She stands 50 feet tall, and represents the Lakota and Dakota cultures that previously thrived in this part of the world. She moved into this site near Chamberlain, South Dakota in 2016. The diamond shapes in her quilt shimmer in the wind “like aspen leaves.”
National Grasslands Visitors Center
Closed. Sigh. And after I went to all the bother of parking.
Badlands National Park
After we left the legendary Wall Drug, we headed south into the Badlands. Many Bison were on hand to welcome us.
In addition to flowing grasslands, there are amazingly eroded canyons.
There were a few places we saw other people, but it was really uncrowded.
“Prairie Palaces” were all the rage from the 1880’s through the 1930’s. Designed to encourage tourism, and showcase the great crops grown in the prairies, each one tried to one-up the others. Every year, the buildings were redecorated with fresh corn, and a new theme for that year.
The interior is used for selling souvenirs when there is not a game or show going on.
Huge murals, composed of a variety of colored ears of corn, adorn the walls.
Corny stuff is everywhere!
The biggest “Corn Palace” was built in 1887, in Sioux City, Iowa. They renewed it every year, but in 1892 Sioux City was hit with a huge flood. A six foot high wall of water devastated much of the city, and it was impossible to create a corn palace that year. In fact, with the financial difficulties prevented them from ever rebuilding their opulent palace. Below are a couple of pictures of the palace in its prime.
When the town of Mitchell, South Dakota, realized that the Sioux City Palace would not be rebuilt, they created one of their own. Here are a few pictures of the palace with its many revisions over the years. It is now the only “Corn Palace” in the world, and has been entertaining guests for over 128 years!
Mitchell, South Dakota
Our campsite was pretty close to a nice lake, but unfortunately we needed to press on, and didn’t get the kayak out. Next time…
Elm Creek Park in Minnesota
An afternoon spent with kids and grandkids on bikes was fabulous!
My Dad bought a very cool Gitane tandem 10 speed bike back in the early 70’s, in the hopes that Mom would ride it with him. She didn’t like it… So Cherryl and I rode it a lot while visiting with them, and they finally gave it to us as a wedding present! It is really set up for racing, with rather tall gears. That was great for Southern California, but it wasn’t so much fun in the mountainous areas of Colorado. Mountain bikes seemed far more relevant, and so the beautiful old tandem hung neglected in the garage. We eventually gave it to our kids, who managed to neglect it just as we had been doing! While visiting them now, we got out the bike, and cleaned it up. It still needs more cleaning and tuning, but it rides pretty well. I think it looks pretty good for an almost 50 year old bike!