Monday, May 18, 2015

The Dakotas, South and North

The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD
Hot Springs, SD . . .
From Hill City, SD we drove thru a little town called Hot Springs - a picturesque old town with 37 sandstone buildings. It is home to the old Battle Mountain Sanitarium which treated patients with rheumatism and tuberculosis as far back as 1907. The Native Americans considered these springs sacred.

Old Sandstone Buildings in Hot Springs, SD

One of the Hot Springs

Wounded Knee and Lakota Land . . .

Moving on down the road toward the Indian Reservations that we had read so much about on news media - the Pine Ridge Reservation and Wounded Knee. Everything I have heard about the area is true . . . a very poor area where the side streets and parking lots of businesses aren't even paved. At Wounded knee I worked up a friendship with one of the locals who was selling some home made crafts. Very interesting conversation as he told me about their plight on the reservation. He also explained that the Indians wanted to keep the land as close to the way it was before white man came. That's one reason why they don't want outside businesses coming in and changing their lifestyles by putting up big fancy malls and tourist attractions.
Wounded Knee

Wounded Knee near the Cemetery

New Lakota friend I met at Wounded Knee
A short hop thru Nebraska to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD . . .
The skies looked like this all day while traveling thru NE and SD
We left Wounded Knee to drive a few miles thru Nebraska. Didn't stay there long, maybe 50 miles, and we headed back North into South Dakota. A really bad weather system was building up and the skies were not looking good at all. A good thing that we headed North because we later found out that night that there were some rough tornadoes that touched down on the Wyoming/South Dakota border as well as Nebraska where we had been earlier in the day.  A Wal-Mart in Mitchell, SD was our place to lay our head down that night and the winds blew and rains came down so hard that night as I listened to the weather warnings around us. Tornado warnings were very active as I found out the next morning that a total of 16 had touched down across the mid-West states that night.

Photo of previous Corn Palace Designs
Mitchell, SD is the home of the Corn Palace and a stop in Mitchell would not be complete without a visit there. The rains and wind had subsided the next morning and the sun came out. The Palace was starting to undergo construction for this years events. Each year local artists redecorate the outside of the palace with various grains while leaving the inside intact. The Corn Palace is actually an auditorium serving the community as a venue for concerts, sports events, exhibits and other community events. Every year, after the place is redecorated, they have a citywide festival, the Corn Palace Festival. Historically it was held at harvest time in September, but recently it has been held at the end of August. Would be something to do if we were going to be here in August.
This years design as they were starting to tear it down

The new cupolas that were to be added to this years design

One of the designs

A close up
A peek at the inside of the Corn Palace

No comments:

Post a Comment