Friday, July 13, 2012

Mitchell, SD - Day 26

Americana to the max! A tourist day

Our day started with breakfast at the Anchor Grill and Shipwreck Lounge,  where we also had dinner - home of incredible homemade pies including fresh rhubarb pie, strawberry rhubarb, cherry rhubarb, blueberry, chocolate cream, apple and the famous deep fried Snickers, not to mention homemade sticky buns for breakfast, along with eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, fried bread, oatmeal... a biker's breakfast. What a place!

From there we headed to Pukwana, SD, home of the famous Saturday night lawn mower races, including but not limited to: riding, push, bag, no bag, categories. Sadly, not much was happening at 7:00 am on Friday morning.

At 7:45 was the Kimball Tractor Museum, which, when we arrived, wasn't even open. Just in time, a museum volunteer farmer came and opened it for us. They have tractors and farm and family equipment from the late 1800's and up. Dennis will be happy to know there were lots of John Deere tractors, and Mimi's mom would be happy to have seen the surrey with the fringe on the top. There was even a school house that was left as it had last been used, grade book, bell, and all.

Finally, Mitchell and the Corn Palace! The Palace was built originally in 1892 to call attention to the corn belt and demonstrate that corn would grow well in South Dakota. This was only two years after South Dakota had become a state. At that time Mitchell was vying with Pierre to be the state capital and Mitchellites hoped that the week-long Corn Festival surrounding the opening of the Corn Palace would tip the scales in their favor. Even with John Phillip Sousa coming to play, it didn't make it. However, the Corn Palace has survived and every year is decorated according to a different theme using 275,000 ears of different colored corn along with rye grass and dock. This year's theme is Celebrating Youth Activities. (Let's get those overweight kids off the couch!) It takes 100 acres to grow the corn and they grow only one color in each field to keep the integrity of the color. We saw lots, and lots of corn growing coming into town!

This whole area was settled after Abraham Lincoln passed the Homestead Act in 1862 where the government gave farmers ownership of federal land west of the Mississippi, usually 160 acres, at no cost. Settlers had to file an application, improve the land, file a deed and live on the land for five years. The Act was an expression of the "free soil" movement, promoted by northerners who wanted single farm owner, who would work the land themselves, rather than slave owners who would use slave gangs.

So... there's your history lesson for today! Enjoy the photos!

Day 26
Miles - 72
Total Miles - 1958
Elevation Gain - 1240 (loss 1391)
Next stop - Sioux Falls (and a rest day!!)

LInk to Mimi's Garmin Info

Our favorite restaurant in Chamberlain!

Main St. of Chamberlain, early morning

Morning shadows as we climb the bluff out of Chamberlain and leave the Missouri behind

Ready to roll

A whole row of John Deere's for Dennis and Ken

This volunteer farmer showed us
around the museum. Here he holds
a corn cob he has just removed the
kernels from in an old fashioned machine.
He was explaining how all the parts of the
cob are used. Some of it is even used
to make ladies face powder
for us ladies.

Theiman tractor with a  model A engine!

Have you driven a Ford lately?

The 1945 Model H John Deere

The museum sign with the
tractor to the left

Just a few wrenches!

Another row of pretty red tractors - all of these were on personal loan to the museum

Surrey with the Fringe on the Top

These go with the horse pulling
the surrey

Mimi's worst nightmare, after retiring, she is back at school!
Note the lunch boxes behind the wood stove, and that Mimi fit in these cute little desks!

Putting the finishing touches on this years Corn Palace
Decorative border of rye grass ( dark beige) and dock (rust)
One of the murals decorating the building - look carefully to see the corn
Cheer leader mural
Local boys working in the decorations for the Corn Palace and guarding our bikes
Inside the Corn Palace - a basketball stadium and a theater! All decorations - Corn!
Corny picture of the antiques!


  1. tractors look so cool!! and you guys look great!!!! keep rockin' love becca x

  2. Erin and I really enjoyed riding with you two on this day.