The next time you're walking in the woods or even looking inside cardboard boxes, be on the lookout for this vicious South Dakota and Iowa spider.

Some South Dakota and Iowa spiders are pretty harmless. However, the Brown Recluse Spider is a different beast. It's small, but it packs a mighty punch.

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Looks can be deceiving. At only 0.5 inches (1.2 centimeters), this tiny spider is aggressive and has a powerful bite. The Brown Recluse Spider is considered one of the most dangerous spiders in North America.

Getty Images, Canva
Getty Images, Canva

So what is the Brown Recluse Spider? PennState Extension explains the Brown Recluse Spider can be found in southern and central regions of the United States. These threatening spiders can be found in 16 states, including Ohio, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana...and Iowa. Although the Brown Recluse Spider is not native to South Dakota, there have been reports of them in the state.

If these spiders feel threatened, they won't be afraid to bite. These Brown Recluse Spider bites can be serious and painful. The bite causes severe damage to the skin and surrounding tissue, resulting in a large open sore. The best thing you can do for a Brown Recluse bite if it's not serious is rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Some side effects of critical bites include headache, nausea, and if not treated, kidney failure.

I wouldn't touch this South Dakota and Iowa spider even if someone paid me! Stay alert and calm if you see a Brown Recluse Spider in South Dakota and Iowa.

You can never be too careful!

Dives Worth a Drive in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

Almost every small South Dakota town has a watering hole. It’s where the locals go to kick back a few brews and engage in conversation.

Some of these establishments are located in buildings almost as old as the town itself. There might be a fresh coat of paint on the walls or new vinyl on the booth seats, but the ambiance is still reminiscent of a good ol’ dive.

If you think a "dive" is all about the sketchy clientele, the smell of the Devil’s lettuce, and stale Grain Belt, you’d be wrong. Not every dive has a bad reputation.

What makes a dive, a dive?

A dive has character. Neon beer signs and local memorabilia adorn the walls.

You might find a pool table, dart board, and a few video lottery machines.

The bartender knows the regulars by name and they know what you drink.

Some dives don't even serve food except for bags of chips and pickled eggs that sit in a jar of brine on the bar.

Dives aren't fancy. You might see 70's-style wood panels on the walls and wobbly tables leveled with a folded napkin.

Finally, the bathrooms. The bathrooms in dives are in a class by themselves and could be a whole topic on its own. 

There are several small-town dives in our area with friendly faces, cheap booze with a burn, and even really good food! We use the term "dive" in the most affectionate way.

Here are some of the best and why you should go there.

Gallery Credit: Karla Brown

The Best Truck Stop Food in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

One of the best parts of any road trip is a stop at a truck stop. Whether you call them, travel centers, convenience stores, or just a gas stations; these oases are so interesting and fun.

In the middle of nowhere, you find the island of pavement, pumps, and people; getting gas, some rest, and fuel for themselves, AKA some classic truck stop food.

I'm partial to a Love's Truck Stop. They are usually big and well-managed. And as a connoisseur of gas-station coffee, Love's is one of the best. Plus, they have some delicious hot dogs.

I'm not the only one that enjoys a stop at a truck stop for good eats. The food blog dug through user reviews to find the best truck stop food in each state.

Gallery Credit: Ben Kuhns

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