The Yankton Trail Bridge has been a landmark in Sioux Falls for a long, long time. The bridge gets its name from the trail & stage road connecting the settlement that became Sioux Falls, SD, to Yankton, SD, which was then the capital of Dakota Territory. A small remnant of the original trail remains on the grounds of my alma mater, The University of Sioux Falls. I have no idea when the bridge on the trail was built over the ford; it’s looked pretty old as long as I remember. According to the bridge’s page on Bridgehunter.com (don’t you just love the Internet?) it was built in 1895, and is Pin-connected, 9-panel Parker through truss design.
Up until the 1970′s, when a much bigger bridge was built over the Big Sioux River at Western Avenue, southbound traffic on the gravel road heading south out of Sioux Falls went over that bridge. The Yankton Trail Bridge was then handed over to the Sioux Falls Parks & Recreation Department, and saw limited use from vehicle traffic entering & exiting Yankton Trail Park. Years later the park’s traffic flow was redesigned, a newer bridge built a little further downstream, and the Yankton Trail bridge was relegated to strictly foot & bicycle traffic. The bridge remained essentially unchanged from its original Pratt Truss design, but the Parks Dept. added a plank deck over its open mesh deck; being able to see through the deck you’re walking or riding over is a bit unnerving, so the plank deck was a welcome addition. At least to me!
True, the Yankton Trail Bridge is somewhat useful for bike trail users, but with two other pedestrian-friendly bridges within about 600 yards in either direction, it is a bit redundant. There isn’t a lot of historic significance attached to the bridge, so it’s something of an anachronism.
This spring we noticed that construction had commenced on the bridge, and we watched as it continued through the summer. Work on it was just recently completed; the original stone and masonry abutments were removed and new concrete abutments were built, new decking and railing were installed. It looks very nice.
Last week though, I ran across this little tidbit on the city’s website…
I just heard about a new (to me, anyway) establishment in Sioux Falls that I might have to try out; Monks House Of Ale Repute. The website says they’ve been around since late 2007, but I just saw a link to it over on the Minus Car Project tonight and clicked through. Sounds like my kinda place!
- Friendly service
- 17 Tap Beers
- Great Patio
- Wonderful Ambiance
- Cozy Fireplace
- Tasty Food Menu
- Sunday Movies
- Art Gallery
I’m no beer aficionado by any stretch of the imagination… In fact I can’t even remember the last time I imbibed any kind of adult beverage, but I do enjoy a good beer, and don’t consider most American beers to be in that category. In my pre-family days, while I was a member of the SDANG (ok, the 114th Tactical Fighter Wing), we did an extended deployment to Waddington RAF Base in Lincolnshire, England. While there, many of us spent considerable time at a nearby pub, The Horse & Jockey (they even have a website!) It was there I developed a taste for finer beers, and lost any respect I had for the likes of Miller High Life, Budweiser, et al. My favorite was a pint of stout with a splash of lime in it. And a pint was about all I could handle!
But since then, I rarely drink. I don’t enjoy going to most bars/pubs because most allow (encourage) smoking. I don’t smoke, don’t enjoy breathing others’ smoke, and detest walking out of a place smelling like smoke. Very cool that Monks is smoke free! And with that many beers on tap, each serving costing $3.50-$6.00, I can make multiple visits and sample one each time. Just one, mind you.
We’re having a cold snap in Sioux Falls this week. Not just cold, but stinkin’ cold. The photo above was taken of the thermometer on the back of our house at about 6am this morning. 14 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (that’s -25.5° C for the rest of the world.) No idea how accurate that old thermometer is — it came with the house — but KELO’s weather page shows -15° F for today’s low, and the National Weather Service has an official low of -11° for today. Tonight should be at least as cold.
Thankfully the wind wasn’t blowing much outside this morning, so starting the Suzuki wasn’t too bad. Not long after snapping the photo I went out to start up the engine & let it warm up a little. It’s always funny how the cold sucks the bounce out of the seats & suspension; hopping in is like jumping on a log. No give at all.
The air on a cold, cold morning like this is crisp and clear, and sounds take on a different character. Aircraft flying overhead sound totally different, cars driving by sound totally different… It’s a very cool experience. And on many mornings like this in years past, I’ve seen light pillars — vertical shafts of light above streetlights, farmyard lights, or car headlights. I didn’t get out before it was light, so didn’t see any this morning, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if they were around.
The cold is brutal, and makes me not want to go anywhere, but the cold brings out special phenomena that make venturing outside well worth the trouble of bundling up.
Sioux Valley Hospital, a mainstay of healthcare in Sioux Falls, SD, since the 1800′s, just disappeared this weekend. From now on it will be known as Sanford Health, in honor of T. Denny Sanford, who donated $400,000,000 to the hospital foundation this past week.
A Google search yields some interesting results; Sanford is #117 on Forbes’ list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. Interesting that Forbes’ shows Sanford as one of the top philanthropists in the country, and his goal in life is to “Die broke”. Also interesting is that he’s known by his friends as the “wolt”; World’s Oldest Living Teenager. I think I could like this guy.
He’s a lifelong entrepreneur, having made his fortune himself in the banking industry, more specifically First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard, both based in Sioux Falls.
Philanthropy.org has a nice article on the man and his gift.
Both Yvonne & Emily work at Sioux Valley… I mean Sanford Health. And the campus is only a few blocks from home. On the news last night they showed an architect’s rendering of what the campus might someday look like; I wonder how close it will be in say ten years.