We left Little Sioux, IA, at eight this morning and headed to Mitchell, SD, home of the Corn Palace. We were bummed that we were just across the river from Nebraska as we turned west at Sioux Falls but we never entered that state. We'll have to go there another time.
A concrete tipi marks each rest area in South Dakota.
We arrived early afternoon, set up and took off for the Corn Palace. There have been three Corn Palaces, the first built in 1892. Every year a new theme is chosen and the outside is stripped and redecorated with new corn and grains. In early summer the process begins with removal of the old grasses and grains. Over the summer, 3,000 bushels of milo, rye, oat heads, and sour dock are tied in bundles and attached. The corn murals have to wait until late summer when the corn crop is ready. Over a half million ears of corn are sawed in half and nailed to the building following patterns created by a local artist. There have been three artists who draw the outlines for the murals. This year's theme is America's Destinations.
Murals depicting NASA, Statue of Liberty and Seattle
New grasses being put in place around last year's murals. They will be changed out as the corn crop comes in.
A hunting scene depicted inside the Corn Palace arena is a permanent interior corn mural created by Oscar Howe, the late Sioux artist and South Dakota artist larueate.
We were able to see young men preparing the bunches of grasses that are used but last year's murals are still in place. We watched a video about the history of the Corn Palace and saw pictures going back to the original palaces.
Brenda and I sat beside the A-Maise-Ing Corn Statue across the street from the Palace. Even the lamp posts are decorated with corn.
Afterwards we went to Culver's to eat a late lunch and then to Cabela's for the guys to look around. Ted took pictures of some of the beautiful taxidermy animals in the scenes inside the store. Afterwards we went to Wal-Mart hoping that we were getting all that we needed for the next week. We'll be at a ranch at Interior, SD and shopping won't be convenient.
Brenda has been bummed every time we passed a casino and there has been a lot of them. I was surprised when Rick told me she had walked to a casino next door to our campground! After a light dinner, Ted asked if I wanted to walk over to the casino. We checked with Brenda and she wanted to come too. Rick said he would pass. We all played for about an hour and a half and I lost $5. It is a small room connected to a convenience store and gas station. They give you free cans of pop and have containers of peanuts and candy for players. He told Ted that coffee is 5 cents between 6 and 10 am so he'll walk over there to get coffee before we take off. I don't normally make a pot of coffee on travel days.
I don't think we have wi-fi at Interior and we have serious doubts that Rick's Sprint is going to work in such a remote area. So if you don't see a post for a week, don't despair. I'll get caught up in Custer or Island Park when I have the opportunity. Until then, stay cool, stay safe.