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Road Trip Day 1: Minnesota to South Dakota highlight Corn Palace by Ann Treacy
September 19, 2022, 3:13 am
Filed under: South Dakota

Grandpa and I are taking Aine to college to Evergreen in Olympia Washington. It 1710 miles away from home; that’s 25 hours in the car if you take the quickest route. Our path there is pretty straight but we’ve planned to diverge for a few highlights. I have never done this drive so I’m actually excited. (But right now I’m 4 hours in – let’s see how I feel in three days!)

We left St Paul at noon because, very unusually I was on a panel for a music conference called Find Your Stage. Firs sight was the Jolly Green Giant in Le Sueur County, but I didn’t get a great picture. (Also not our first sighting of Jolly Green.)

Our first big sight was the Porter Sculpture Garden in Montrose. South Dakota. To be fair, it was a drive-by but still kind of cool. It caught my attention as we drove by, which is impressive in the day of the smartphone.

Our planned stop was the Corn Palace in Mitchell SD. I had no idea what to expect. Being honest, I guess I thought it was a palace made of corn in the middle of a field. It’s not. It’s a small arena – think the Coliseum at the State Fair, if you’re from Minnesota. They host event, such as the Electric Cooperatives annual banquet and I’m going to guess some rodeo events. It’s decorated with corn husk murals. They are impressive and apparently they redo the murals each year, which when you actually think it out makes sense. It costs $130,000. But they do get half a million tourists. The first Corn palace was established in 1892. This is the third rendition.

We are staying the night in Wall SD, home of the famous Wall Drug. It brings in two million tourists a year – how can two million people be wrong, right? We are excited to see the 80 foot brontosaurus – but not in the dark. I’ll report back on the experience tomorrow!

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