South Dakota Here We Come!

We left Springfield, MO, on May 16th and headed north to South Dakota (a day earlier than planned because of expected high winds and bad weather; when traveling in an RV, you must consider the winds and weather before you start out!).

We planned an overnight stop in the St. Joseph, MO, area. We had reservations at one place, but that didn’t work out. Fortunately we found another place that could take us. We stayed two nights (remember, we left one day early). It rained nearly the whole time we were in St. Joseph.

We knew there had been flooding in the very northwest corner of Missouri and along the western border of Iowa for several weeks. They had parts of the interstate closed a week earlier. The day before we left St. Joe, a trucker told Jack we shouldn’t have any problem now; they had opened Interstate 29 all the way to Sioux Falls, SD.

What we didn’t realize was exactly how bad the flooding had been for the previous two weeks. The further north we got, the more we saw how high the water had gotten in spots. We had already passed some of the worst of it by the time I decided I needed to take some pictures. As you can see, the water was still very close to the interstate in some of the pictures.

Needless to say, that exit ramp and all the ramps at this exit were closed.

As we got closer to the South Dakota border, the flooding didn’t seem as bad. At Sioux Falls we headed west on Interstate 90. Our next camp ground was right off the interstate at exit 364 about 35 miles west of Sioux Falls. It used to be called Camp America, but it is now called Dakota Sunset RV Park.

Dakota Sunset is a nice campground pretty much out in the middle of nowhere. There are plenty of trees that provide shade and a swimming pool that I’m sure will open up by June 1st. The sites are gravel, and they are nice and level.

Our only problem was the amount of rain that area had been getting all spring. The ground was already saturated from the thawing snow. The spring rains just made it worse. Driving along the interstate we could see numerous low areas in the farm fields that were covered in water.

The first two days we were at Dakota Sunset RV Park, it rained nearly all day both days. Monday I went to the store to stock up on groceries. That afternoon we stayed at the RV and worked on the rest of our summer trip making reservations for the portion of our trip back to Missouri in September.

Tuesday was supposed to be rainy all day (again! 😑), but they were also calling for winds up to 40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. We decided we would be wise to just stay home again. We were kind of lazy that morning. However, we played cards nearly all afternoon. If you have ever played the game Three Thirteen, you know it’s quite fun when played with three or more people. Since there was just the two of us, we “made up” two more players, and we each played our cards and another “made up” player’s cards. It was a little confusing at first, but it was a lot of fun!

Wednesday finally came and it was not raining! Yipeee! 😆 It was cloudy but weather reports had the chance of rain down to 30% or less.

We decided to take a drive over to Mitchell, SD. It is about 30 miles west of our RV park. Friends had told us about The Corn Palace there. We packed up our little shih tzu and headed west.

We had no idea what to expect. The only thing we knew about The Corn Palace was that it was decorated with many varieties of corn cobs, grasses, and other plants.

When we arrived, we were shocked for three reasons. 1.) The structure and the designs on the outside were phenomenal (the pictures will not do it justice)! 2.) The building was actually an event center and had a basketball court set up. 3.) They were “dog friendly” and admission was FREE (we could take our Zoey in)!

Inside we found murals and historical background of the area and the building. We discovered that the Palace was redecorated every year! One wall had pictures of the way The Corn Palace looked each year from its humble beginning as a Corn Exhibition in 1892. YES, the year is correct!That is NOT a typo!

Here are a few pictures (the picture with the year plaque is followed by the picture of The Corn Palace for that year):

This was the first year for lights.

If you are ever near Mitchell, SD, you might want to stop at The Corn Palace.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”