Pipestone is a great destination for folks like us who prefer car-free travel. Pipestone is a stop on the Jefferson Lines route between Minneapolis and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Pipestone's streets are easy to bike and most attractions are within blocks of one another. The Casey Jones State Trail is a nice little bicycle and pedestrian trail through the cornfields on the edge of town.
Our trip began in our Union Depot loft in Saint Paul. Roberta and I packed our clothes in the garment bags Roberta made last year to pack into our Brompton B-bags with our bikes. We packed our art supplies into our Brompton S-bags. All packed up on our Brompton bikes, Roberta and I rolled our bikes onto the Green Line to Minneapolis and biked the short distance to the Hawthorne Transit Station. We collapsed our bikes and zipped them up into the B-bags with our garment bags and waited for the bus which arrived on time. Jefferson Lines like Amtrak, is awesomely progressive and environmental about accepting folding bikes as luggage as long as the bags weigh less than 50 pounds.
Pipestone is about 200 miles from Minneapolis by road and the bus takes about 5 hours with nine stops along the way. Roberta passed the time by sketching some of the scenery outside our window(click on the sketches to make them bigger):
|Roberta's sketch of a U-pick pumpkin patch near Carver (Strathmore Series 500 Journal)|
|Roberta's journal sketch of cows and wind turbines on Buffalo Ridge.|
I sketched the inside of the bus and our bus driver ("Just call me Bear"). Jefferson Lines has nice, new buses with very comfortable seats and lots of weird, hi-tech gadgets I like to sketch:
|My pen & colored pencil sketch on Strathmore toned drawing paper of our bus & driver "Bear".|
|The only part of this sketch I did on site was the sign. The rest from a photo and memory.|
We unpacked our Bromptons and attached our bags and biked down Main Street to the historic Calumet Inn on the corner of Main Street and Hiawatha Avenue:
|Roberta's watercolor sketch Strathmore Aquarius paper of the Calumet Inn.|
The Calumet is a nice hotel with a lot of character that artists like Roberta and I appreciate. We liked the friendly, local vibe. Our room had some nice antiques (Roberta sketched the dresser). We had a nice dinner in the bar and turned in early.
|Roberta's sketch of the antique dresser in our room.|
Friday Morning, we biked several blocks north to the Pipestone Monument. The monument is a very small park, but it has many scenes we wanted to paint. I chose the "leaping rock" for my only watercolor of the trip. Roberta painted the waterfall:
|My pen & watercolor of the "Leaping Rock"on Anigoni toned paper.|
|Roberta's watercolor of the waterfall.|
Above the falls, there is a rock with graffiti carved into it by the 1838 Joseph Nicollet expedition. I was impressed the carver bothered to put serifs on the letters. A little further on, I sketched the pile of rocks named "The Old Stone Face":
|Lots of fun stuff to sketch at the Pipestone Monument.|
We could have spent all day sketching at the monument, but we wanted to get back to town. Before leaving, Roberta bought a turtle pendant carved from pipestone in the visitors center. I sketched one of the artisans as he carved a pipe out of a chunk of red rock:
|A few sketches of the visitors center in my Strathmore toned paper journal.|
We biked back to town and spent the rest of the afternoon sketching the buildings in town. Roberta sketched the Claumet Inn, while I sketched buildings on the corner of Hiawatha Avenue and Main Street:
|My sketch of the buildings on the corner of Main Street.|