Mysteries in our Middle Lands

If you want to know where I came from, drive about 135 miles east from Rapid City, South Dakota, on Interstate 90 and look for the Pioneer Auto Museum signs!


This is the old Highway 16 that parallels the Interstate and that brings you into town.
This is the house I grew up in. It once had a very big front porch that extended across the whole front.  My dad planted all the trees. My friend Joyce, who bought the house many years after my family left, added the fancy front door, shutters and brick steps.

The old water tower still stands, but two more modern towers now store water from the Missouri River 60 miles away.


The widest and perhaps emptiest main street in the world is not just an optical illusion.

Head out of town past the cemetery and you’ll find the gate to the last house my parents lived in on the left.

IMG_0115IMG_0107What you won’t find anymore is the house, that blew away in a tornado.  The little shed is on the neighbor’s land.

IMG_0122IMG_0150The The time zone change between Central and Mountain Time Zones that used to run right down the middle of our main street has been moved to the county line, fifteen miles to the west.

IMG_0135   IMG_0145As soon as you leave Murdo, heading west, start looking for the signs for Petrified Gardens and Wall Drug.  You won’t be able to overlook them!

IMG_0155Nor will you be able to overlook the beautiful badlands.  Veer off the Interstate for a better view.  I’m including a few shots from the Interstate.
IMG_0127 IMG_0189  IMG_0156IMG_0187

If you don’t know about Wall Drug, read about it HERE

IMG_0181    Version 2IMG_0190   IMG_0131IMG_0160   IMG_0142  Version 2
Plenty of beautiful scenery as you head for Rapid City, The Black Hills and Mount Rushmore.

So, that’s the rest of the story!!! I’m now back in Sheridan after driving thirty hours on the road–1758 miles in 5 days.  Great visits with my nieces and older sister, old school friends in three different towns,  and my cousins Sharon and Lisa in a fourth town…Talk about a whirlwind tour!!!  Rain most of the day for two days–today a rain of insects that almost completely covered the grill and windshield of the car…Always a new thrill in what looks like tame country.  Thanks for following along! And thanks, Patti, for doing most of the driving and planning!

You may click on these pictures for larger views.  Bet you knew that.

The Prompt: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

25 thoughts on “Mysteries in our Middle Lands

  1. Liz

    Thanks Judy for the wonderful tour of your birth place. I always wondered from where such a beautiful and talented artist like you hailed. Seems Murdo doesn’t get much action, but perhaps the silence and quiet beauty of the area nurtured your imagination & creative and artistic mind. Safe travels and hope to see you soon. xoxo Liz


    1. lifelessons Post author

      What a generous comment, Liz. Thanks so much. Perhaps what you say is true–about lack of activity actually fostering creativity. I do think it takes some prodding, however, and the lack of art and writing classes at my school probably caused a delay. I’d say the best we can do is to make sure kids have the opportunity and materials to foster their creative talents…Then it is just a matter of support!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Catherine. If you ever do go, be sure to take scenic 16–Mt. Rushmore, the pigtails, Custer State Park. Regrettably, Rockerville Gold Town has met its demise.



    Thanks for the tour, your roadside manor, impressive. But we all know where your from! Fairy tales and Sweet fragrant breezes, tall trees, swaying grasses. Seen on shadowy nights, where one doe’s what one pleases.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Not many trees in my part of the state, but certainly more than when I lived there. Those trees were all babies when I was. My town was only 40 years old or so when I was born and many of the trees you see were planted by my mom and dad! The trees grew up with me.


  3. Leland Olson Hoel

    I am glad that you got to make a trip back home, it is always good to see the old hometown. I spent most of the summer there in 1956 working for the Lindekugel Construction Company. I believe they paved a record miles of asphalt on Highway 16 that summer. That was a busy little town that year with a construction gang plus the regular tourist mob. The company had bunk houses out by Draper but I rented a cot in the hotel basement so I was a little closer to an eating place. I was 16 years old working on Highway 16 about 16 hours a day with no overtime. I got paid $1 an hour. I thought I was in hog heaven that summer. Thanks for taking me back to visit Murdo with you.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Was it the Gem hotel you stayed in and Mack’s Cafe you ate at? We probably saw each other. I was 9 years old. Mack’s Cafe was about the only place to eat back then. Maybe Fern’s Cafe in the gas station and I think there was a little restaurant across the street next to the movie theater. Did you go to the weekend movies there?


      1. Leland Olson Hoel

        That is a long time ago. It seems like we ate breakfast at the Gas Station Cafe. The only place I could find to sleep was renting a roll away bed in a corner of the hotel basement, as I recall it was on the north side of the street. We usually drove back home every weekend. It was one long hot summer I do remember that.



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