This weekend I'm visiting my parents in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Knowing I wanted to get in a minimum of 15,000 steps to meet my daily FitBit goal, I decided I'd walk to get my coffee. Since I'm all excited about the new Caribou perks/payment app, I set out to walk to the the location at 28th & Minnesota Avenue because it opens at 6 AM.
Route on Strava
I woke up shortly after 5 AM so I knew I could get in a solid walk before my parents, sister, Scott, and Stewie woke up. I knew that the Caribou at 28th and Minnesota Avenue would be a long walk but I didn't realize it would end up being more than 13.1 miles (1/2 marathon).
Though I was born in Sioux Falls and my parents currently live there, I have not walked around the city much. Since I tend to observe more while on foot, it was fun to revisit many places I only see from a car window.
Caught my eye along the way
I didn't take many photos for the first stretch of my walk along the bike trails along the Big Sioux River because it was dark and raining. I discovered that while the bike trails are great, there are only a couple of points one can cross the river. I had already passed my one opportunity so I had to walk all the way to 41st Street. In addition to the river, there are two golf courses that do not allow foot or bike traffic through them. Since I love going downtown, this is a regular annoyance for me when I'm visiting.
There is a Ferris wheel in this Sheels Sporting Goods store!
I cut through the Augustana College campus where I spent the summer of 2000 as a career counseling intern. It was fun to check out some of the buildings and sculptures so early in the morning. Besides a few student athletes, I didn't see anyone on campus!
After having to walk along 41st Street on the way to Caribou, I was so excited that Google found a way for me to return to my parent's house via the bike trail. According to the directions, I'd be able to cross the river between 18th and 41st Streets.
The first bridge I encountered had a big NO TRESPASSING sign thanks to the two big country clubs. The second bridge and the one Google Maps thought I'd be able to cross has a locked gate at its entrance. So annoying. I had to walk all the way back to 41st Street (I didn't realize I could have walked to 18th Street) to cross to the east bank trail.
Though I didn't set out to walk 13 miles, I am so glad I was able explore so much of Sioux Falls on foot. I'm hoping to go on another walk tomorrow.
Post script: Safety first?
As I walked through Sioux Falls, I was reminded that many places have a long way to go to create a safe environment for all modes of transportation. There is no doubt that Sioux Falls is a car focused city and some of the places where I walked were pretty terrifying in terms of being able to cross streets safely.
From that perspective, I think the The state of South Dakota sends a mixed message with its Fatality Marker Program which allows WHY DIE? signs and memorials at crash sites. The markers themselves are a bit distracting in my humble opinion and I have to question their effectiveness when dangerous intersections like 41st Street and Kiwanis Avenue remain. This particular intersection has had 65 crashes, 17 injuries since Jan. 2013.
At the northeast 41st and Kiwanis, I had no idea how to safely cross the intersection as a walker. There were no signs indicating that I was not allowed to cross there and yet absent of all of the infrastructure to aide in pedestrian safety. This said to me, you have no business being here, walker and yet I was surrounded by businesses and a large junior and senior high school!
Inspiration & Goals
The Nivens Family