Sunday, October 17, 2010

Water Falls in South Dakota

Sioux Falls
Oh, yeah! These beautiful falls are in downtown Sioux Falls. You can see its beauty at Falls Park, right in the center of downtown. There is a wonderful cafe, Falls Overlook Cafe, that serves great food, and you can sit outside and eat and enjoy the falls. The stone walled cafe is a former hydroelectric plant, and I think it's made of pink granite or jasper. (The state stone is jasper, so I bet that's what it is!) Whatever it is, it's beautifully colored pink blocks of stone. The waterfalls are a 100 foot drop, and the surrounding rock piles look like a gigantic bulldozer came through the plains and unearthed all these beautiful granite rock piles and then just left them behind. You can clamber all around the rocks and get extremely close to the falls. There are no railings to hold you back, which makes for some great camera  shots. The entire park is very pretty. After we checked out the falls, I went to a local Farmer's Market at the bottom of the hill and saw these really cool pumpkins. At first I thought they had a fungus or something, and that's why all the growths on them, but no, these are called "knucklehead" pumpkins, that's a particular kind of pumpkin grown from seed. Interesting!

Later in the day, I went for a bike ride on the bike trail around town. It's about a 20+ mile ride if you do the whole loop. It's a totally open paved bike path that follows the river as far as I can tell. It's just wide open spaces all the way with an urban landscape to view and a few parks sprinkled along the way. You see very little nature on this trail and it's completely out in the open, at least the ten miles that I did were. The trail was blocked off in several locations for bridge work, but that didn't stop hardcore bike enthusiasts from going on through anyway. Something very cool that I saw while out biking was a rock wall sculpture at Sherman Park. This was part of Sioux Falls' Sculpture Walk a few years back and it remains for people to enjoy. An Indian is hunting buffalo.  The buffalo's body is a large craggy boulder to simulate his hide. The artwork is entitled "Sacred Buffalo". Very cool! Today we finished out our sightseeing with the Sculpture Walk downtown, and a round of disc golf--We did 18 holes at beautiful Tuthill Park. If you are not familiar with disc golf, I'll tell you all about it tomorrow while Eldy is driving to first Mitchell, S.D., home of the Corn Palace, and then on to the Badlands!

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