Day 26 - Chamberlain to Mitchell SD
Mileage: 71 miles
Weather: Temps in the low 60s to start. Temps in the mid 80s to end. Strong winds all day long predominantly out of the east. Not our favorite but we rode on…
Highlights of the day:
The wind was definitely not our friend today. It was decidedly in our face and with very noticeable force. Ok, so it was “only” 15+ mph but that’s enough to put a damper on things, especially after the long hot day we had yesterday. I heard a little bit of grumbling, I could not blame them but they all pushed on and made it safely into the hotel.
Terrain today was mostly flat after the climb out of Chamberlain. The scenery was all farm, all day. Lots of cows. Some with really long horns. And horses. Acres of corn, rye, and wheat. And fields of beans. Hey, isn’t that a movie about baseball? Suffice it to say that east South Dakota feels like the Midwest. We’re out of the grasslands. The humidity is edging up daily. The rollers have flattened out. We’ve said goodbye to the high plains and hello to the Midwest’s farmland.
Today we had several opportunities to take in those locales that make smaller towns in rural America unique. We started out in Pukwana (puck-WAH-nah). It is famous for the Puk U Bar & Grill and its Crazy Racers Lawnmower Racing. It’s a race track built for lawnmower races. Seems it’s a big sport in these parts. No races running this morning but a few riders stopped for the photo op.
Next stop was in the town of Kimball. The South Dakota Tractor Museum houses a collection of older tractors & farm machinery. It also has all kinds of older homemaker appliances and cars and a blacksmith shop and… It’s a huge collection of lots of eclectic older items. It even has an electric home permanent machine. Permanent as permanent curl for your hair. It looked like something out of a Frankenstein movie. No one was brave enough to try it but we did get some pictures posing with the tractors.
The capper for the day is the Corn Palace. The current theme, which runs for 2016-2017, is Rock of Ages. Elvis and Willie Nelson are among the many artists featured in the large panels. The murals are all made from corn products (cobs, husks, silk, etc). Think of it as a Rose Bowl float that’s much bigger, doesn’t move and instead of flowers, it’s all corn based. But other than that it’s exactly like a Rose Bowl float. When one is in Mitchell, South Dakota, one must see the Corn Palace at least once!
Tomorrow we head for Sioux Falls and our third rest day of the tour. Once again, the pace at which this tour goes by has started to ramp up as we cross through the mid-section of this country. No blinking from now until we get to the Atlantic!