Since dining in a group is a challenge, the SFCC first Drive and Dine has been modified to allow for Social Distancing (SD). Our Drive & Dines are normally scheduled for weekday evenings, so I’ve always tried to keep the driving distance to about an hour, so that we can enjoy a meal and be home before the deer start to occupy the roads. Our first Drive & Dine will be a day trip lasting about 5 ½ hours without stops, so depending on how many stops you make, plan accordingly. We’ll plan to leave as a caravan, but encourage everyone to stop whenever you want, spread out, and just follow the directions, so it’ll be easier to not crowd into any one of the trivia spots mentioned later in this article. On Saturday, May 23 meet in the parking lot of Jerry’s Corvette Center at 11AM. (Depart at 11:30 or whenever you want) the route will take us through Pickstown, into Nebraska, Monowi, Niobrara, Tyndall, and Yankton. There are no lunch or dinner plans made for the group, but continue to read for details. As always, you’re welcome to invite potential members to join us on this trip. PRINT THIS NOW, and put it in your Vette, so you have directions.
There are five noteworthy trivia along our route:
Monowi, NE. Monowi is a Native American word meaning “wild flower” originating from the number of wild flowers that grew on the site which is now the town. Featured in a recent article in Road & Track, according to the 2010 US Census, Monowi has a population of just one person, the only incorporated municipality in the US with a population of one.Ellie is the sole resident and operates the only business in Monowi, which by now you may have guessed is a bar.We’ll stop to have a beverage, say hi to Ellie, and maybe use the outdoor toilet. Plan ahead, because with a name like Wild Flower, I envision a landscape with few trees.
The scenic overlook on the SD side of Missouri River, just north of Niobrara, NE (Native American translation is Running Water) is beautiful and you’ll view the launch site of the Running Water ferry which was one of the last operating ferry service to cross the
Mighty MO. There were 75-80 ferry services that operated from Sioux City to Mobridge from 1855 to 1984.They used a “raise the flag” system to signal the operator that there was a customer waiting for the two hour crossing.You can find some photos in the Dock bar across the street from the scenic overlook.
The Dock is one of three bars in SD that is grandfathered into a law that allows customers to buy beer and go out into the parking lot to drink it. (Another is the famous Ice House in Yankton).Surprised that law is still on the books. The Dock does serve good burgers, just in case you’re hungry and thirsty.
Charlie’s Pizza in Yankton is the oldest pizza house in SD and voted best pizza in SD by Food Network Magazine.I plan to order ahead, carryout, and go to a small park with several picnic tables just south of Charlie’s.
The social distancing rules have been relaxed, but not removed, so from this point I really want to stress, HEAD OUT & SPREAD OUT. From here it’s about an hour drive to Yankton, so I’ve included a list of possible eating establishments, so you can start making phone calls to make dinner plans for yourself or your small group. You’ll have an hour drive to Yankton or a two hour drive to Sioux Falls.
Bring a cooler, pack sandwiches, or stop at the Subway across the street from Jerry’s
JoDeans in Yankton 665-9884
Charlie’s Pizza in Yankton 665-2212
Numerous fast food, drive through in Yankton
Toby’s Chicken in Meckling 624-9905
Bunyan’s in Vermillion 624-9971
Old Lumber Company Grill in Vermillion 658-9663
Whimps in Burbank, SD 624-9971
Starting from Jerry’s Corvette Center
Drive west on Hwy 46 through Pickstown
Turn south /southwest on 281 to Spenser, NE
Turn east on Hwy 12 through Monowi (optional stop)
From Monowi continue east on Hwy 12 through Niobrara to Hwy 37
Turn north on Hwy 37 and cross the Missouri River to the scenic overlook on the SD side of the river. On the west side. Or the Dock on the east side.
Continue north on Hwy 37 to Tyndall.
Turn east on Hwy 50 to Yankton, Sioux Falls, Salem or wherever you choose.
Have fun, be safe, and SAVE THE WAVE
Mike & Colleen Skiles