Day 14, Sunday, July 29, 2018
The next morning, I woke up, had breakfast, had a shower and hit the road. Goodbye Al’s Oasis! I drove for a few hours having a breakfast of string cheese and a granola bar on the road, and first I stopped at a rest area in Chamberlain, South Dakota along the Missouri River.
This rest area is the home of Dignity, a 50 foot tall statue of a Native American woman. She is beautiful! She is made of steel, and was designed by sculptor Dale Lamphere; Dignity weighs 11 tons, and was dedicated on Sept. 17, 2016. The statue cost over $1 million, and she is engineered with pivoting diamond-shaped panels in her star quilt so that wind can blow through it and not blow the statue over. It was well worth the stop to see her and the view of the river behind her.
Next I stopped at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.
Have you heard of the Corn Palace? It is world famous! The Corn Palace has been on the same site and has been decorated every year since 1892, although they are now on their 3rd Corn Palace now. Every year, they design and decorate the Corn Palace in thousands upon thousands of corn husks with a different theme. That’s right – corn husk murals! I’m not sure who came up with this cockamamie idea, but there it is. The claim to fame of Mitchell, South Dakota!
Of course, what they don’t tell you is that the Corn Palace is a sports arena… That’s right – I felt a little bit mislead! I was talking to a friend later on, whose husband grew up in Mitchell, South Dakota and the Corn Palace came up. She said she asked to visit it because she had heard about it being famous, and he couldn’t understand why people would want to visit their high school basketball arena! The Corn Palace was interesting to see – the designs are truly stunning, but the venue is a bit strange.
Inside there were photographs of the previous themes of Corn Palaces of yesterday, dating all the way back to 1892. On the arena floor was a makeshift gift shop, with various local goods and Corn Palace memorabilia. My opinion? Stop by the Corn Palace if you are already in the area, but don’t go out of your way!
However, I couldn’t shake the feeling of exhaustion and burnout. It was the first time on my trip that I felt that way, and I figured I needed to listen to my gut. I was tired of South Dakota and I was ready for a rest break!