If you have had the pleasure of meeting my dad, you may have been privy to his tall tales about his duty assignment at the Minuteman Missile Silos in South Dakota. From drinking songs, to the cows indicating the weather forecast, to how to scare a coon away from the silo, my dad has tons of funny stories about this station. On the Atlas, we saw two Minuteman sites marked. As we approached the first site, I expected to see a brown sign denoting a NPS-managed site. None. Just an exit number. We slowed down to scope out the surroundings and saw a lonely looking farmhouse. That’s it. We decided to continue down I-90 and check out the second one, around Exit 116. Again, no brown signs as we approached, but we exited anyway. According to the map, the site was south of the freeway. We turn left, went underneath the overpass and onto a dirt road. As we crossed from pavement to soil, we saw a fenced area off to the left. We rounded a corner and saw a TINY NPS Sign.
We drove up to the barbed wire fence and parked in the former driveway. Camera in hand, we approached the gate where a small weather proof box contained a small brochure about the Minuteman Missile Silos, the START program, and the Cold War. I beamed with pride as I got goosebumps just thinking, “Gosh, my dad stood in this same spot.” Through the fence, we took pictures of how the NPS preserves the silos today. According to the DoD, they were filled in when that component of the Space and Missile Defense Command reconfigured years ago. It’s a shame I could not slip between the fence to see if it were really filled.