Met my wife in 1965. She had lots of relatives living just west of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Early in our marriage, I thought, “What a great place to retire!” Snowmobiling, ice fishing, hunting… the retirement dream of every young country kid. Then, I began to age. Now, I want nothing to do with the cold North. I see why half of Minnesota’s population goes south for the winter. In the summers, mosquitos big enough it’s difficult to differentiate them from grasshoppers. Winter blizzards where you can be snowed in for weeks.
South Dakota had some really nice, friendly people. Few people and lots of distance between anything. Pierre high school has regular football and basketball games with towns that are 3 and 4 hour drives away. There’s nothing closer, except deer and pheasants… and run down shacks on the reservations. It’s not unusual for the school kids to stay over in motels after games, returning to their schools the following day, due to the distance. Pierre does have a WalMart. They also have an airport. Took me right at 9 hours to drive from Manhattan to Pierre. I looked at flying. Almost twice as long to fly from Pierre to Manhattan. The only flights out of Pierre go to Denver. In Denver, you had to catch a flight to DFW. (That was before the current flights to O’Hare.) Then, from DFW to Manhattan. Depending on connection, 18 to 24 hours to fly and I think you could fly to Europe from Manhattan cheaper.