Monday, September 10, 2007

Day Eight - Just a brief summary [now updated]

This will be very short. More details to follow. I'm staying at a ... dicey motel. Only thing I could find because there is something going on in a nearby town and I would have had to drive another hour to the next town where I might find a room. And it was already after 6PM. Internet connection is only available in the front office. [All turned out well. Room was quiet. Blocking the door with two well-placed chairs helped.]

Anyway, I left Chamberlain, SD, and drove about an hour to Mitchell. Before I found the Corn Palace, I found the road to a museum devoted to a pre-historic native American settlement archaeological dig. Spent about an hour there. Interesting to see an actual dig, although there was no one actually working the site at the time.

Found my way to the center of town and marveled at the world-famous, only-one-of-its-kind, it's-not-what-you-imagined Corn Palace. At this time of year, the workers are installing the corn mosaics on the sides of the building, so it was more interesting than if it was all finished. I called up a question to one of the guys working on the mosaic. He told me they were sawing the corn cobs in half length-wise. I cold hear the saw and the staple gun. Then he tossed me a half cob. [Jody, I'm bringing it back for you.] You can't see it very well in the photo at left, but the black part of each picture is tar paper with a paint-by-number drawing. The guys staple up the appropriate color cob to fill in the image.

From there it was on to Le Mars, Iowa. I took I-90 across the state line into Minnesota and then went south on a rural route into Iowa. I managed to find the Blue Bunny visitor center despite a lack of signage. Took the tour of the ice cream museum and then had a late lunch: a two-scoop hot fudge sundae. And I did something I don't think I've ever done before -- I left about a third of the sundae uneaten. It was delicious, really. It was just way too much.

It was close to 5Pm and I could have found a room in Le Mars, but I wanted to try to get a bit further east so I can cover the territory I need to by tomorrow evening. No stops planned. My sightseeing will be traveling part of the way over rural routes rather than the interstate as I make a diagonal path through Iowa. I hope to get at least to Davenport. I may need to stop there because according to my AAA map, there aren't many towns on my route through Illinois that I can tell have motels. At least not listed in the AAA guidebook. (The place I am staying tonight is NOT in the guidebook.)

I'm going to stop here. I'll add detail, links and photos tomorrow -- or the next time I get an internet connection. Tonight I really, really am going to get to bed early so I can get an early start. No idea yet what I will do for breakfast. [Ha. Finally got to sleep even later than usual.]

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