Greetings from Waterloo, Iowa. This is where we ended up after a 370-mile drive from Mitchell, S.D.
Not a whole lot of exploring national treasures on Wednesday, but we did check out the Corn Palace in Mitchell. It’s dubbed the World’s Only Corn Palace and it is an impressive building which stands as a tribute to the agricultural heritage of South Dakota. Fee: Free.
This place is cool. All of the murals on the outside of the building are created with corn. They take different colored corn, slice the cobs in half length wise and create their murals. When we were there, last year’s murals were still up, but a group of teenage boys were tearing down the boarder material (all natural grasses) and putting up new ones. The murals will come down in late July and the new murals will go up in time for the yearly festival. Cornelius the Corn Cob also was there. What a nice vegetable.
From there, we went to the Porter Sculpture Park in Montrose, S.D., which is nothing more than a sculpture park in the middle of a field off the side of the road. There were more than 40 sculptures that were all welded and painted. The vultures that welcome you — ready with a knife and fork — or if you were still alive, one had a bow and arrow and another an anvil to drop on you. Very creative. Worth the $6.
In Sioux Falls, we stopped to see the water falls in Falls Park. They weren’t really tall, but the rock formations the water ran over were very cool. A worthwhile stop.
Off to Iowa we went, via the southern part of Minnesota, and as we drove along, the gas prices dropped. In Charles City, super unleaded was $2.59, in Clear Lake, it was $2.48. Mind you, these are not very big towns. A note: super unleaded is cheaper in Minnesota, S.D. and Iowa. Fancy that.
In Blue Earth, Minn., we stopped to see the 55-foot Jolly Green Giant. He is in Green Giant Park right off I-90. The things you find when you actually read the points of interest section in your AAA book.
Today is Thursday and we will finally arrive in the Chicago area. The family reunion starts tomorrow. We are headed to the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum before hitting the road.
One last note. As we have traveled through Montana, Wyoming, S.D., Minnesota and Iowa, I have never seen such clean states. There is no garbage on the sides of the road, or in the medians or anywhere. The groups that clean the roads are displayed on signs in each state. They do a wonderful job. I see more garbage on the sides of the road from Columbia Drive to Columbia Center Blvd. along 240 than I have in all the states mentioned combined.