Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little Whale on the Prairie

The next two camps were just stops along the way to Minneapolis. Interstate 90 took us through the monotonous prairie lands of the midwest. At first it was mostly open range, broken only by the occasional clump of trees growing at some water source. Here and there we would see pronghorn "antelope", and also men hunting them. Cattle grazed out there as well. The landscape then gave over to farming, and we began to see enormous fields of corn, sunflowers, millet and milo. Pheasants live there, we're told, and people come from all over to hunt them. The crops are secondary.

We camped among the corn at a farm/campground in Mitchell, South Dakota. An island of trees in a sea of corn, the campground was sparsely populated and we had lots of elbow room. While in Mitchell we finally lost our frozen custard virginity! We've been hearing about this mid-west phenomenon of frozen custard. How rich and creamy it is, better than ice cream, better than soft serve. We found a Culver's in town and stopped by for a dish. Very good! Very very good! We're custard fans!

Camping in the corn:

We popped in to town to see if there was a kernel of truth to the rumor that the town is home to the corniest place on earth. It is: the famous Corn Palace dominates the classic American Main Street. It's an amaize-ing structure, cob-bled together in perfect hominy; patterns and murals from natural colors of hundreds of thousands of ears of corn. It takes grits to take on a husky project like this. We stalked around for a while...

As punned upon above, all murals and decorations are fashioned from corn cobs, husk or stalk:

Close up:

Rolling on down the road, cursing the constant bumps and jostling that I-90 subjected us to, we finally came to rest at a county park in the town of Worthington, Minnesota.

Our campsite was really nice, backed up to the water. The summer weather stayed with us and we enjoyed drinks in our chairs looking over the lake and at the first of the fall colors. Overnight, however, a front came through and brought autumn temperatures and lots of wind. It didn't stop us from taking a spin on the bike path that ran through the park, the town, and around the lake:

That wind and bumpy roads made the day's drive pretty miserable, as we headed northeast to be within striking distance of the metropolis of Minneapolis. That'll get its own post, coming soon...

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