Saturday, May 21, 2011

Iowa to South Dakota (Anita, Iowa to Mitchell, South Dakota)

We arrived at Lake Anita State Park early afternoon on Friday, May 13.

The state park is located in the itty bitty town of Anita, Iowa.  The area is very rural with great farmland everywhere.

Consequently, the setting is oh so peaceful.  The park includes about 90 campsites  (40 with full hook-ups and the remainder electric only) that one way or another have a view of a nice size lake.

Electric only sites right on the lake 

Full hook-up sites further away, but still a nice view
View from in front of our site

There also are some wonderful bike/hike trails, including a 4 mile trail that completely circles the lake.

All in all a great scenic state park.  We enjoyed our week's stay there.

So once we got set up we drove about 15 miles into Atlantic to start our visit with Ryan.  The weekend was to include a great surprise for Ryan.  We are a blended family and my daughter Aubree had not seen Ryan for quite a few years.  They are both 26.  Aubree made arrangements to fly in for the weekend to visit with Ryan.  Omaha is the closest airport of size.  We told Ryan some made up story about why we were going to the airport.  Aubree just kind of appeared and Ryan was floored.  It couldn't have gone better!

Ryan and Aubree

We had a wonderful weekend together.  The weather was awful though, so we decided to see a couple movies.  Bridesmaids was hysterical (often in a warped kind of way) and Fast Five was great action junk. We also stuck with our horrible eating habits. (this must change and will soon!)  Aubree flew back to Dallas Sunday evening.  The rest of the week was spent with Ryan.  We hung out at the lake, Ryan's apartment and went to the Henry Doorley Zoo in Omaha. What a great place!  Along with the usual Lions and Tiger and Bears, the exhibits included an Aquarium,

Almost like snorkeling in the Caribbean!
 Butterfly Pavilion

 and an Aviary, where we saw many of the Florida birds we are already missing!

Roseate Spoonbill

Cattle Egret

After the zoo we ate at a unique place called HuHots.  Mongolian BBQ.  Outstanding!  I may have had 3 plates?  Shameful! 

We left Lake Anita Friday morning.  Normally we depart about 10am but today we needed to get an early start so we were on the road by 8.  Today's drive was just shy of 300 miles.  We're staying at the R and R Campground in Mitchell, SD.  The campground is nice, not special, but nice.

 We were assigned a large pull-thru site.

They accept Passport America so we're here for about $19.

The premier attraction "cash crop" in Mitchell is the Corn Palace.

This attraction "sprouted" in 1892.  It really is a building covered entirely with corn and corn products.  The corn is affixed to the building creating art.  The designs are changed each year.  Kind of like "rotating crops."   It may sound "corny" but there's not a "kernel" of sarcasms when I say it's a uniquely impressive structure.   The building is actually a convention hall but it's design is obviously meant to attract tourism.  The hall includes many murals also designed with corn only.

Given it's longevity, the "harvest" has apparently been bountiful! 

Saturday we head for the very famous Wall Drug.



  1. We've been there a couple of times and it is a GREAT place to visit. The Corn Palace is amazing work! Have fun & Enjoy!

  2. So glad that you are seeing some of the wonderful sights that South Dakota has to offer - and it is only the beginning!! We think you are going to love it and hope that you get to see everything!!

    Sherry & Charley

  3. The pic of Ryan and I turned out great! We'll have better weather next time though. :)

    The Corn Palace looks awesome!!!