Pipestone National Monument

July 25-26, 2017

As you can see from the date, I’ve gotten behind on blog posts. Honestly, we are going through a little travel fatigue and that means blogging fatigue as well. We’ve been on the road since May 26th, driven 4379 miles, and stayed at 26 different places. We can’t really turn back towards home at this point – we have reservations in Yellowstone for the end of August and we both would really like to see Crater Lake National Park and Pinnacles National Park. That will take us until probably around mid-September and then there is 3,000 miles to get home.

So, to help with the fatigue, we opted for a couple of do-nothing days. Camping in this area has been pretty tough (aka expensive and limited) – we are on the route to Yellowstone and Glacier, along I-90. We ended up in Butte, MT at the KOA. I spent one whole day sewing and another day sewing after a short walk. Yesterday, we walked 12 miles. We are leaving today for Idaho where we take another “down” day in Idaho Falls.

Now, back to July … and Pipestone National Monument. You can follow the link and read all about this interesting place where the Native Americans have been quarrying the red rock they use to make pipes for ages (and still do today.) There was a nice nature trail through the quarries and a lovely little museum with Native Americans shaping the stone in person.

On our way to Pipestone, we stopped at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. They change the corn murals each year for a different theme and this year was Music. Who could pass up a picture of Willy Nelson or Elvis made out of corn?

They had the largest gift shop set up for the summer on the basketball court inside the building … 

Alan got to grind some corn the old fashioned way:

We haven’t necessarily been doing long driving days but we have been trying to make a few stops and get out for a little walk. Corn Palace was one and we also checked out the giant Indian woman statue with a Star Quilt. Even if we weren’t ready for a stop, we wouldn’t have passed up a 50-foot tall roadside attraction!

Oh, I almost forgot … We were entertained by a rafter of turkeys at Pipestone as we were leaving. I haven’t edited the video so you will just have to trust me that it was hysterical when this bunch gobbled on their way to cross the road and block traffic.

I did also find some cool old stone stairs on the nature trail in Pipestone.

Next Stop: Badlands National Park