Road to Nowhere

Cutting across America’s heartland, US‑83 remains a must-do long-distance byway—transnavigating this broad, odd nation without once grazing a conventional tourist destination.

Murdo

One of the duller stretches of US-83 is this 20-mile leg west along the mind-numbing I-90 artery between the Fort Pierre grasslands and Murdo (pop. 488). Once a stop on the legendary Texas Cattle Trail and also used by stagecoaches, the town was named for cattle baron Murdo McKenzie, who managed ranches that pushed through some 20,000 head of cattle a year. Today, the town of Murdo still lives on the cattle industry.

The one place that’s definitely worth a stop is smack-dab at the diesel-blue polluted confluence of US-83 and I-90, where nostalgists will find the Pioneer Auto Show (605/669-2691, daily, $11 adults), a 10-acre, 42-building collection of about 275 antique cars, with tons of other great items. There’s also a nifty White Co. motor home from 1921, one of the earliest RVs, and the General Lee muscle car from TV’s Dukes of Hazzard. Star of the show: Elvis Presley’s 1976 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide 1200 motorcycle. This is pure Americana.

The Pioneer Auto Show also has a very good, 1950s-style ersatz diner. The public swimming pool up the hill from the Pioneer will round off your perfectly Middle American Murdo experience.

Murdo
Pioneer Auto Show