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Got up at 5:30 AM, took Chloe for her morning constitutional, and then started the process of getting ready to head out. Cindy got the inside put together, and I got the outside put together. Had a bit of a challenge hooking up, which was caused by not being perfectly lined up. Sent Linda on her way to dump her tanks. We caught her at the dump station and while I dumped our tanks, Cindy followed her into the first gas station which she went to the wrong gas station. After I was done dumping tanks, I joined them at the wrong gas station and explained to them how to get to the correct gas station, and she filled up and then had issues trying to get her jeep hooked up. Guess it's a Sunday start to the day.

Beautiful drive along the Missouri River going east out of Pierre. Took hwy 34 which follows the river for a fair stretch of length. Cloudy morning, cool temps made for a pleasant drive. Arrived in Mitchell, SD around 12:15 pm or so and went to the Corn Palace and checked it out. What a neat place, and very talented folks that do that art work with corn each year. Got some pics, stickers for the trailer and memories.

Lunch across the road from the Corn Palace at a bar and grill, then on our way. Had a challenge with the Garmin GPS getting out of town but arrived safely in Yankton at the current campsite located in the Cottonwood Recreation area. Had dinner after setup of leftover pizza. Got out the propane ring and sat out till around 9:30 and then headed to bed.

The Corn Palace, commonly advertised as The World's Only Corn Palace and the Mitchell Corn Palace, is a multi-purpose arena/facility located in Mitchell, South Dakota, United States. The Moorish Revival Building is decorated with crop art; the murals and designs covering the building are made from corn and other grains, and a new design is constructed each year. The Corn Palace is a popular tourist destination, visited by up to 500,000 people each year.

The Corn Palace serves the community as a venue for concerts, sports events, exhibits and other community events. Each year, the Corn Palace is celebrated with 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. Other popular annual events include the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo in July and the Corn Palace Polka Festival in September. It is also home to the Dakota Wesleyan University Tigers and the Mitchell High School Kernels basketball teams.


In the late 19th century, a number of cities on the Great Plains constructed "crop palaces" (also known as "grain palaces") to promote themselves and their products. As the idea succeeded, it spread, including: a Corn Palace in Sioux City, Iowa, that was active from 1887 to 1891; a Corn Palace in Gregory, South Dakota; a Grain Palace in Plankinton, South Dakota; and a Bluegrass Palace in Creston, Iowa.From 1887 to 1930, at least thirty-four corn palaces were built across the Midwest United States; only the Mitchell Corn Palace has remained intact.

The original Mitchell Corn Palace (known as "The Corn Belt Exposition") was built in 1892 to showcase the rich soil of South Dakota and encourage people to settle in the area. It was a wooden castle structure on Mitchell's Main Street, constructed on land donated by Louis Beckwith, a member of the First Corn Palace Committee. In 1904–1905, the city of Mitchell mounted a challenge to the city of Pierre in an unsuccessful attempt to replace it as the state capital of South Dakota. As part of this effort, the Corn Palace was rebuilt in 1905. In 1921, the Corn Palace was rebuilt once again, with a design by the architectural firm Rapp and Rapp of Chicago. Russian-style onion domes and Moorish minarets were added in 1937, giving the Palace the distinctive appearance that it has today.

In 2004, national media attention was drawn to the Corn Palace, when it received Homeland Security funding. This drew criticism of the Department of Homeland Security and its grant program. In 2007, the Corn Palace subsequently received $25,000 in DHS funding for a camera system useful for purposes including Barack Obama's visit in 2008, and as reported by the Mitchell Daily Republic, to protect a "new Fiberglass statue of the Corn Palace mascot Cornelius" in 2009.This statue sits across Main Street, west of the Corn Palace.

The Palace's domes were renovated in 2015 after shaking in strong winds. The new turrets are made of architectural metals.

Mural construction

The exterior corn murals are replaced and redesigned each year with a new theme, with designs created by local artists. From 1948 to 1971, the artist Oscar Howe Designed the panels. Calvin Schultz designed the murals from 1977 to 2002. From 2003 to 2017, the murals have been designed by Cherie Ramsdell. No new mural was created in 2006 due to an extreme drought.

Beginning in 2018, designs have been created by Dakota Wesleyan University students. As of 2018, it costs an estimated $175,000 each time the Palace is redecorated.

Twelve naturally-occurring shades of corn are grown by local farmers to create the artwork. Artists' drawings are transferred to black tar paper labeled with codes corresponding to colors, providing a "corn-by-numbers" pattern showing where each colored cob should be nailed. Corn cobs are split in two lengthwise and nailed to the exterior of the building, using approximately 1.5 million nails and 325,000 ears of corn.


Woke up to rain, and the leaking window, so are running into town to get some painters tape so can put some plastic over the window till the rain subsides.

Ran into Walmart and grabbed some painters tape, and Cindy had to do some food shopping while we were there. It was raining hard by the time we got back, so I wasn't sure that the tape would stick. Well, it did stick! Used a kitchen garbage bag over the window with the blue tape, which stopped the water from leaking in.

Appears the water from the slide all seems to run to the backside of the slide and then rolls down the wall and the windows can't shed that much water and into the camper it comes. Think if I get some rubber and mount it above the window in a curve that will direct the water away from the window and stop the water from coming in.

Caught up my logs from Fort Pierre while Cindy and Linda watched the new Elvis movie. They decided that it wasn't much of a movie. Due to the rain we spent the day indoors, so hopefully the rain will back off tomorrow, so we can get outside.

Cottonwood Recreation Area (Nebraska)

Cottonwood Recreation Area is a public recreation area located in Cedar County, Nebraska, U.S. It is located about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Yankton and located on the shores of Lake Yankton. The recreation area is located immediately downstream of Gavins Point Dam and Lewis and Clark Lake. It is named for Cottonwood Island, an original island located in the Missouri River, for the large groves of Cottonwood Trees that dominate the area. The recreation area is owned and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Although the area is located north of the Missouri River, it is often incorrectly assumed the area is a part of South Dakota. The original main channel of the Missouri River is now what is Lake Yankton, and upon Nebraska Statehood the original midpoint of the main channel of the Missouri River was determined to be the state line. Since Cottonwood Recreation Area is located south and west of Lake Yankton, it is actually entirely within Nebraska. The river was relocated to its present location following the construction of Gavins Point Dam.

Recreational opportunities

Cottonwood Recreation area is popular for camping, disc golf, picnicking, fishing, bird watching, and access to Lake Yankton. Typically, this lake is less busy and more quiet than Lewis and Clark Lake, located just upstream of the dam. There are 77 campsites with electric hook-ups available.


Today dawned with a cloudy sky, but no rain coming down, which is a good thing. Cindy made coffee when she got up, and we went out and sat around the propane ring and drank coffee plus visited with Linda. Watched the Geeks On Tour YouTube video regarding how to use Snapseed with my photos.

Stopped at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery. We were unable to check out the aquarium as it was closed due to a plumbing issue. They had a couple runs of rainbow trout that we were able to check out. Plus the couple of tanks that were inside that had a few fish in them.

Had lunch at Bro Burger Bar. Food was okay, rating 3 out of 5 stars. Tried a locally brewed beer that was made with peppers, which did have a pepper taste on the back end. Don't know that I would do the beer or the food again.

Got back to the rigs after lunch and took Chloe out for a bathroom break. Then I grabbed a garbage bag and cleaned up all the cigarette butts and garbage that were in our site when we arrived. Fort being a COE campground it's a pigsty here. Obviously, the hosts they have here, and the maintenance people are not doing their jobs.

Wrapped up our day, sitting outside and enjoying the afternoon and evening till the bugs drove us inside. Went through my photos and did minor tweaks to them so that they are ready to make videos from. Also got them uploaded to Google. Watched a few YouTube videos, then off to bed.

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  • Gavins Point Dam

    SPILLWAY: The spillway is a concrete structure composed of 14 tainter gates. The main job of the spillway is to discharge excess water incapable of running through the power plant. This summer we have been letting out an average of 70,000 ft.³ of water per second from our 14 tainter gates. On an average year, we don't have to use our spillway but with all the precipitation this summer, our spillway has been used.

    POWERPLANT: The power plant itself can accept 32,000 ft.³ of water per second, with 10,000 ft. ft.³ per second running through each of the dams, three generators. If the power plant reaches its maximum discharge rate, the spillways tainter gates will be used. As water runs through the powerplant and each of the three generators, Hydro power is produced. Traveling from the power plant to the transformer yard are cables carrying 13,800 V of electricity. Gavins Point Dam produces about $22 million worth of power each year, highlighting its great importance to the surrounding areas. Annual maintenance checks are performed on the turbines during the winter season, when power demand is lowest.

    EMBANKMENT: The embankment on Gavins Point Dam is constructed entirely of selected earth fill material. The core consists of impervious soils, which are anchored and sealed by compacted chalk and shale layers. The embankment is made up of 7,000,000 yd.³ of surrounding materials. If you lined up dump trucks full of dirt, you could create a path from Yankton, South Dakota to New York City, New York. The height of the embankment is 74 feet and the length ranges to a 1.6 mile length.


    Got up before sunrise and took Chloe for her morning constitutional and while out got some great sunrise photos. Came back to the rig and enjoyed a cup of coffee. Also went through this morning's pictures and adjusted them accordingly and put them in albums on my phone ready to create videos from. Today is a shower day for me, so I will get that knocked out, so I am ready for the day.

    After having completed breakfast, I am taking Chloe for her morning constitutional. We went to the Meade Cultural education center located in Yankton South Dakota.

    The Dakota Hospital For The Insane, now named The South Dakota Human Services Center, opened in 1879 and served all residents of the Dakota territory.

    Built in 1909 the Mead Building was originally used as patient housing for women until the 1980s when patient numbers dropped.

    Dr. Leonard C Meade was the architect behind the main building and many others on the historic campus. The building was designed to provide a home for women where they could be cared for with compassion and dignity.

    Marble Staircase: The grand marble staircase has been the topic of much discussion. 1954, fire destroyed the second administration building, taking with it any documentation that may have existed regarding the marble and its source.

    STENCIL WORK: If you look up in the foyer and parlor rooms, you will see stencil work on the ceilings. The designs were hidden under several layers of paint. The patterns are common art deco designs and were done using pounce patterns. Each room has a unique design. There is one patch of original stencil work on the second floor above the foyer. The stencils in the rest of the building have been recreated by hand.

    Heritage Park: The children's museum is expanding into Heritage Park! The museum's collection of historic buildings has been relocated to the west side of the Mead Building. The new park will include wind energy, a botanical garden of native plants, walking paths and open green space. Our goal is to have a fully interactive experience for all generations. The museum is currently fundraising to make repairs to all of the buildings, starting with the great northern railroad depot. Visit the information booth to make a contribution to this project.

    Humanities Preservation & Training Laboratory: The Mead Cultural Education Center, as it name implies, is intended to be an educational institute for Dakota territorial humanities, cultures, and long-term preservation of historic collections both within MCEC and surrounding areas.

    The laboratory in the basement will bring resources to smaller museums that house Dakota Territorial collections. This laboratory will help these collections remain in their communities to continue to teach future generations about their local history and culture.

    Yankton College: The newly named Joseph and Sherwood Ward Alumni & Educational Center of Yankton College has moved into the third floor of the Mead building with their collections and staff offices. Established in 1881 by the Reverend Joseph Ward, Yankton College was the first of higher education institutions to receive students in the Dakota Territory. For just over 100 years, Yankton college was nationally known and respected. The school held their final commencement in June 1985.

    Living on campus: The third floor of the meat building previously had rooms for nurses to live in. This allowed staff to be readily available anytime of day or night. Many employees, like patient attendants, worked 15 hours per day for an average of $24 per month or less and many were unskilled. Many staff members continued to live on campus until the 1970's when legislation made changes to assist with off-campus staff living.

    After finishing our tour of the Mead building, we went out for lunch at a Mexican joint. Food would rate about three stars. Then back to the house and finished out the day relaxing outside and had the fire pit going in the evening.


    Today was a kickback and relax day. We went and fueled the truck for tomorrow's journey to Lincoln, then went and mailed out Austin's birthday present. Went back to the rig and relaxed with movies, plus started slowly loading things into the truck and putting things up in the trailer for tomorrow's travel.

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