For those of you keeping track, our last post was In Kentucky- now we are posting from South Dakota. Well there is quite a few miles of highway between those two locations.
Those miles brought us thru Chicago, Illinois. To gain entry across Chicago, unless you want to wait in bumper to bumper traffic- you need to pay. We went thru 7 toll booths and all said and done we rang up $34 in tolls.
From Chicago, we passed into Minnesota and made good time across the state. We had to stop in Welcome, MN for Diesel.
We made it into South Dakota, and spend the night in Sioux Falls. The very hospitable Walmart parking lot was waiting for us.
Like many other Prairie State’s and Province’s we have driven across, South Dakota loves its highway Billboards. After passing about 25 advertising a Corn Palace, and passing thousands of acres of Corn Fields, we figured this was a pretty big deal. Sunflowers is also a huge crop in South Dakota. I guess for the seeds and / or oil.
Ok, back to the Corn Palace, in Mitchell, SD
The exterior of the building is decorated with Corn. We walked in having no idea what this place was. It turns out there have been many Corn Palace’s over the years. Conceived in the late 1800 to attract people to small town South Dakota, it still works to this day.
Turns out this is just a Community Center, decorated in Corn.
We left the Corn Palace and walked around downtown Mitchell, we are proud to report that the Corn Palace was mostly unsuccessful as we did not spend a dime in this town. But we found a Bible Amusement Park. We ventured into what we thought was another gift shop, we browsed the tourist junk and proceeded to leave. We were informed by the shopkeeper that we had missed the most exciting portion of the store “in the back”.
Well “in the back”, down a dark tunnel was some sort of Jesus shrine. We walked thru, it was free after all, but were really unsure of what this place was.
Well, after all the Shopkeeper was friendly, so we were too.
After passing in excess of 100 signs advertising Wall Drug (no I am no exaggerating) on the Interstate, we decided we should stop and check it out.
The 5 Cent coffee in the 530 seat Café was a nice treat. It seems this place has some history to it. In 1930 Mr. Hustead purchased a small Drug Store. He sat on the front step with his Wife and Son and watched thousands of travellers pass by them. Business was bad. One day, his wife had an idea to put up signs advertising free Ice Water. They did it, and it worked. Somehow the free water has morphed into the 2 City block size store that stands today. At some point they introduced 5 cent coffee and obviously have not changed the price since the 1930’s. And yes the Free Ice Water is still available today.
From Wall Drug, in Wall, SD our next stop was Sturgis- home of the famous Motorcycle Rally.
The rally is over, but the town is interesting. We visited the local Harley Davidson store, and checked out the Knuckle Saloon.
We don’t usually seek out Biker Bars to visit, but every bar in Sturgis is a Biker Bar. In fact, everything in Sturgis is Biker themed.