Thursday, August 3, 2017

Day 3 - South Dakota, Part 1

The third day out, we drove north again, along the western borders of Missouri and Iowa. This is corn country. Corn all around you. Sometimes as far as the eye can see --

broken only by grain silos.

In Iowa, there were a few of these giant coffee pots advertising Sapp Bros. Travel Centers.

In Council Bluffs, this statue marks the beginning of an overpass where I-80 crosses I-29. It's been compared to Freddy Kruger hands, but I'm thinking more along the lines of the movie Robots.

In Sioux city, the interstate runs right past the grave of Sergeant Floyd, the only fatality in the Lewis and Clark expedition.

When lunch time rolled around, we were in Iowa City. There was a lot of construction in Iowa City, so we turned left and had lunch in Nebraska!

After a quick stop at Taco Bell, it was back to Iowa, headed into South Dakota. I guess we actually did make a run for the border!

Ever since seeing Guatemalan farmers growing corn and other crops along the sides of the road between the road and the fence lines, I have realized just how much wasted growing space there is. Those Guatemalans use just about every tillable inch of the cleared land, eeking out as much produce as possible. Well, apparently there is some Guatemalan influence in South Dakota. They may not plant corn or other tilled crops along the shoulder of the road, but when they mow it, they do roll or bale it!

Turning west on I-90, the fun began. I had always thought of South Dakota as basically just a lot of farm land with nothing really except around the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore. WRONG!! Think again! Just along I-90, there is a veritable smorgasbord of sights to see and activities to do, from historic sites, dinosaur archeological parks, old west parks, animal parks, and many unique attractions. That doesn't even count the scenic drives and other attractions that are away from I-90! Knowing that we had a place we had to be and a time we had to be there, it was very difficult to limit myself. But limit myself I did, down to two attractions, just off the interstate. I did get a promise from Bruce that we will come back and do them all, though!

We stopped early in a town called Mitchell to see the World's Only Corn Palace. This is a sight to behold – and a different sight to behold each year! Every spring, the people of Mitchell and the surrounding area design and decorate the corn palace. Most of the exterior facade and much of the interior walls are covered in pictures and designs made from different varieties of corn, corn husks, and straw, all of it in its natural colors (no dyes added). The theme is changed just about every year, and themes since 1893 are listed on its website.

They start decorating the Corn Palace in May. As you can see, they were still working on it by the time we were there, in late July. They say it's anticipated to be complete in October.

When it's not in use as a concert venue, high school basketball arena, or other activities, the arena floor is used as a souvenir shop. The murals on the wall are also made from corn.

Across the street, there is a pattern with a partially completed duck mural with the completed mural beside it.

Tucked away in here is Jessee's Candy Clouds, where you can get 15 different flavors of cotton candy. I got the sugar free. I just had to see what spun sugar tasted like without the sugar! It was pretty bland. I wouldn't recommend it. Try one of the other flavors! According to the writing on the wall, it looks like unicorn farts!!

When we left the corn palace (with lollipops, shot glasses, and other souvenirs) and settled into the hotel for the night, we had made right around 400 miles for day 3.

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