When 'Corny' is a Good Thing

08 June, 2011 0 comments Leave a comment

Heading west along Interstate 90 through South Dakota, still in nice mild weather, we decided to take in a few tourist attractions along the way. John had heard about the Corn Palace in Mitchell so that was our first stop.

The Only Corn Palace in the World.

The folks of Mitchell have been redecorating this building inside and out every year for the last 125 years, believe it or not, and it was most interesting to see.

Side Wall of the Corn Palace.

Redecorating the Corn Palace costs about $100,000 annually, using 600,000 pieces of corn in nine different colours.

Over a ton of nails, staples and wire are used to fasten the corn and grasses to the building.

I was expecting a corny tourist attraction (pun intended) but it was actually a unique folk art sculpture.

Two Murals on the Corn Palace - Baseball and a Racecar.

The interior holds a recreation hall that hosts basketball games (and the obligatory gift shop in the summer months).

The mural designs change every year and include 3,000 bushels of grains and grasses (milo, rye and sour dock).

Just above the lift truck, note the green grass partially covering the black tarpaper pattern.

We continued our westward journey across the mighty Missouri River, shown below. While we were aware the river was in flood, this was not apparent at this bridge crossing (which, now that I think about it, is a very good thing...).

Interstate 90 crosses the Missouri River here.

The next tourist attraction John had heard about was a famous car museum in what turned out to be the struggling hamlet of Murdo. We wanted to camp there but could not find a soul in the campground/motel office so decided to see the museum and drive further west. We wanted to reserve a spot in the KOA down the road but there was no cell signal and no public phone in Murdo. Not even a wifi signal we could pirate. Sheesh!

The 'Pioneer Auto Show' car museum was a letdown for me after the remarkable Corn Palace, with 42 open sided buildings containing over 250 unrestored cars, tractors and antiques just rusting away. The collection did include an original 'General Lee' muscle car from the Dukes of Hazard TV show, Elvis Presley's Harley motorcycle and a 1954 baby blue Corvette convertible that John admired.

We reached the KOA in Belvidere a few hours later and enjoyed a delicious supper in their cafe. It rained that night but we were warm and dry.

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