We started the day back at the Field of Dreams movie site, since the site was closed last night. Unfortunately, it was raining even harder this morning than it was last night, but that didn’t dissuade us from taking lots of pictures and even running the bases. We made a few small purchases at the gift stand (the only way the site raises money, since there is no admission fee), and the woman there confirmed what we had heard previously — that the new owners of the site are going to be developing the entire area surrounding the field/farm, creating an enormous baseball complex, with a dozen baseball fields and more than 50 clubhouses. So the site as we all remember it from the movie, with corn fields as far as the eyes can see, will be a distant memory within the next year or so (the first of the new baseball fields are expected to be completed by next spring).
So we drove off in the rain, with our next destination seven hours away: Mitchell, South Dakota, home of the world-famous (at least within South Dakota) Corn Palace. The drive across Iowa was about four-and-a-half or five hours of flat, straight highway, with cornfields everywhere. We stopped for lunch in Fort Dodge, then headed back on Route 20 and into Nebraska. We wound along the Missouri River during our hour or so in Nebraska, never venturing too far from the border (and nowhere near any large towns; we couldn’t even find a place to buy a souvenir shot glass; we are getting one from each state we visit). We did, however, stop briefly in Maskell, Nebraska, whose claim to fame is being home to the smallest city hall in the country. Then it was back on the road and across the Missouri River, into Yankton, South Dakota, where we made the requisite Dairy Queen stop. After that bit of refreshment (small vanilla cone), it was north to Interstate 90 for the drive west to Mitchell.
So what, you ask, is the Corn Palace? Basically it’s a large building with murals — inside and out — made from corn cobs. There’s a bit more to it than that, but unless you happen to be passing by or through Mitchell, it’s not worth a big detour. But for us it was one more thing to check off our list of things to see.