Solon IA to Belvedere SD
Day 3 Stats: 3 states, 3.25 tanks of gas, 607 miles, many hours
Up at 5am and out of camp by 6 and on the road again. We were lucky to have dry weather when we packed up but soon found oursevles traveling through storms.
As Daniel drove through the downpour I slept - all the way through Minnesota, in fact.
As we entered South Dakota we saw sign after sign encouraging us to make a stop at Wall Drug, a 76,000 square foot roadside attraction. "Free ice water!" proclaimed one. "World Famous Coffee 5 cents!" promised another. For anyone that's traveled along the I-95 corridor heading south towards South Carolina it's remenicent of the signs that pepper the highway for South of the Border. But Wall Drug was still miles and miles away.
We did make a stop at The World's Only Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. The facade of the building is decorated annually with 9 murals made from 12 different colors of corn. Maybe even as delightful a sight was the young woman I spied in the gift shop across the street wearing a wide corn patterned skirt, yellow shirt, jewely, and headband, carying a very full tote bag depicting the Corn Palace and purchasing a crinkly, stuffed ear of corn "for the cats!".
After leaving the Corn Palace we headed to the Missouri River, where we paused to enjoy an overlook and some more SD history.
One thing I've been eager to explore on this trip is part of the route that Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery took to try to find an all-water route to the Pacific Ocean. They followed the Missouri River all the way to it's headwaters where they had the immense good fortune to meet the Shosone Indians and trade for horses to help them cross the Bitteroot Mountain range and beyond. In the coming days there are a few more stops along the Lewis and Clark Trail that I will share with you.
At the overlook was a 50' high sculpture titled "Dignity" that "boldly proclaims that South Dakota's Native cultures are alive, standing with dignity". Also at the site was an information center (closed when we arrived) depicting some scenes from the Lewis and Clark journey, including a replica of the keelboat they used during the first year of their journey. I had to squeeze my arm and phone through the locked decorative gate (and hope I didn't drop it!) to capture a few photos.
Soon after we pulled into our resting stop for the night, a local KOA. The dogs even got a special treat in the way of play time in a small fenced area with two other dogs. That night we stayed in a small cabin, which seemed luxurious after 2 days of packing up a wet tent.
It's a short drive tomorrow to our next stop so we can afford a little bit of a lazy morning. Next up: Wall Drug, the Badlands National Park, and the Black Hills.