts documenting the early history of the area. Thousands of authentic early day items make the Verendrye Museum one of the finest western memorabilia collections on the High Plains. Most of the permanent exhibits were donated by local, pioneer families interested in preserving an accurate record of life in central South Dakota.

2. Log Cabin Visitor Center:

Our second stop of the day, which is a Historic Cabin built back in the mid-1800s. Also serves as a welcome center for the town of Fort Pierre. Also attached to this site is the Sansarc school museum, which is just set up as an old school house would've been set up. They also have an old jail from back in the day, which we were able to get pictures of as well.

In 1975, the original log cabin visitor center was built. Since 2000, the log cabin has served as a visitor center. Visitors can find information about Fort Pierre as well as historic displays depicting items from the pioneer history of the area. On the land where the log cabin visitor center sits today, was where the old Stanley County Courthouse was located until it was vacated in 1971. The log cabin is owned and maintained by the Verendrye Museum and has served as a visitor center for the city of Fort Pierre since 2000. Visitors will find a selection of brochures and showcases depicting items from the pioneer history of the area. The Historic Sansarc Country School museum and 1905 Stanley County Jail are next to the Visitor Center and can be toured during the hours the visitor center is open. The office of the Fort Pierre Development Corporation is located in the Log Cabin.

The Sansarc school, built in 1910, was actively used as a school until 1969. This one room school houses books from 1st to 8th grade curriculum, maps, a globe, teaching aids, and blackboard. The school was also used as a polling site and has the original ballot boxes. The first Sansarc school house was built along Sansarc Creek, where the Sans Arc Indian tribes were located in the area. Sans Arc means no bow or unmarked arrows due to Sans Arc Indians not marking their bows to claim their hunt.

The Stanley County Jail is one of the oldest buildings in Fort Pierre. It was built for $400 at its present location. At the time, the deputy sheriff, Frank Norman, was called a jailer. Frank and his wife, Jessie, lived in the basement of the courthouse, which was previously the location of the county agents' office. Jessie provided meals to the prisoners at $.25 a meal. The jail held a number of rowdy and lawbreaking robbers and outlaws. In 1921, a 200 pound mountain lion from Kalispell, Montana escaped while being shipped to an eastern zoo. The mountain lion was re-captured and kept safely in the jail until it could continue its journey eastward.

3. Cedar Hill Cemetery:

An interesting stop on our adventures today. On the way to the cemetery, we crossed a ridge having a good view of the valley, which we stopped along and got pictures. At the cemetery, got pics of some headstones and saw that some of the folks interred there lived very short lives.

Established in 1894, Cedar Hill Cemetery is the final resting place of some local, colorful personalities including outlaws, for traders, military veterans of the Civil War, World War I and World War II, prospectors, Native American residents, suffragettes. The cemetery is more than just a historic landmark, as it offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy the view of the Missouri River and a bustling community from a Bird's Eye view.

4. Verendrye Monument:

This stop sits on a hill overlooking the town of Fort Pierre. Got some pics before moving on to our next stop.

The Verendrye Monument marks the spot where in 1743, two French brothers, Chevalier and Louis Verendrye, buried a lead plate to claim the Missouri River drainage for France. The plate was discovered by high school students in 1913 and is now on display at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The Verendrye Plate is considered one of the most significant historical finds in the northwestern United States.

5. Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Museum:

Very interesting museum, which I had not realized that South Dakota had so many top professional cowboys. The museum does a great job of sharing their stories plus the history of rodeo.

The Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center and historical museum is devoted to South Dakota's state sport, rodeo. In this two level museum, you can see the extensive memorabilia of the nine time World Champion, Casey Tibbs, the spectacular trick rider of the 1920s, Mattie Goff Newcombe, and many other world champions from South Dakota. The Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center also displays past and present rodeo events that range from Little britches, 4-H, high school, college rodeo, and beyond.

6. Fort Pierre Depot Museum:

Not a lot at this stop, but grabbed a few pics of what it had to offer.

The Fort Pier Depot was completed in 1906 and served the community for 50 years. The Depot showcases displays of railroad memorabilia from the early to mid-20th century. It has original Western Union signs, agent hat and sleeves, telegraph equipment, and various items that were shipped by rail at the time of operation.

The Chicago & North Western Railroad built a Depot in Fort Pierre in 1906 as part of the railroads' expansion to Rapid City and beyond. In 1958, the depot was closed because of poor economic conditions and sold as surplus in 1963. In early 1964, rancher Shirley Miller moved the building to his ranch near Mud Butte and used it for storage. In 2010, the Depot was discovered and the Verendrye museum initiated discussion of returning the building to Fort Pierre. Mr. Miller donated the building to Fort Pierre with the condition that it be used for historic purposes and someone would have to come and get it. The Bring It Home Group formed in 2010 after two years of fundraising, the Fort Pierre Railroad Depot was finally in Fort Pierre in March 2013 and the rehabilitation is finished. It is now open as a museum, containing the original telegraph and other railroad and local memorabilia.

7. South Dakota State Capital:

The South Dakota State Capitol building was constructed between 1905 and 1910. It is a scaled down version of the Montana State capital building. Extensive restoration began in the 1970s and continues to this day, providing the building with lasting significance and beauty. There is a self guided tour script available.

Did a short visit today and will come back tomorrow as the girls want the STATE CAPITOL pass book, so they can get it stamped. Came here after the depot stop and lunch at Guadalajara Mexican restaurant.

8. South Dakota State Historical Society:

The South Dakota cultural heritage center is a modern earth mounded building covered with native grasses. The center houses interpret the displays of the state's history. There's also an archive for genealogists and historians. The Cultural Heritage Center opened in 1989 to preserve and interpret the heritage and culture of South Dakota's people. Nestled into a bluff north of the capital, the center is the headquarters of the South Dakota State Historical Society. The center features the state archives and museum and houses the society's administrative, historic preservation, research and publishing offices.

Finished our day at 4:30pm and fueled Linda's jeep and headed back to the rigs. Went through the program for Lincoln and put together the calendar for our adventures while at the 105th Golden Getaway. Had some supper and worked on my journal in an attempt to get it in order before tomorrow. All of the people that we have met while here are so very nice, friendly and helpful. With their assistance, our day out seeing the sights was fantastic.

August 12th 2022

1. Oahe Chapel:

Not much to do here but take photos, as the chapel wasn't open today. Still a beautiful building with Lake Oahe in the background. Adjacent to the Oahe Dam Visitor Center, is the Oahe Chapel. Built in 1877, the chapel was both a church and schoolhouse for the Oahe Mission and the Sioux Tribes it served. Services are at 8am Sundays, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Persons interested in seeing the chapel can inquire at the visitor center.

2. Oahe Dam:

Checked out the dam and got pictures, but were not able to check out the visitor center, as whoever works there didn't show up on time this morning. We checked back after finishing all of our other stops and the clown that runs it was gone on a dam tour, so gave up on the visitor center. They have benches in memory along the shore, not sure if the folks died in the lake or paid a donation so their loved ones would be remembered. The lake is beautiful and huge.

Oahe Dam Visitor Center:

It's always beautiful on Lake Oahe. Take in the view and learn about Lake Oahe, the Missouri River and the Oahe Dam and hydroelectric power plant through exhibits and brochures. Open year-round, call 605-224-4617.

In 1948 construction of the Oahe Project began. Water was diverted through the outlet works in 1958. On October 30th, 1959 the earth and shale dam reached its full height of 245 feet. Oahe Dam, the world's 14th largest dam by volume, creates a lake that stretches 231 miles upstream. The length of the dam is 9,300 feet, with the width at the top being 60 feet and the width at the base 3,500 feet. The lake covers 374,000 acres of land.

Benefits from the dam include recreation, irrigation, flood control, navigation and power. Power generation began in April 1962. The final generator went on line in June 1963. The power plant discharges approximately 56,000 cubic feet (436,000 gallons) of water per second when operating at peak load capacity. Each of 7 generators is rated at 112,290 kilowatts for a total peak capacity of 826 thousand kilowatts.

3. South Dakota National Guard Museum:

Nice museum and very informative. Lots of cool weapons and vehicles from the past, as well as displays sharing the history of the SD National Guard. Once again, I tried my best to capture the museum with photos, but it can be challenging to get decent pictures.

Houses collections which include memorabilia and artifacts of the South Dakota National Guard from 1862 up through the present and the South Dakota Air National Guard from the late 1940's to present.

Conflicts that the South Dakota National Guard has been involved in include the: Spanish American War (1889 to 1899). Mexican border periods, 1896 to 1917. World War I 1917 to 1919. World War 2 1940 t0 1945. The Korean War, 1950 to 1952. Berlin crisis, 1961 to 1962. Desert Storm, 1990 to 1991. War on terrorism, 2003 to present. Operation Noble Eagle, 2003 to 2004. Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 2003 to present. Operation Enduring Freedom, 2002 to 2005.

4. South Dakota State Capitol:

This was day 2 visiting the capitol building. We checked out the memorials that they have down by the small lake outside the capitol building. The capital has beautiful grounds and the building is amazing. Governor Noem, the first lady governor of the state, was not in town today, so we were not able to meet her.

There are wonderful monuments and memorials near the capitol like the Fighting Stallions Memorial, honoring eight South Dakotans, including Governor George Mickleson, who died in a plane crash in 1993.

The state's World War II Memorial is set on a peninsula built into Capitol Lake and consists of 6 bronze figures representing the military branches in which South Dakotans served.

Facing the WWll Monument is the. Korean War Memorial, a wall bearing the names of the state's fallen heroes.

The Flaming Fountain Memorial features a flowing artesian well and provides a centerpiece for the war memorials. This warm-water fountain flows into Capitol Lake, keeping the water open year-round and providing a welcome resting place for migratory waterfowl.

Nearby memorials also honor the state's fallen firefighters and law enforcement officers.

Completed in 1910, the Capitol is stunning with its dramatic murals, stained glass, elaborate tilework and collections of sculpture and art. The Capitol building is open to visitors from 8am to 7pm, Monday through Friday.

The South Dakota State Capitol Building was constructed between 1905 and 1910. The more than 114,000 square foot structure was constructed of a variety of materials including native fieldstone, Indiana limestone, and Vermont and Italian marble. The structure is 161 feet tall, 190 feet wide, and 292 feet long, and features hundreds of hand-crafted materials including carved woodwork and marble, special cast brass, and hand laid stone. The Capitol Building was designed and built for just under one million dollars by Minneapolis architects C.E. Bell and M.S. Detwiler. It is a modified version of the Montana State Capitol Building in Helena. Government agencies moved into the Capitol Building in the summer of 1910 from a small wooden building which was located at the Southwest corner of the Capitol grounds near the corners of Capitol Avenue and Nicollet Avenue.

As you stand in front of the Capitol Building, note that the words "South Dakota" are emblazoned on the front of the building with the letter "u" looking like a "v" to emphasize the classical Roman influence upon the design. The copper outside cover of the dome, which was replaced in 1961, stands pitch black against the blue South Dakota sky.

5. Soldiers and Sailors World War Memorial Building:

Neat building that is still actively being used by the military, so not a huge amount of displays to see, but got pictures of what there is.

During the 1919 legislative session, Robert Schaber of Hudson introduced legislation to permit the construction of a memorial building to the Soldiers and Sailors of World War 1. The site was donated by the Northwestern Railway Company and the building was completed in 1931, at a cost of $92,000. The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building housed the state museum until 1989 when the displays were moved to the recently built Cultural Heritage Center. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs moved into the building in1990. The Memorial Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. It was formerly known as the Robinson Museum. The building is constructed of steel and has sandstone facing. The front of the building has an impressive entry pediment with dentil molding and 6 ionic columns, as well as individual pediments over each of the doors.

Broken Column

Ancient civilizations used columns or pillars to signify princes or nobles, as if they were pillars of state. The use of the column or pillar as a monument erected over a tomb was an ancient custom that was a significant symbol of character and spirit of the person interred. This broken column is symbolic of the patriotism and devotion of our fallen heroes, immortalized in John McCrea's poem, "In Flander's Fields." The torches on the 1/2 column represent the lives of the servicemen and women.


Other noteworthy features of the building are a number of shields carved into the walls and displaying the unit emblems of the 32nd, 34th, 41st and 8 9th Army divisions of World War l to which the South Dakota 147th Field Artillery Regiment was assigned during World War l. South Dakota National Guard units including the 109th Quartermaster Regiment, 109th Engineer Regiment, 136th Engineer Battalion and the 34th Signal Company were units of the 34th Division during World War ll.

Hall of Flags

In the rotunda, you will find flags depicting the branches of the military and various veteran organizations.

6. Fort Pierre Chouteau:

This is a historical monument, so no actual buildings, but has storyboards that share the historical significance of the site. Got pictures, and I do believe that we did a decent job of checking out the stuff in the Pierre area. Be a neat place to come back to and spend more time. Perhaps we will do the paddle wheeler on the river for dinner the next time we come through.

In the mid-1800s, Fort Pierre Chouteau was the largest trading post on the upper Missouri River, a thriving community of traders, trappers and Native Americans. Today, not much remains of the fort's wooden bastions or buildings, but the site is a National Historic Landmark.

After finishing up at our last stop, we ran into town and picked up a new GFCI outlet for Linda. When we got back to our rigs helped her out by replacing it. It was in her outdoor kitchen, which she flooded when we got here, thus necessitating replacement of the outlet. Planning on going to a concert in the park in FT Pierre this evening.

Went to the ZZ Top tribute band concert, free, in Ft Pierre and started for part of it. Decent, but not great.

August 13th 2022

Today was a rest day, which we did. I was able to get my photos uploaded to google and the computer and erased from my phone. Went into town and fueled up and picked up pizza for lunch. The local car club had a car show here at the recreation area where they drove around the campgrounds in parade fashion. After that, they went down to the marina parking area, where everyone got the chance to look at the cars to vote for their favorite rig. Then I need to be able to get on the road in the morning.

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