Midwest Wanderer Newsletter – June 15, 2022

When you’re driving along and see a sign for a site that makes you curious, what do you do? Do you turn off to see the site now, remember it for a future trip, or ignore it? Unless we’re pinched for time, curiosity wins out for Skip and me.

Lincoln site hidden in plain sight

When we stumbled across this site in Central Illinois, we had to stop. We thought we had seen all of the Lincoln attractions in Illinois, but we were wrong. This one surprised us—and impressed us. Read below for details.

Do this for Dad’s Day—or any day

Have you procrastinated on buying Father’s Day gifts for the dads in your life? If so, instead of running to the store, give a gift of an experience instead. Perhaps a trip to a classic car museum? We cover several in one of this month’s featured articles, 7 Car Museums Dads Love.

Have you been to North Dakota?

The road trip we’re featuring this month is the epic North Dakota road trip that we took awhile back. We crossed the state from east to west (plus some zig-zagging) in seven days. Check out our day-by-day highlights, including some fun roadside attractions.

World’s largest…

This month’s featured roadside attraction isn’t actually on the roadside. In fact, it’s not even outdoors. But, it is a “world’s largest.”

Baby, it’s hot outside

On the subject of road trips, we’re between camping road trips right now. We were in the Ozarks where the whether started out pleasant and then became hot and humid the last several days. And the temperature is supposed to soar into the upper 90s again during our next trip. The change in weather got me to wondering what kind of weather others prefer for their vacations. Maybe you like it hot because you love water sports. Or maybe you’d rather wait until winter and take a ski trip. Let us know in this issue’s survey at the bottom of this newsletter. (We also share results of last issue’s survey.)

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You don’t have to be rich to travel well.

—Eugene Fodor

Featured Articles

7 Car Museums Dads Love

Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday. How are you celebrating with the dads in your life? Instead of buying gifts (which they probably don’t need), how about giving an experience instead? Most men I know enjoy classic cars, and would welcome a trip to a car museum. Here are seven car museums that we’ve visited and recommend.

Read 7 Car Museums Dads Love

Taking the Epic North Dakota Road Trip

An opportunity to take the epic North Dakota road trip? In a week’s time, no less. Of course, we accepted! We crossed the state east to west, and zig-zagged a few times, too, all in seven days. We discovered there is so much more to see in North Dakota than we ever knew. In fact, in most places we stopped for an hour or so, we wished we could have spent the entire day. Here’s how our trip went, day by day.

One Day in Fargo, North Dakota

Rode a Ferris wheel in a sporting goods store. Posed with a wood chipper while dressed as movie characters. Then, ate lunch in a beer hall, where I ordered (shame on me) Polish sausage. Read more.

Day 2: Valley City to Devil’s Lake

The Valley City Historic Bridges Tour seemed like a scavenger hunt. Some bridges easy to find, others a little more difficult. Then, north to descend 60 feet underground to the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site launch control center. Back south and west to the world’s largest buffalo, and then north again for more real, live buffalo. And prairie dogs that reminded me a lot of a Whack A Mole arcade game. All followed by the best dinner of our trip. Read more

Day 3: Devil’s Lake to Bottineau

Giant turtles, the geographic center of North America, International Peace Garden. And time in jail. Read more.

Day 4: Bottineau to Bismarck

What do Lewis and Clark have in common with Abraham Lincoln? In our case, Day 4. Read more.

Day 5: Bismarck to Dickinson

A scenic byway, which includes the Enchanted Highway and Fort Sauerkraut. Yes, it’s really called that. Find out why.

Day 6: Dickinson to Medora

Glow-in-the-dark rocks, Badlands, cowboys, Pitchfork Fondue, and Medora Musical. The grand finale. Read more.

Day 7: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

We started our trip home on Day 7, but not before driving through Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Gorgeous scenery, bison, and wild horses. Lots of wild horses. Read more.

Experience 1845 Life at the Lincoln Log Cabin

As we drove through Central Illinois we saw a sign that read, “Lincoln Log Cabin,” with an arrow pointing right. Of course, we had to check it out. Expecting to see perhaps a little cabin with an informational sign, instead we were surprised with the 86-acre property that was Abraham Lincoln’s father’s last farm. Learn more.

Have You Seen This?

World’s Largest Ball of Stamps

Midwest Wanderer Newsletter featured roadside attraction - world's largest ball of stamps
See the world’s largest ball of stamps at Boys Town in Nebraska. The Boys Town Stamp Collecting Club started the ball in 1953. Two years and 4,655,000 cancelled stamps later, the ball measured 32 inches in diameter and weighed 600 pounds. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not named it the world’s largest, and it has remained the same size ever since.

We Value Your Opinion

In the last Midwest Wanderer Newsletter issue, we asked, how higher gas prices will affect your travel plans this year. Here’s how you responded:

Higher gas prices will not affect our travel plans – 33%
We will travel to places closer to home than originally planned – 33%
Other – 33%

1 Comment: We walk around town. no traveling. Happy someone can spend 6+ weeks traveling. But those of limited means have to eat.

Let us know…Midwest Wanderer Newsletter survey

What kind of weather do you prefer for your vacation? Answer our one-question survey here.

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