Corn Palace, Mitchell South Dakota

South Dakota Sunny Side Up

Corn Palace, Mitchell South Dakota

Places, Spaces and and A Cathedral For Corn

Daisy May devours the miles of highway eagerly as we travel along the Interstate. She’s built for this for sure. I am still buying time to decide on my destination for winter. Will I head to New Mexico and then Arizona? However, It’s still so blistering hot that Daisy Mae’s dashboard air conditioner struggles to make any difference to the temperature inside. Heading South is about as enticing as putting my head in an oven right now. So I’ll continue West for the time being. Anyway, on Wayne Porter’s helpful suggestion, I want to check out the DIgnity of Earth And Sky Monument near Chamberlain South Dakota.

The Mitchell Corn Palace

South Dakota is more or less miles of prairie fields punctuated by massive windmill farms and oh-so-many roadside attractions. South Dakota is where you’ll find the President’s heads carved into Mount Rushmore, The Crazy Horse monument and the Black Hills made famous in the Beatles Song about Rocky Raccoon. However, it also boasts a dizzying number of smaller, worthy roadside attractions, each with multiple billboards along the highway that proclaim it as not to be missed.

That includes the world’s only corn palace that embodies a celebration of the surrounding region’s agricultural history. You probably already guessed it’s pretty corny. Trust me, you’ve never seen such a cornucopia (sorry-I had to) of corn related things.. Aside from the building’s exotic looking exterior, everything in this mid-century building is corn related. Even the pillars that uphold the ceilings inside are tiled to look like giant corn cobs. The scent of corn dogs and popcorn float around a concession stand.

Hitting The Highway Into The Night

I parked for the night in a big empty parking lot next to the corn palace. After a stroll around Mitchell that allowed Jolene and Annabelle to explore the smells in this small American town. I’m pretty sure dogs don’t identify as Canadian or American. New smells are new smells, birds are birds, and squirrels are chasable wherever you go if your a dog. Here and there, long dry grass created islands in the sidewalks. It’s blades stalks had once burst from the pavement, reached toward the sun and then slouched back down in defeat. We wandered back to the RV and as soon as we did, a rumble of thunder and flash of light announced a sudden storm, Not much rain, but a hell of a light show. Then the storm was gone.

As I prepared for bed, gun shots fired in a nearby alley.. Engines revved and cars tires screeched on the road near us. It suddenly occurred to me the area was a Saturday night hangout spot for at least some of the small rural town’s bored and possibly trouble youth. I Would they be going home soon? Would they stay and harrass me? I didn’t know. So I packed up and I hit the road. By then It was dark, and it had finally started to spit rain a bit. I hate driving in the black of night in the rain, but I didn’t have a lot of choices once I was on the highway.

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