We started the day rested and ready. The Brookstone Lodge in Emmetsburg, Iowa provided a quiet, restful night’s sleep followed by the standard continental breakfast fare of most hotel chains. The weather was cool and perfect for launch but promised another warm one later today.
The first planned stop was the Indian Motorcycle Factory at Spirit Lake, Iowa. We thought there was a dealership or at least a gift shop there. Not so. We did enjoy stretching our legs walking around the parking lot.
Since there was really nothing to explore there, we looked for an Indian dealer close by. It turns out that about a mile down the road is Okoboji Indian has a very friendly staff and a good selection of motorcycles. I sat on a couple of different bikes as did Jana but our trailer is already full. We did buy a t-shirt for Jana and a few trinkets.
Back in the truckasaurus, Pipestone National Monument was calling to us. Jana had read that this was a “don’t miss” attraction. The name comes from the unique red stone that was been used by native Americans for years for very special items including peace pipes (hence pipe stone). There was a parking spot big enough for our 45+ feet of truck and trailer (parking this thing is always a concern). A picturesque waterfall can be seen after a 3/4 mile walk from the visitor’s center. There are 4 booths were craftsman demonstrate the art of shaping the red stones into pipes. It’s not a surprise that there is a gift shop.
The town of Pipestone has a couple of unique attractions outside of the park. Who would have expected the worlds largest peace pipe to have a home here (should it be relocated to Casey, Illinois?). The other site is a concrete water tower, one of only two known to exist. I suggested that the motto of the site should be “Ours is Better Than Theirs” but I’m not sure anyone was listening.
It was time for lunch in downtown Pipestone. We were looking for something other than fast food and found The Stonehouse Supper Club. Service was good, food was tasty, and Jana was able to give a demonstration on the fine art of pull-tabs.
There’s only one in all the world. We’ve seen it before but it was impossible to drive past “The World’s Only Corn Palace” in Mitchell, South Dakota. The facility has undergone a much-needed face lift ($1.5 million worth of facelift). If you’re not familiar with the Corn Palace you should Google it to find out what you have been missing. This year’s theme is “Salute to the Military”. Again it’s no surprise that the facelift included a really nice gift shop across the street from the Palace. You can get anything you never wanted with the official mascot Corny emblazoned on it.
The drive across eastern South Dakota is not the most exciting activity. Yes, you can run 80 MPH legally along I-90 which is fun for a few minutes. We appreciated the great weather for most of the day but as we approached our home for the night things changed. The temperature dropped about 30 degrees in the span of 10 miles and it started to rain. Guess who needed fuel. Fuel availability out here is limited. We found a Conoco station that said they had fuel but the place was being remodeled. Poor Spencer was driving and had to figure out a way to get the rig up the diesel pumps without burying truck and trailer in mud that surrounded the place. Nicely done SJ but I was the guy who stood outside in the rain pumping the fuel. No respect for us elderly folk.
We ended up in Chamberlain, South Dakota. We had been in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota today. We saw some Indian’s at the dealership and watched peace pipes being hand-made. Took pictures at Pipestone and the Palace of Corn. We packed a lot into the 300 miles today. The plan for tomorrow is ……. oh, never mind, the plan will change as the day unfolds. Thanks for reading along.