Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July 20, 2016, West Across South Dakota, Corn Palace in Mitchell, Minuteman Missile National Site, Badlands NP and Walls Drug Store

July 20, 2016, Today was the hottest day so far on our trip. Going across South Dakota on Interstate 90 it ranged between 95 and 110 degrees with the afternoon being 108 to 110 for hours. We felt a little relieved when we were coming out of the Badlands National Park and it was only 100 degrees. Man it was hot. Our Subaru Forrester worked great, knock on wood.

109 degrees, we had a high of 110. Over 100 all day

Ok our day, first west across South Dakota on Interstate 90 heading for Badlands National Park. First stop was as the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. It is a big auditorium that is totally focused around corn. In fact they cover the outside and inside of the building every year with a theme made entirely out of corn. The corn ears, leaves, stock, etc is nailed to the outside of the building. It is amazing. This year is the year of Rock and Roll. There is a giant Elvis and Willy Nelson made in corn up on the wall. There were guys working on the outside of the building in 100+ degree heat.

Outside the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota

A theme wall on the outside of the Corn Palace

Bruce and Louise having fun in the Corn Palace

Minuteman Missile National Site, Philip, South Dakota, a quick visit here. You have to get here early to to get tickets to see an actual silo but you can walk into the visitor center and see the exhibit. It is fine, it is a memory of the cold war. Kind of strange but worth a stop. It was set up in 1999 to illustrate the history and significance of the Cold War, the arms race, and intercontinental ballistic missile development.

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Philip, South Dakota
On the way to Mitchell, South Dakota, I couldn't resist

Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Ok going west turn left instead of right an you enter Badlands NP. Badlands has been on my bucket list forever. It is pretty cool place. We are going back tomorrow for a second visit. This is the first of our national park visits on this trip, we have more coming up. It is striking how beautiful it is, even in the 109 degree heat. We saw the 20 minute movie and drove the rt 240 loop. We ended up leaving at around 6:00pm and the sun was putting up some great shadows. It is so stark here. Kind of reminds us of Bryce Canyon in Utah but different. 

On the way to Badland NP, this is the country side, flat with no trees

Badlands National Park in South Dakota

Walls Drug Store, Ok all across South Dakota you see billboards for Walls Drug Store in Wall, South Dakota. Everything in the world is in Walls Drugs. Well that is basically true but it is a giant, 76,000 square foot tourist trap. It is huge, in fact it is almost the only store in the town of Wall, SD. Everything else is a hotel or gas station. Wall is tiny with this giant tourist thing in the middle. It is ok, good if you have kids and want to waste some time, but we were tired and hungry and went to the other business the Red Rock Restaurant.

Wall Drug Store, Wall, South Dakota, 76,000 of tourist fun

Today was a long hot day of driving. We drove over 300 miles. We stopped frequently at rest stops and attractions.  Corn and Soybeans are pretty much gone along the road, now just prairie and grass and some steers.