July 6 - Watertown SD to Granite Falls MN

Explored the fine western Minnesota town of Dawson. Our good friend Jim from Burnsville lived here a few years ago as a young school teacher. Couldn't pass an opportunity to check it out. We'll be stopping and Jim and Sue's in a few days.

For whatever reason... heritage or tough winters or social expectations or ??... most small towns in the Midwest are very neat and clean, well maintained and cared for, exude a sense of civic pride, and the residents seem happy. In comparison, our observation is that many (not all, but many) towns of similar size, particularly in the south and southwest are little more than trashy dumps. What could be the reason for this?

Dawson is certainly a pleasant inviting place. People keep their property neatly trimmed and picked up; homes are painted and in good repair; fresh flowers in hanging baskets from every street light standard downtown; flags flying all around town; business activity seems vibrant; a large well-used city park. We were impressed.

Short drive today as we stopped along the Minnesota River just a little south of Granite Falls. State Parks are getting expensive all around the country, and Minnesota is no exception. Without an annual state parks pass vagabonds like us end up paying additionally for a day-at-a-time pass, which here, drove our price up to $29 for the night.

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Miles Today: 109 (odo 9525)
Location: N44.729, W95.435
Elevation: 890
Weather: Warm (90s) and sunny
Camp: Upper Sioux Agency State Park (MN) site 14, $29 (ouch) including vehicle permit.

Main street in Dawson

Dawson MN Park

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