Tuesday, August 17, 2010

the palace of corn and more superb clouds

7/25 from Iowa to Wall, South Dakota

This little fungus met mrs. a-go-go's camera first thing in the morning. Within seconds of this photo op it digested itself into weeping purple-black liquid. Some fungi just don't like the limelight.
The 25th was a Sunday and Sunday mornings on Blue Lake near Onawa, Iowa is time for amplified morning services. Across the lake from our Koa camp site was a Catholic youth camp and they sounded reveille at six over a booming loud speaker, "Buenos días niños!" The voice went right to it quoting scripture in Spanish to the kids struggling out of bed. No matter, I was up with the dawn and mrs. a-go-go had been driven from sleep by the bright morning sun. On the heels of the youth camp another group kitty-corner across the lake started whooping it up by six-thirty. Not to be out done, they had the band plugged into amps. and the people were raising spirits clapping to the hymns until their hands hurt.
Nebraska was so close we just couldn't help ourselves. A short hop over a one dollar toll bridge and we set foot in one more state. Then we headed due North and jogged just a bit East to Sioux City, Iowa. From there we had a long stretch on I-29 and I-90 to Wall south Dakota where we would stay the night. Fortunately we had lots of puffy little clouds to entertain us and one stop to make along the way...
The place to stop on I-90? Why, the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, where else?! No one can pass this up. How could they? It's utterly irresistible. In the Corn Palace glory days of the past the building was covered on all sides with mosaics of dried corn cobs and husks (they have pictures to prove it), but in modern times the building is a large multi use space and just one large wall, the facade on the main boulevard has the corn mosaic.
It's still impressive and silly. Inside, the front hall is filled with the permanent Corn Palace history displays, but the main part of the interior is a large space that functions at different times as basketball stadium, a theater for movies or stage productions, and (when we were there) a great big Corm Palace gift-shop/emporium. Corn Palace themed everything was on offer.
The quantity of people needing a photo of the corn murals was impressive.
After Mitchell the road rolled on through what some folks would describe as boring. Perish the thought. These folks are just are not looking. The cloud shadows rolling over green and tan fields and the bails dotting the horizon made us stop several times to marvel.

I-90 carried us right to Wall, South Dakota where we had to check out Wall Drug after reading ALL the billboards along the highway. Kitschy fun for all. Don't miss it if you are headed to the Badlands, folks.


  1. Lucky South Dakota, all we have is Disneyland. I want a Corn Palace here. Be safe.

    Oh, love shadows from clouds... love.

  2. but there's Adventureland (if it is still open) and Charlie Brown's, Cabazon, the Tulip fields and soooo much more. there may not be a corn palace in California but there is Salvation Mountain and The Bunny Museum...

  3. Going to google these places you speak of. Except Adventureland, mum use to take me there when I was a wee lad.



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