Start odometer reading: 38,821 End odometer reading: 39,131
Even though it was a brutal travel day, we covered 310 miles today.
Due to a major accident with a HAZMAT spill on I-29 we had to travel east on I-229 near Sioux Falls, SD to go west. We did finally reach I-90 which had miles of road construction and single lane traffic.
According to NOAH, we were encountering 35 mph headwinds with gusts up to 50 mph on I-90. Driving was a challenge. The winds were so strong that the cover for our propane tanks blew off. The daytime temperature reached 95 degrees but at least the evening temp dropped into the 50's. Great sleeping weather without using air conditioning!
We began our sightseeing in earnest today with a visit to the Mitchell, SD Corn Palace. It’s been said that a true artist can create beauty out of the materials at hand. This certainly holds true for the murals that adorn both the inside and outside of the Corn Palace.
The Corn Palace is redecorated every year and sports a new theme. This year’s theme is “Everyday Heroes”. 600,000 pieces of nine different colors of indian corn as well as 3,000 bushels of grains and grasses such as milo, rye and sour dock are used to create the murals on the outside of the building. It costs about $100,000 a year, which is raised through donations.
We watched a crew of worker’s with nail guns replacing some of the murals for Mitchell’s annual Corn Palace Festival which is held in late August.
Being from the urbanized East Coast, we thought this whole idea was rather hokey but found ourselves impressed by the intricacy and variety of the murals. This wonder is FREE and well worth a stop. They have a website: www.cornpalace.com .
While in Mitchell, we also visited the Prehistoric Indian Village. A college student discovered the first signs of ancient human activity at the site around 1910, the city had possession of the property until 1975 when a nonprofit organization was created to preserve the history of the 1000 year old site along the banks of Firesteel Creek.
There is an archeodome built over the site that encloses two full lodges of the 70 or 80 that were originally built here. The museum houses a reconstructed earth lodge which was interesting to view.
A actually learned something new. He was under the impression that the Plains Indians walked and dragged their belonging everywhere they went. He was surpised that they used dogs to pull the travois holding their possessions. The village has a website: www.mitchellindianvillage.org .
We would have liked to visit the Wounded Knee Museum but there was no nearby parking for the trailer.
A drove on to Kadoka, SD where we spent the night at the Kadoka Campground ($13.00 with full hookups). The water, electric, and sewer connections were maintained well and the people were very friendly but the campground could use some cleanup of derelict campers and vehicles.