Grownup Getaways · Lodging · Outdoors All Year · South Dakota

Campfire Tacos on South Dakota’s Pelican Lake

Cowboy in Watertown, South Dakota
Roadside-America greets many people to communities all over the country. Watertown, South Dakota’s Cowboy Country Store, has one towering cowpoke watching the world go by.

Watertown, SD: Codington County (Our 1st South Dakota County)

We made many stops on an 8 day stretch that went through many regions of the Midwest. A gallivant that took us through Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and eventually back to our Iowa City-HQ. We have explored many miles of Western South Dakota, and we were eager to see the Glacial Lakes in the eastern prairies of this beautiful state. Before getting absorbed by the endless Dakota skies, we were distracted by another Watertown icon.

Sometimes the local sub sandwich shop is just what you need for an introduction to a new city. Dagwood’s is on 4th Street NE and they will never forget our orders or anyone else’s. You’ll see.
If you’re partial to a certain sandwich and feel like being a regular, Dagwood’s will be happy to file it for you!
Like the true out-of-towner I am, I needed a friendly education when I stepped up to the register. I circled the Dag’s Italian and then got all excited circling more meats. They did a great job of telling me what was on the signature sandwich and I went with their professional opinion. As you can see, I was more than happy with my beautiful sub!
You can go classy too! Monie went all in on the chicken salad on a fresh croissant.

Dagwood’s Subs & More was just the fresh food stop that travelers can really appreciate. We love the bells and whistles of traveling just as much as anyone; but we also love the simplicity of places like this. A family owned institution with fresh bread, fantastic veggies, and the sliced deli meats landing in the middle of it all. We filled up and then supplied up for lakeside.

What seems like hundreds of miles within view at every angle here in the prairie. The Watertown views surrounds you, captivates, and puts your imagination in a place that only this area of the world can do.

Our drive to the campsite on Pelican Lake was filled with these horizons like this. Clouds moving an out like passing leaves in a creek. For a few minutes there would be overcast like this, and then moments later sunny blue skies would dominate the landscape.

The camping equipment was calling and we brought it to a new campground for us. Pelican Lake Rec Area is one of many wonders of Northeast South Dakota and only a few minutes from everything you need in nearby Watertown.
The colors of the prairie and its lakes in vibrant contrast all day long in Watertown.

The campsite was right on the water and just what we were looking for. The large shimmering lake was in full view with its powerful sky and inspirational splendor. So many times we have only thought of the prairie as rolling hills, grassy terrain, and homestead peppered in the distance. These lakes bring an amazing change to the traditional, joyful prairie and hold a beauty all to their own.

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The mid-week camping excursion is the preferred time for us when we want to bust out the tent. Plenty of premium spots to choose from, with the landscaping crew doing a phenomenal job supplying us with cushy lawns.
Roll those jeans up and get in!

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Lake water slapping up against the rocky banks was the constant harmony we heard the entire time at Pelican Lake. This sound is one of the most perfect sounds I can think of to help me sleep when I’m camping. Another way is to have a full stomach from a supper cooked on the campfire.

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Remember me just like this my dear readers. In my favorite suit, a refreshing and beautiful lake behind me, and cooking over the fire at camp. This is pure happiness.
Tonight’s fire pit fare was slow cooked chuck made into a spicy potato hash, served taco-style, and topped with chili cheese Fritos. That’s what delicious South Dakota raised beef can do for hungry campers like us.
If you ever see us at camp, please stop by and pull up a taco. We always have plenty.

The stay at Pelican Lake was short but it did the trick. Our campsite provided the outdoorsy respite we wanted. The night dipped in the upper 50s with a light breeze, giving us quality sleeping conditions. The afternoon, evening, and following morning drifted by in a way that only Northeastern South Dakota could show us. This lake within an ocean of prairie is a sight that I hope many more will discover. We have so much more of this region to experience ourselves and we know this is just the small sample size of the Glacial Lakes and their communities. See you again!


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