When Water Flows Down

At Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD

The saddest of the falls we visited this week was in Sioux Falls, SD. The falls themselves were fine although they have, per the park signs, seen better days. For example there use to be a beautiful wooded island smack dab in the middle of the rolling falls. People supposedly came from all over the world to picnic there (grainy photos show men and woman in very uncomfortable dress pretending to have a good time eating a sandwich outdoors). The island was later flooded after a dam was built to help generate a little electricity.

Ruins of a mill once powered by the Falls

But falling water makes clean energy and if that means overly dressed ladies and gentlemen have to find a new place to picnic then so be it. The thing that made the falls sad to us was their incredibly close proximity to a very large meat processing plant. Falls Park even offered a small museum dedicated to giving tourists the “stockyard experience.” Yikes.

It’s not all slaughter houses and waterfalls though for us on what is our second road trip of the summer. We are also checking  out a few more colleges including Macalester in understated but still hip St. Paul, MN. But really we just want to head out west to see some mountains. Sadly though the view will likely be hazy. And if the fires weren’t bad enough, Covid cases are on the rise everywhere. And don’t get me started on the growing right wing threat to democracy. Some days I think it’s only the falls that keep us going.

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