Day 7: Sioux City, South Dakota
Great faces, great places! When he heard that we were going to South Dakota today, Andy replied, “You will be the first person I know to confirm the existence of South Dakota.”
According to Caroline, if you factor in Alaska and Hawaii, South Dakota is the geographic center of America. It doesn’t quite feel like a bustling metropolis, though—it was 98 degrees outside in the early evening, and the main street of Sioux Falls, the state’s biggest city, felt like a hybrid between Niskayuna’s Union Street and Canton’s Main Street.
Mother accidentally dropped her postcards from the observation deck. Caroline ran down to get them.
The Blue Angels (the US Air Force’s show pilots) were visiting the town, a fact evidenced by the roaring of military jet engines we heard over dinner, which caused my father to abandon his plate and go outside to watch.
We’re still on I-90 (I’m beginning to wonder if we’re going to stay on I-90 all the way until Denver), we drove past De Smet, the town that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about in Little House On the Prairie! I don’t care how old I am, I will always love those books.
“In a perfect circle the sky curved down the level land, and the wagon was in the circle’s exact middle… they couldn’t get out of the middle of that circle.” – Little House on the Prairis
There was an incredible thunderstorm, pretty far away from where we were on the road. The hazy blue streaks that are touching the ground is actually rain.
On the way to our hotel outside of the Badlands in Interior, South Dakota (population 94), we stopped by the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota—the “only Corn Palace” in the world. (I would have been very surprised if there was more than one). The exterior and interior murals are completely illustrated with corn, which they replace every year and every 10-12 years, respectively.
The Corn Palace is home to high school basketball games, concerts, and even proms. I can’t quite imagine having a prom in a Corn Palace, but it certainly puts the Albany Marriott to shame. The gift shop, which took up most of the basketball court, was quite comprehensive, boasting everything from “Corn Zippers” to “Corn Strippers.”
Our hotel for tonight is honestly in the middle of nowhere/the Badlands. It looks like someone completely razed the surrounding 500 miles and plunked a building down at random. Mother was actually afraid of the rock formations as we drove past them with our brights on. I hope she doesn’t develop a fear of anything else irrational/made of rock and dirt on the rest of our trip.