Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A "Corny" monument on the prairie

The Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.

Yesterday, on our way to Rapid City, South Dakota, we stopped in Mitchell, S.D. to see  the one and only, the world's only Corn Palace. The first Corn Palace was built in 1892 to showcase the crops in the area and to attract people to settle in Mitchell. This is truly a folk art wonder. Each year a new decorating theme is chosen and the outside of the Corn Palace is stripped in early summer and redecorated with new corn and grains all summer long. Three thousand bushels of milo, rye, oat heads and sour dock are tied in bundles and attached. Over a half million ears of corn are sawed in half and nailed to the building following patterns created by a local artist. Inside you can see photos of every year the Corn Palace has been redone since 1892! The Corn Palace is essentially an entertainment arena on the inside, with more murals on the inside palace walls. There's a gift shop as well. Many different types of community events are held here, from basketball games to concerts. The outside is really the main attraction. If you click on one of the photos, you'll be able to see the individual corn pieces a little better.

After we saw the Corn Palace, we stopped for lunch in town at a cool saloon called Wild Bill's. The food was excellent--sandwiches, chili and burgers, and the decor was really interesting!
Wild Bill's Saloon
We're staying at the KOA Campground in Rapid City, S.D  ($25.00 a night) for two or three nights. It sits on a hill overlooking the city and it's a pretty view. The main campground office and its facilities (laundry, store etc) are closed, so you are on your honor to pay when you stay this late in the season. We think it closes completely at the end of this month. It was very difficult to find anything open close to Mount Rushmore at this time of year. Many campgrounds have already closed. There are a couple more campgrounds available so we will check them out to see if we will stay at the KOA or move to something closer to the attractions. Mount Rushmore is only 23 miles from this KOA, so we might just stay put. However, we have been having low voltage problem messages while driving on the highway with the motorhome so we will have to pack up tomorrow and take the RV to the Freightliner Service Center here in Rapid City to troubleshoot the problem. Hopefully, it will be a short visit so we can see some more great things in the area. We've got the Mount Rushmore Monument, the Needles, and Custer State Park to tell you about tomorrow!

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