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.

US‑83: Selby

Twenty-odd miles east and slightly south of Mobridge, US-83 passes through diminutive Selby (pop. 642), the kind of sleepy, middle American hamlet with grain elevators and water towers, populated with children riding bikes home at dusk and teenagers rumbling down Main Street in their muscle cars. Downtown Selby has an old “opera house” theater, and the comfortable, inviting Berens Bar, Hotel & Cafe (3422 Main St., 605/649-7621). Berens serves home-cooked meals downstairs in a humble, friendly setting that will make you want to linger as long as you can—overnight, even. It’s very welcoming after a long day on the road.

Another place that may encourage you to hang around is on the north edge of town, near the US-12 and US-83 intersection: oasis-like Lake Hiddenwood State Park ($4 per person, $6 per vehicle), with picturesque deep swales and oak and cedar trees surrounding, as the name implies, a secluded swimming hole. If you mentally transport yourself back a century and a half, when explorers crossed these bone-dry parts and stumbled accidentally onto this lushness, the name is quite apt.

Berens Bar, Hotel & Cafe (3422 Main St.)
Lake Hiddenwood State Park