Driving through central and eastern SD we saw a lot of this -
And a lot of this -
Sunflowers, or what's left of them, in case you can't tell. The scenery was picturesque and beautiful yes, but it went on forever.......
Soon after crossing the Missouri river....
We by chance came across a little Lewis and Clark museum at a rest stop across the river! We didn't know it then, but the bridge we took coming over the Missouri was the Lewis and Clark Memorial Bridge, hence the museum. Their party crossed the Missouri right here where we just did. Pretty cool.
This was a good opportunity to stretch our legs and then eat some dinner.
As I said, the museum was pretty small, but enough to educate and entertain us while we enjoyed our much needed break from the truck.
Lewis and Clark of course were sent by Thomas Jefferson to explore the west, something Jefferson had always advocated. His desire to have a nation spread from sea to sea was the driving force behind the expedition. He gave very specific instructions that shaped how Lewis and Clark were to interact with the native population (with tremendous respect if you recall), specified how the expedition was to be conducted and recorded (it was a military mission) and stressed the scientific nature of it as well.
We saw what they brought with them to eat and what they hunted and found along the way,
We saw what they brought along to trade with the native population,
And learned about the 55 foot keelboat they brought along with them that still wasn't enough to carry all their supplies. This is the front end of a mock boat set up to look out over the river and the place they camped at, both coming and going.
Moving on down the road again, our next planned stop was Mitchell SD, home of the famous Corn Palace! What's that you say? Well, it's a CORN PALACE! The murals on the facade are all made from corn: Husks, ears of different color, leaves and all. Other grains are included as well, but it's mainly corn. These murals are changed once a year and a new design goes up! Inside is just a gymnasium, or so we were told, since we coulnd't really go in at this point. You'll know why in a second.
Strange, but pretty cool. Not to mention the amount of work that goes into doing this! Wow!
So, the reason we couldn't actually go in was this -
Yes, the Village People!!! No, those aren't really them of course. Those are some girls dressed up to go see the show. They really get in the spirit as you can see. They're all, including our kiddos, posing for the YMCA song :-).
We just happen to hit Mitchell the day the university celebrated it's 125th birthday. Apparently there was a huge parade in the morning and other celebrations going on all day. This evening the Village People, yes, THE Village People, were performing in this small town and small venue! One of the members of the group is a university grad and gathered up the old gang to come be part of the celebrations. How funny is that?!
We spent about a total of 45 minutes in Mitchell and that was fine. Just enough to see the palace and talk to some locals and former locals who were back for the reunion. A nice little experience and another nice break from the truck. Since the sun was setting already we were heading for the nearest Walmart to set up camp for the night. I believe we ended up in Sioux Falls.
We are finding, that especially if we're just driving through a location trying to get to the next, a Walmart makes the most sense. Easy in, easy out, in most cases, not to mention free and convenient.
The next day on the road was a long one, but we were rewarded with this glorious site after a long day's drive.....
It's been 2 long months of being Costcoless and we all shrieked and cheered when I saw it on the map and then, when we saw it around the bend the shrieks got even louder! :-)
We love us some Costco. Who doesn't?! It's pretty funny but it felt like coming home again. No, I'm not getting sentimental about Costco, but it does feel like home since we shopped there all the time and actually like going there as family outing too. Call us crazy if you wish......
Well, aside from the shopping the best thing about Costco is.......
The boxes of course! Inventor was especially happy to have his fill of cardboard to build his various contraptions with again. Who needs toys, even legos (gasp!) when you can have CARDBOARD!
Our stock of cardboard boxes and fresh fruits and veggies replenished (fridge and coolers jammed packed), we set off again.......