Sioux Falls | Washingtonâ€™s Tri-Cities | Ski Destinations | Autumn Budget Travel
priceless: please take one September | October 2009
SLO County Operated by SkyWest Airlines
Sioux Falls offers ab museums, water pa undant shopping, restaurants featur ing rk accommodations. s, year-round events, area winerie local flavors, an historic downtow Best of all, our fulln, arts, theatre, pa s and much more! rk W service Conventio n & Visitors Bureau e are a community filled with qual s, golf courses, ity m s Located at th services ak es your life easier. So e junction of I-29 relax. Weâ€™ve got it and and I-90 s More than 4, covered! 200 hotel rooms s South Dakota â€™s largest city s Accommodat s 100,000 sq. es groups of all si ft. Convention Cent zes er s A #1 Host Ci ty
Sioux Falls Conve
ntion & Visitors Bu
800.333.2072 s w
Help select Americaâ€™s Best Places
VOTE for: Best Adventures
results will be published in SkyWest Magazine
contents Page 10 | Halfway between the snarl of SoCal and the Bay Area’s bustle, life plays out at a slow pace in San Luis Obispo County. From its wide-open beaches to winding country roads, this slice of heaven on earth makes an ideal vacation destination for Californians or anybody else inkling for an authentic taste of the Golden State.
Sioux Falls, SD Amazing Days on the Prairie Page 16 | Sioux Falls, South Dakota is one of those hometowns of the heartland where people smile at strangers, are unfailingly polite, and seemingly appreciate the good things they’ve got going. Visitors avail themselves of plenty of diversions including those revealing the real story about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her little house on the prairie.
28 | America’s Best Places: Wausau, Wisconsin 30 | America’s Best Places: Moses Lake, Washington 31 | Art Watch: Arroyo Grande, California’s Paul McCloskey 32 | Sky News 36 | Ski Destinations 39 | America’s Best Adventure: Eugene, Oregon Drift Boat 40 | Budget Friendly Vacations
Tri-Cities, WA An Exceptional Growing Climate Page 20 | This high-desert area affirms the theory that good things come in threes. The distinct communities of Pasco, Richland and Kennewick, Washington all benefit from a pleasant setting near the confluence of the Columbia, Yakima and Snake rivers. Each presents unique advantages that combine to create an enviable business and leisure environment.
On the Cover: Winter Light, by Paul J. McCloskey is a 16”x 20” Photo-Painting. The Arroyo Grande, California artist created it via a unique technique combining photography, pigment printing and acrylic paints on watercolor paper. The result captures the changing seasons in a San Luis Obispo County vineyard as seen through an olive grove. Learn more about the artist and his work on page 31.
42 | America’s Best Happenings 44 | It’s Our Journey, Too 48 | Behind the Scenes 50 | Crossword Puzzle 52 | Route Map 53 | About Our Aircraft 54 | Airport Maps 56 | Parting Shot
If you like this magazine you will love our new affiliate-website www.americasbestplaces.com. See pages 2 and 3 for details.
operated by SkyWest Airlines
Sioux Falls: Becky Macdonald
Back Road Bonanza
24 | America’s Best Places: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Tri-Cities: John Clement Photography
S-L-O County, CA
Cover: Paul J. McCloskey
September | October 2009
Go coastal with
your career and your life!
Where the sand and the sun meet the mountains to offer you that perfect environment! At Cottage Health System, our facilities are state-
of-the-art and our physicians, nurses, technicians and staff are simply the best. Our shared governance environment gives you a voice in the organization and encourages the contributions, creativity and skills of every member of our patient care teams. Currently we have exceptional opportunities for:
Registered Nurses and Allied Health Professionals Nestled between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Santa Barbara offers breathtaking vistas, a mild climate and an abundance of attractions on land and sea. We offer competitive compensation with above-market salaries, premium medical beneďŹ ts, new hire bonuses, relocation and rental assistance packages and more. If a career by the beach intrigues you, check out our website and career opportunities at:
Our People Offer Unparalleled Dedication Dear Passenger: I’m writing this letter as I take my twelve-year-old
son for his first trip “across the pond.” He has been anticipating this trip for weeks, and his eyes light up with delight every time he talks about being in Paris, visiting the Eiffel Tower, seeing the Arc de Triomphe and strolling down the Champs Elysees. As the flight attendant welcomes us, I can’t help but note the novelty of travel through the eyes of my son. There’s no doubt the world he’s growing up in is vastly different than mine was. Among other things, air travel and technology have made his world much smaller and more accessible—though clearly not without its own set of new challenges. Yet in the midst of a global recession, there’s no doubt that a view through his eyes offers refreshing perspective. He believes that he can change the world, and he understands that he owns his destiny. In that regard he’s a little bit like the people at SkyWest. We recognize that there are a myriad of challenges beyond our control, but we also recognize that we’re part of the solution. The companies that survive and thrive through good and bad times are those that create value for their customer—those that do things better. One of the greatest things about our SkyWest people is that everywhere I go employees are asking how they can do a little bit better for our customers and our company. Their attitudes are already making a difference. It’s found in the parts person who comes to me with a more cost-effective agreement; the pilot who talks to me while I’m in the cockpit’s jump-seat about how he thinks he can improve a program; the gate agent who has a fresh idea. SkyWest people care about each other and the customer. They continue to innovate and execute and make progress and improve upon the things we know we already do well. That kind of focus, particularly in today’s environment, is unmatched and critical to what we’re doing. You won’t find it anywhere else. With that kind of ownership, it’s clear that every one of our 10,000-plus employees wants to take care of you, the customer, better than anyone else. We’re passengers too and we understand that what we do and how we do it makes a difference in your day. Whether you’re connecting through a hub or on your way home, SkyWest’s people want to make your travel experience a good one. So on behalf of our dedicated employees, I’m pleased to welcome you aboard SkyWest United Express. Sit back, relax and enjoy your flight.
Russell “Chip” Childs President and COO SkyWest Airlines
6 | skyWest Magazine September/October 2009 united express
WAITING FOR A FLIGHT? SEE THE SIGHTS. Take a FREE shuttle and a tour of historic Temple Squareâ€”in less than two hours. Pickups at Terminal 1 (door 1), Terminal 2 (door 12).
When you Come to Utah, be sure to visit
TEMPLE SQUARE `ek_\_\Xikf]JXckCXb\:`kp 5PVSTBSFBWBJMBCMFJONPSFUIBOMBOHVBHFTt.BOZWFOVFTUPDIPPTFGSPN BOEBMMBSFGSFF
Your tour group can:
to the glorious music of the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir, rehearsing and performing in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
They also perform in the 21,000-seat Conference Center. See visittemplesquare.com for details.
your roots in the FamilySearch Center, where helpful volunteers can assist in retrieving family history information from the worldâ€™s largest repository of genealogical records.
through two upscale visitors' centers that include the Christus statue by Danish sculptor Thorvaldsen. Visit the interactive map of ancient Jerusalem (kids love it!) and much more.
'PSJOGPSNBUJPOPOUIFTFBOENBOZPUIFSGBTDJOBUJOHWFOVFTPO5FNQMF4RVBSF HPUPWJTJUUFNQMFTRVBSFDPN METPSHQMBDFTUPWJTJU PSDBMM PD50013889
ramblings and recommends
Eavesdropping: My Personal Economic Indicator Dear Reader: I confess. I am an inveterate eavesdropper. Years ago a college professor encouraged my natural tendency to listen-in on others by recommending the technique as a goldmine for creative writers. “Listen everywhere you go,” she said. “Cafes, airports, train stations. You’ll get ideas and inspiration and insight.” As I carved a career telling stories, I learned to keep an open ear to strangers. Sometimes I actively chat up a seatmate or passerby. Most often I passively pay attention. In addition to free entertainment and intellectual stimulation, I find that what I hear indicates much about the state of humanity. With my typical Pollyanna-perspective, I am thrilled to report that things are looking up. Just a few years ago I noted that my fellow travelers seemed to spend a lot of time talking about acquisitions—exotic getaways, great deals on luxury goods, pricey new homes destined to sell for an even higher price, cars, boats and other external trappings. Even casual airport chatter often revealed a game of consumptive one-upmanship bordering on the ravenous. No more. The dizzying economic maelstrom leaves little room for pomposity. In the midst of significant challenges I now encounter waves of sensibility. Conversations are often salted with gratitude for life’s simple blessings—a job, a home, the ability to travel—and an awareness of its grand impermanence. I hear talk of hope
even in the face of brutal adversity, and joy in the midst of uncertainty. We are taking things one day at a time and learning to look for new opportunities, tap into forgotten strengths, stretch our budgets and take our fun where we find it. Truth is, good times are almost always at hand. It’s just a matter of choosing to find them. Even the most laborious business trip can incorporate adventure. Savvy travelers check with the local CVB for freebies as well as special discounts for restaurants, retailers, museums, zoos and other attractions. They know hotels are often willing to make a deal for excess inventory and that special offers can be theirs for the asking. Autumn is an especially appealing time for travelers looking for a little leisure. Crowds diminish. Prices drop and inexpensive festivals herald the bounty of the land. Winefests, Applefests, Pumpkinfests and more hearken to our agrarian roots and remind us that the seasons pass quickly and life is worth celebrating. So, as this year begins its ebb into history, allow me to encourage you to ponder the things that really matter; make a conscious effort to look at all the beauty and wonder the world holds. Decide to make the most of each day—even if things don’t go exactly as planned. As for me? I can have a good time anywhere—as long as there’s someone to listen to. Happy Skies!
Colleen Birch Maile Editor in Chief
P U B L I C AT I O N S I N C O R P O R A T E D
president Kelly D. Coles editor-in-chief Colleen Birch Maile firstname.lastname@example.org art director Janie W. Budell email@example.com copy editor Bethany Maile proof readers Anna Bierman Tatro | Quincy Budell contributors Amanda Bjerke | Anna Hobart Connie Naylor | Marissa Snow
director sales and marketing Teena J. Wright l 208-333-9990 firstname.lastname@example.org advertising managers AZ, NM, TX, WY, ND, SD: Keith Sauls l 208-354-5400 email@example.com MT, OR, UT, WA, Canada: Wendy Rivers l 406-586-0439 firstname.lastname@example.org CO, NV, Northern and Central CA: Susan Vernier Garcia l 970-927-9599 email@example.com for all other locations call: SkyWest Magazine corporate office 208-333-9990 l fax: 208-333-9991 205 N. 10th St., Suite B100, Boise, ID 83702 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.skywestmagazine.com SkyWest Airlines 444 S. River Rd., St. George, UT 84790 435-634-3000 l email: email@example.com SkyWest Airlines Stock Symbol: SKYW
SkyWest Magazine (ISSN 1527-4152) is published bi-monthly by Go! Publications, Inc. for United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines. The opinions expressed by authors and contributors to SkyWest Magazine are not necessarily those of the editor, publisher or of SkyWest Airlines. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply official endorsement of the products or services concerned. While every care has been taken to ensure accuracy of content, no responsibility can be taken for any errors and/or omissions. No part of this SkyWest Magazine may be reproduced without the express permission of the publisher. © 2009 Go! Publications Inc. All rights reserved.
Copies available for $6 each.
This magazine assumes no responsibility for the safekeeping or return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, artwork or other material. This magazine does not reply to queries without SASE.
For reprints of articles in this issue of SkyWest Magazine, please call 208-333-9990. Visit us on our website at www.skywestmagazine.com.
8 | skyWest Magazine September/October 2009 united express enviroink.indd 1
10/1/08 10:44:38 AM
Back Road Bonanza
in California’s SLO-Lane
by Colleen Birch Maile
hat old Judy Garland song runs through my head every time I think of San Luis Obispo County—“S-L-O” as the locals call it. Located halfway between the snarl of SoCal and the Bay Area’s bustle, life really is slower here, and simpler too. There’s something about the place and its people that always lifts the spirits. From the fresh salt air of Morro Bay and Pismo Beach to the walnut groves and vineyards of the Edna Valley, I can breathe deeply here. Californians looking for a quick getaway or anybody else inkling for an authentic taste of the Golden State would do well to explore this slice of heaven on earth. Consider the lure of the land itself. It’s easy to spend a weekend, a week, or longer rambling along the back roads, encountering breathtaking views at almost every turn. Variety is the order of the day. Sand dunes, rolling surf, wooded country roads and fertile farm fields are a feast for the eyes and a balm for the soul. There’s never enough time to enjoy all the county has to offer. So plan on staying a while. Throughout the area you’ll find an array of lodging—from quaint bed-and-breakfast inns to luxurious seaside resorts, kitschy motels to historic hotels. Dining options abound. Boutiques, art galleries and studios pop up in some of the most 10 | skyWest Magazine September/October 2009 united express
out-of-the-way places. There are a plethora of golf courses, bike paths and hiking trails. Wineries and tasting rooms are seemingly everywhere—from downtown plazas to remote rural locales. In fact, there’s so much to see and do that every day in SLO goes by very quickly. To get started, choose from the following menu highlighting some of the county’s charming communities. Once you’ve had a taste of SLO you’ll want to return—often. San Simeon, best known as the site of William Randolph Hearst’s opulent “castle,” now a state park, is also home to some notable waterfront. Piedras Blancas and San Simeon beaches are the southernmost California playgrounds of the northern elephant seal. The long-snouted creatures can be seen—and heard—from highway vantage points. Males emit a thunderous roar. They’re especially prevalent during the winter mating season. Cambria, an artists’ colony with a Victorian ambience and a carefree sensibility, is a worthy destination in its own right. Its Main Street runs parallel to the highway between the Pacific and forested hills and is home to quaint galleries, restaurants and shops. Cambria also serves as gateway to a stellar attraction that doesn’t cost
© 2004-2009 “Painting With Light” Photo-Paintings by Paul J. McCloskey - All Rights Reserved Autumn Colors, a 24” x 36” photo-painting on canvas, mixed media
Forget your troubles. Come on get happy . . . Gonna chase all the blues away . . .
© 2004-2009 “Painting With Light” Photo-Paintings by Paul J. McCloskey - All Rights Reserved Autumn Light, a 16” x 20” photo-painting on watercolor paper, mixed media
more than some petrol and time behind the wheel. The picturesque Santa Rosa Creek Road wends eastward from town through the forest, past orchards, vineyards and historic rancheros. The first five miles are relatively flat and popular with cyclists. Then the switchbacks begin. It’s steep and curvy and deserving of a driver’s respect, but the views make it well worth the time. Paso Robles, 30 miles inland from Cambria via Highway 46, is noted for both water and wine. For more than 150 years, tourists have flocked to its healing hot springs. Today, the Paso Robles Inn is located on the site of a spa built in 1900. Its guests continue to enjoy the rejuvenating waters. The local wine industry boasts an equally impressive heritage. Vineyards were first planted in the region more than a century ago. Now more than 200 wineries make their home in the area. In autumn, the deciduous vines turn the rolling hillsides shades of purple and gold, adding a delicious visual dimension to the region’s many tasting opportunities.
The Edna Valley spills down to the ocean. Pacific breezes and morning fog help cool its grapes. The area also enjoys one of the state’s longest growing seasons and a lovely landscape. Pismo Beach, California’s Clam Capital, sits atop a cliff overlooking the Pacific and ocean fun defines the town. The 60-acre Pismo Beach State Park offers a playground and volleyball courts. A staircase leads to downtown’s Margo Dodd Park. With its quaint gazebo, it’s a perfect perch to relax and take in the amazing view. It forms the terminus of several streets including Ocean Boulevard, and is a great place for a picnic—especially at sunset. Steps at the end of Pier Street access the beach and offer opportunity for snorkelers in the gentle tide pools. At nearby Shell Beach, there are more good times. All along the water, kayakers splash, landboarders and kiteboarders scoot merrily along, and surf and dive shops offer lessons and rent fun by the hour.
Morro Bay takes its name from the rocky volcanic outcropping— morro—that marks its San Luis Obispo, harbor. Don’t even founded in 1772 as one Fall foliage along a country road south of Paso Robles think about scaling the of the original Spanish landmark. It’s the nesting ground of protected Missions, is now the county’s largest town. As home to California Polytechnic State University, it enjoys all Peregrine falcons, a state park and decidedly off the expected college town trappings—including a limits. But many other diversions are at play great performing arts center and a wealth of enter- in this historic fishing village. Book a charter trip tainment. A sophisticated intelligentsia adds an and land your own catch-of-the-day or dine extra measure of art and culture to a place that still sumptuously at a local eatery where seafood honors its ties to the land. The county’s thriving is always fresh. Grab the camera and photograph agricultural sector is showcased year-round with a the harbor. Kayak or boat to the Morro Sand Dunes—home to several varieties of protected fabulous weekly farmer’s market. Don’t miss it. birds. Amble down the beach and do nothing Edna Valley, just south of the town of San Luis except listen to the sounds of a world at peace. n Obispo, adds much to the county’s stellar reputa- Illustrations accompanying this article are by Paul McCloskey, an tion as a wine-growing region. Grapes are the Arroyo Grande graphic artist/photographer. A sampling of his largest crop in an area that still counts walnuts, Central Coast images are on display at that community’s Clark olives and cattle among its products. Wine lovers Center Pavilion now through October. In addition to producing fine planning an exploration of the Paso Robles Amer- art prints using an innovative technique he terms “photo-painting” ican Viticulture Area (AVA) would do well to also McCloskey commits his art to note cards available at the visit here and the neighboring Arroyo Grande San Luis Obispo Airport gift shop. For more about his work Valley. You’ll encounter small mom-and-pop see ArtWatch page 31 or visit the Painting With Light Gallery at operations, chatty winemakers and few crowds. http://web.mac.com/paul_mccloskey/Painting_With_Light_Gallery. skyWest Magazine September/October 2009 united express |
ANNUAL COUNTY OPEN STUDIOS ART TOUR October 10 - 11 (South County) October 17 – 18 (North County) More than 200 local artists open their studios and greet the public. This is an opportunity to see the creative process unfold and find a personal treasure. Sunset washes Morro Bay with color
PASO ROBLES HARVEST WINE TOUR October 16 - 18 During harvest, wineries invite revelers to learn about their art with a roster of fun activities, including a twoton grape stomp. PISMO BEACH CLAM FESTIVAL October 17 - 18 California’s Clam Capital salutes its favorite crustacean with a downtown parade, music, food, a clambake and a clam chowder cook-off. Yum! n
San Simeon Cambria
PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY
San Luis Obispo Edna Valley
TASTE SENSE DIVERSITY MYSTIQUE INTENSITY CENTRAL COAST
CALIFORNIA TERROIR HISTORY PASSION FUTURE PASOWINE.COM
© 2009 PASO ROBLES WINE COUNTRY ALLIANCE – WWW.PASOWINE.COM
12 | skyWest Magazine September/October 2009 united express
© 2004-2009 “Painting With Light” Photo-Paintings by Paul J. McCloskey - All Rights Reserved Winter Solstice, a 24” x 36” photo-painting on canvas, mixed media
While any time is a good time for an SLO playcation, the harvest season is special. Whether you can stay for a week or just a weekend, autumn brings ideal weather— warm, sunny days and cool clear nights—and offers a bevy of festivals and events. Consider these possibilities:
&OR OVER THIRTY YEARS THE (OPE FAMILY HAS HELPED SHAPE 0ASO 2OBLES INTO A WORLD CLASS W I N E RE G I O N ( O P E & A M I L Y 7 I N E S P RO D U C E S 4RE A N A ,IBERTY 3CHOOL !USTIN (OPE AND #ANDOR WINES 3 T O P B Y T H E P I C T U RE S Q U E TASTING CELLAR NESTLED IN THE HILLS OF 0ASO 2OBLES HOPEFAMILYWINESCOM
The Vineyards Have Spoken! Visit our stunning mountaintop location, and taste highly acclaimed estate-grown westside Paso wines: HMR Pinot Noir, Viking Cabernet, RhĂ´ne varietals and dry-farmed Zinfandel 5805 Adelaida Rd., Paso Robles, CA 93446 800.676.1232 â€˘ adelaida.com â€˘ Tasting Room open 10â€“5 daily
Open Daily 11 am â€“ 5 pm
Sample our estate grown, certified sustainable award-winning wines Located at the corner of Vineyard Drive & Adelaida Road 8 9 1 0 ADELAIDA ROAD , PAS O RO BLES , CALI F O RN I A 8 05-226-9455 Âˇ WWW. H ALT ERRAN CH . CO M
2005 CABERNET â€˜BEST CAB IN CALIFORNIAâ€™ FROM THE CA STATE FAIR
Panoramic hilltop location just four miles west of Paso Robles.
0%!#(9 #!.9/. 2/!$ s /0%. $!),9 !- 4/ 0- s skyWest Magazine September/October 2009 united express |
time e f i L a f o ion The Vacat t Park n e m e s u al Am r u t a N ’s California
Exploring the cities of the Central Coast is the delight of young and old alike. And the best days are when every member of the family is along for the ride. Find happiness together in San Luis Obispo County. www.SanLuisObispoCounty.com
Arroyo Grande • Atascadero • Grover Beach • Morro Bay • Paso Robles • Pismo Beach • San Luis Obispo Baywood-Los Osos • Cambria • Cayucos • Lake Nacimiento • Nipomo • Oceano • San Miguel • Shandon • Templeton Avila Beach • California Valley • Cholame • Halcyon • Harmony • Pozo • San Simeon • Santa Margarita
San Luis Obispo County is California’s Natural Amusement Park
The charming downtown park, award-winning wine, cuisine and golf, outdoor family adventures, lakes, and cultural events of Paso Robles offer an authentic taste of California. www.travelpaso.com
IF IC O CE AN Hearst Castle
Morro Bay San Luis Obispo
Pismo Beach San Luis Obispo is full of fresh, fun activities. Renowned wineries, world-famous Farmers’ Market, or the simplicity of a hike with a breathtaking view Experience the SLO Life! www.visitslo.com Discover Your Better Nature in Morro Bay. Play ocean-side golf or go kayaking, hiking, surfing or photograph wildlife by the bay. www.morrobay.org
Pismo Beach has fresh ocean breezes, beautiful beaches, a lively downtown and a rich wine region just a few minutes away. www.ClassicCalifornia.com HALFWAY BETWEEN SAN FRANCISCO AND LOS ANGELES O P E N E V E RY D AY
America’sB est Places
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
on the Prairie by Anna Hobart
ioux Falls, South Dakota ranks high on my list of comfortable American cities. It’s one of those hometowns of the heartland where people smile at strangers, are unfailingly polite, and seemingly appreciate the good things they’ve got going.
Forbes magazine likes the little city on the Big Sioux River for its economic climate. (It regularly places tops in the publication’s surveys of places to do business or find work.) Locals enjoy an enviable lifestyle. The charming downtown boasts a bonanza of public sculptures, quaint trolley cars and a bounty of cute shops and cozy restaurants. There are several art galleries and studios, museums and performing arts groups. The Sioux Falls Arena packs the calendar with sporting events, concerts and expositions. There’s a year-round zoo, and a large park surrounds the namesake falls, a must-see for every tourist. Visitors find plenty of things to see and do right in town. That said, anyone who grew up pining for a Little House on the Prairie experience should schedule a day trip from Sioux Falls to De Smet, South Dakota—about an hour-and-a-half away by car. If by some fluke your elementary school teacher failed to read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s stories aloud to your class, you may be scratching your head. The Little House on the Prairie 16 | skyWest Magazine September/October 2009 united express
The town’s namesake falls on the Big Sioux River are a must-see
TV show plunked Laura, her ma and pa and sisters in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, where they lived out more than eight first-run seasons and have existed in syndication for a quarter-century. Hollywood’s creative license took a toll there. In reality, the Ingalls were nomads hop-scotching from Wisconsin to Kansas, Minnesota, and Iowa before finally putting down roots in the Dakota Territory when Laura was a teenager. (They only spent two years in Walnut Grove.) In DeSmet you find the truth of their tale. Tourists started poking around town almost as soon as Laura published the first of four books set in the community. That 1939 work, By the Shores of Silver Lake, detailed how the family arrived on the heels of the first government survey team and, while waiting to file their homestead claim, lived in a lakeside house the surveyors left behind. The Ingalls hunkered down in that simple structure during a series of brutal blizzards documented in The Long Winter. When spring came, DeSmet began to grow up around them. Laura immortalized its development in Lit-
Historical Buildings: Kaitlin O’Shea
restored. Its period furnishings include a dresser built by Pa Ingalls. Across the street, the Discover Laura Center is a hands-on museum featuring a one-room schoolhouse and all its trappings, plus plenty of 19th-century gear and gizmos. Among its many activities, the young and young-at-heart can work a treadle sewing machine, or learn to spin wool. In 1880, the family moved to a 157-acre farm. That Ingalls Homestead is now a commercial venture featuring a reproduction of the Ingalls’ “little house” and a barn reconstructed in their exact locations. It also presents a sod dugout similar to the Ingalls’ home on the banks of Minnesota’s Plum Creek. Covered wagon rides, a petting zoo of farm animals and a re-creation of an 1880s-era school make this a fun adventure for Little House fans of all ages. After seven years on the homestead, Pa gave up farming and built the family a modest, white, wood-frame house in town. The simple twostory structure still stands on its original Third Street location and contains many of the Ingalls’ possessions. By the time her family moved to that final home, Laura was 20 years old, married to homesteader Almanzo Wilder and helping him tend a wheat crop near DeSmet. Its failure was the first in a series of setbacks that eventually prompted their move to Missouri’s Ozarks where Laura wrote the books detailing her childhood. For three weeks each July one of those stories is dramatized during De Smet’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant. The theater is located outdoors between the Ingalls’ original homestead and the marshland that has replaced some (but not all) of the Silver Homes on the Prairie: Author Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family spent their first Dakota winter in the structure shown at left; Later Charles “Pa” Ingalls built the house shown at right Lake of Laura’s day. The site itself is a part of the community’s Little House legacy. tle Town on the Prairie and reflected on her stint as a Maps provided by the Memorial Society 15-year-old South Dakota schoolmarm smitten with the direct visitors to other Little House landmarks. young farmer Almanzo Wilder in These Happy Golden They include the land claim where newlyweds Years. Laura and Almanzo Wilder welcomed their Writing secured Laura’s place in history. Generation only surviving child, Rose, and their place of after generation falls in love with her work. Shortly after worship—The First Congregational Church (the the author’s 1957 death at the age of 90, De Smet’s city stained glass windows are still held in place fathers made it easier for fans to connect with by frames Pa crafted). The hilltop cemetery, her stories by establishing The Laura Ingalls Wilder where Ma, Pa, Mary, Grace, Carrie and Laura’s Memorial Society and turning much of their still-small unnamed son are all laid to rest, is also notetown into a tribute to the author and her family. The worthy. As are the stories and their still-touching original Surveyors’ House has been moved from the portrayal of this region. shores of Silver Lake to downtown and is completely skyWest Magazine September/October 2009 united express |
Amazing animals. continents.
One place. Delbridge Museum of Natural History in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, home to the collection of hunter Henry Brockhouse. Combined admission with the Great Plains Zoo. www.greatzoo.org 18 | skyWest Magazine September/October 2009 united express Skywest Quarter Page Ad
Aerial view of Heartland Country Corn Maze’s mountain lion design
Maze: Heartland County Corn Maze apples: Becky Macdonald
Next summer, Sioux Falls’ Washington Pavilion—the community’s impressive all-purpose arts organization—will present the Guthrie Theater’s highly acclaimed Little House on the Prairie, the musical, starring Melissa Gilbert as Ma. The original Minneapolis production debuted in the fall of 2008 and ran for 93 soldout performances. Sioux Falls is among just 30 cities included in the national tour. Audra Fullerton, director of artistic planning for the Pavilion’s Husby Performing Arts Center said, “When it was brought to our attention that it was going on tour we just had to be part of it because of its profound relevance and historic importance to our region.” The show will run June 1 through 6, 2010.
It’s not necessary to wait until next summer to get a taste of rural South Dakota. Autumn in Sioux Falls holds other opportunities to feel close to the land. During the harvest season, anyone can get a tiny glimpse of the pioneer experience by heading south of town to pick apples or choose a fresh pumpkin at the Country Apple Orchard near Harrisburg. About five miles from there, the Heartland County Corn Maze is an opportunity to clamber through a dense field carved with paths that also form a work of art. This manner of fall fun is a far cry from cutting corn with a hand sickle or a team of horses. The tasks that meant survival for Laura and her family now provide pleasant pastimes for those who live much easier lives. Her tales of the faith, love and friendship that sustained the prairie pioneers still resonate in Sioux Falls. n
Melissa Gilbert & Steve Blanchard in The Guthrie Theater Production of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE The Musical and Kara Lindsay as “Laura” book Rachel Sheinkin music Rachel Portman lyrics Donna diNovelli based on the ‘Little House’ books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
directed by Francesca Zambello
production initiated for the stage by Adrianne Lobel and Francesca Zambello
TICKETS START AT $34.00!
ONE WEEK ONLY! • JUNE 1-6, 2010 For tickets call:
www.washingtonpavilion.org Downtown Sioux Falls, SD
America’sB est Places
Washington’s Tri-Cities Enjoy an Exceptional Growing Climate
ashington’s Tri-Cities area affirms the theory that good things come in threes. Three distinct communities— Pasco, Richland and Kennewick—benefit from a pleasant high desert setting near the confluence of the Columbia, Yakima and Snake Rivers. Each community affords unique advantages. Together they create an environment Business Week recently recognized as one of the top three American places to “make a fresh start.” Kennewick, the most populated, boasts a strong manufacturing sector and a huge fun factor. Making the most of its location on the banks of the mighty Columbia River, it’s home to Columbia Park—a recreational mecca featuring the Family Fishing Pond, playground, splash park and public golf course. Kennewick’s entertainment options also include annual hydroplane races, the local fair and a long roster of entertainment options at the Toyota Center. A lovely cable bridge crosses the Columbia to connect Kennewick with Pasco. That thriving community enjoys retail and housing booms, yet clings to its agricultural heritage. Each year throngs flock to the Pasco Farmer’s Market—the region’s largest showcase for local growers. Patrons enjoy fresh produce and the products it 20 | skyWest Magazine September/October 2009 united express
inspires. Every September The Fiery Festival celebrates the local Hispanic community with a salute to all things spicy and flavorful. Richland shed its farm-town attitude more than 60 years ago when it became the federal government’s choice for the Hanford Site, home to the nation’s first nuclear reactor. It remains a major global force in science and technology. Residents also benefit from proximity to the Hanford Reach National Monument—the last free-flowing stretch of the Columbia River. In addition to ample recreational options and a bustling business environment, the cities share a sunny, four-season climate pleasing to man and especially well suited to Washington’s flourishing wine industry. The area is home to the prestigious Red Mountain viticulture area, a region known for its full-bodied red varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Grapes grown in this unusual terroirs benefit from warm sunny days and the cooling effect of the Yakima River at night. They are sought after by some of the
Vineyard: John Clement Photography
by Connie Naylor