Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Whole Lot of Corn

Morning in Mitchell, SD allowed us to make our 4th stop at Walmart. If we are going to experience America, we have to see where the natives eat and trade. It's certainly a trade up from Mitchell's Corn Palace.

Built in 1892, The Corn Palace is a multi-purpose arena/facility, visited by more than 500,000 people each year. The Moorish Revival building is decorated with Crop art; the murals and designs covering the building are made from corn and other grains.

It also hosts the home basketball games of Dakota Wesleyan University and the Mitchell High School Kernels. Regardless of what it's used for, it claims to be the worlds only corn palace.

We headed East From the corn palace to the corn plains. Driving through Southern Minnesota, it's all we saw. Corn. Corn. Corn.

We passed Laura Ingalls' little house on the prairie, but didn't stop (neither of us really thought Michael Landon was all that). We did, however, stop for this gem.

Fort Belmont in Jackson Minnesota. Apparently there was a big deal happening here today. A local radio station was there covering the festivities, including a preview of an upcoming yodeling competition (we got a sneak peek). The booths were set up to resemble tents and teepees. Novelties for sale included guns and antlers. Food "booths" were clearly aiming for authentic period food, including fry bread, sausages in an iron skillet cooked over an open flame and something called an "Indian Taco". As far as we can tell it was just a salad on a plate.

Fort Belmont is a recreation of the original pioneer prairie fort.

It was rebuilt in the 1950's by descendants of the fort's original inhabitants. There is a tower and a cabin and a house made of sod.

The inside smelt musty and dank and this woman didn't seem very friendly. For a pioneer woman, she seemed pretty lazy, she left a note on a cd player by the door telling us to push play for more details about her home. Inside the nearby museum we traded some beads and the Jeep on for a new ride. We're going to take turns pulling until we can rustle up some horses.

Crossing the Mississippi River was a breeze.

Everything changes when you cross the Mississippi. Best Foods becomes Hellmans, Dreyers turns into Eddy's, even See's Candy changes.
On the other side of the river, land of the cheeseheads... Wisconsin. Not much to look at, but it was a clear indication we were close to civilization, a Starbucks... Something we haven't seen in days. But we couldn't stop, we needed to plow on. That meant no coffee for me, no cheese curds for Ron. We made it to Chicago unscathed.

Dan flew in on Friday and was clearly ecstatic to see us.

Dinner and drinks and it will be time to hit the hay.

To date we have completed 10 states. Tomorrow at least 2 more will join that list.

Location:W Roscoe St,Chicago,United States

1 comment:

  1. whew. i'm exhausted. yet very happy for the rabbits of the world that you are more eastern than western now and won't be eying them for lunch.

    great trip - great updates - hope to see you in nyc!! drive safe, friends!