Oacoma - Jamestown
Miles Driven: 296.2
Gas Price: 1.99
It's us again. The never-ending story continues!
After a night full of thunder and lightning, we drove off the next morning through a pleasantly green South Dakota. It's a gently rolling terrain, mostly crop fields and cattle pastures - with everything being so lush and fresh, it wasn't as boring as people said it would be ;)
We drove about 100 miles to Mitchell, home of the famous Corn Palace. Or perhaps not THAT famous, so to find out more go to: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/SDMITcorn.html
Every year they clad the outside of the building with multi-coloured corn, corn husks etc, and the theme changes annually. This year it's Lewis and Clark (for the non-Americans amongst us, they're a pair of white blokes who 'discovered' a lot of the American West) since it's the 200th anniversary of their trip to the West Coast. Click on the pictures below to make them larger! (That will make it easier to spot Colin if he's there)
After checking out the Corn Palace, we turned north. Due to the certain lack of large cities (and therefore major multi-lane roads) we were off the interstate system and into state and/or federal roads. This was actually enjoyable for the most part, as the road north was through more farmland. That part of South Dakota is also well known for it's marshes and grasslands, since they are home to many birds that people like to shoot and kill (you know who you are!). We saw pheasants quite a few times, including a couple that scuttled across the road in dice with automotive death ;) A town along the way was Redfield, the (self-proclaimed?) Pheasant Capital of the World. http://www.redfield-sd.com/
Speaking of which, we did have a minor birdstrike incident. Due to the fact it was (a) a smallish blackbird, and (b) a glancing blow (for us, if not the bird) the windscreen stayed intact. Don't ask about the bird.
And so into North Dakota. We fronted up in Jamestown around 4pm, which was the plan due to weather warnings about thunderstorms with possible tornadoes moving through the Dakotas. Most of you know how paranoid I am about tornadoes!! The downside with Jamestown was that the hotel didn't have internet access, so once again this posting is a day behind.
The other good reason for getting into Jamestown early was that we arrived in time to watch the funeral procession of Ronald Reagan's coffin. Unfortunately we watched CNN, who had cameramen who kept missing the important things, and 'expert' voiceover people making asinine comments. Particularly annoying was the fact that although they KNEW there would be 21 F-15Es flying over, with the final four doing a "missing man" formation, they STILL missed filming the "missing" jet pull out and away from the others. Bah. The USAF choir singing a capella was very good. OK so it sounds strange to want to see a funeral procession, but there it is, so be it!