The World’s Only Corn Palace lay beckoning at our ending destination today. So I loaded up on corn chips and rode a nice tailwind for 73 miles to the town of Mitchell, South Dakota.
That’s fellow rider Wally in the photo with me. The Corn Place 2019 salute to military theme was perfectly appropriate for Wally, a retired military veteran who served in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. After the photo, we crossed the street to an ice cream shop, dodging the 100+ degree heat index. It was a hot and humid ride into Mitchell – I was wondering if those corn murals might start exploding into popcorn.
The Mitchell Corn Palace is actually an operational arena for all sorts of events – from theater to concerts to sports (home of the Mitchell Kernels). The constantly changing corn theme also makes it a tourist destination, attracting 500,000 people annually. Ingenious.
On the way, I passed through the town of Pukwana – home of lawnmower races every Friday and Saturday night. The race track happens to be right next to the Puk-U bar. Like many odd-ball sporting events, my guess is this one started at the bar… “I’ll bet you a beer my new lawnmower is faster than yours”.
This part of South Dakota has been decimated with heavy rains and flooding this year. Standing water covers many low spots, and whole fields of crops have been laid waste by excess moisture. Frogs seem to enjoy the wetness – except for those unfortunate ones who venture onto the hot road. And for the cows – swimming!
Tomorrow marks the final leg of this 2019 segment. Could be an adventurous wrap-up, as the forecast calls for thunderstorms. Stay tuned.