Indiana is considerably a small state width wise. This state claims to
be Cross roads of America. We dont have the insight into
American history so much as to understand why this state is called so. If some
one can tell us we will be grateful.
Is this Farm Perfect ? Well there are tons around this
part of the country. Take your pick
The Indian Sand Dunes national shore (lake shore)
Indiana was more farm country. As we approached the suburbs of chicago
landscape changed to urban. We also visited the Indiana Shores national
monument. Mind you its called as a shore, but its not sea. Its a lake
shore - however the water can get rougher than the sea at times.
We next had drifted into the Land of Lincoln, the state of
Illinois. The name does not come on because they have too many Lincoln
town cars ;-)))). The name comes because of Abraham Lincoln. Ok we
dont have many pics from IL, so we will head on.
We would like to call Iowa as the Welcome State or better still The
Corn State or something like that. However the official name is
something different. It is a great place to be in and even to just
travel in !
The Iowa Welcome Center on the banks of Missisippi. They
mena it when they say Welcome !
As we mentioned earlier, IA was a bolt of surprise. So much corn is
grown here that IA surpasses all other states in the USA and is only
second to China in corn production. No wonder so many farms are out
We find another farm perfect in IA ! Look at the way is
neatly arranged in bundles - facinating.
This farm has a windmill to drive the water pumps
Aliens are invading earth ? No, this is a piece of farm
machinery rolling down the IA highway
We were fortunate enough to be able to camp one of the nights at the
camping area around the Redrock Lake. This place was amagingly
beautiful. We have got pictures to prove it !
The patterns of light in the evening was fantastic at this
place. Being here was like being in heaven
All the dance of light finally lead to this fantastic sunset
Amana colonies was another beautiful area in central IA. We spent some
of the most memorable times here visiting old time houses, doll
houses and the like.
The doll museum/store at homestead village in Amana, IA
THe Lace House at Amana Village, IA
Amana preserves the traditions of the germans that had settled down in
this part of the country in the earlier ages. The Living History Farms
are in similar spirit except that unlike the Amana it is an artificial
creation. People are employed here to show us how the life was in the
ages in 1700s and 1800s in this part of the country. The LHF also was
a great learning experience. For people like Ajay who always snore in
the history class it was a pleasant surprise that history could be
made so interesting.
The 1700s house (or if you like it a hut !)
at Living History Farms in urbandale, IA
People are employed to "live" the life of the olden ages as
a demonstration in this live museum. These are guys are sawing wood
A few other interesting sites that we saw are below: Albert the bull at
Audobon, The Windmill at Elkhorn, etc
Ajay is bulled by Albert the Bull at Audobon in IA
Danish windmill at Elkhorn, IA
Another unearthly place in IA is the Grotto at the town of Westbend. Here
we also saw interesting badlands sample (the real badlands is yet to
come :-). The Grotto is really an awe inspiring religios place. Its a
huge collection of rock minerals, that are arranged to make up scenes
on Jesus Christ. Amazing structure, more so in the evening when its
A sample of badlands in IA, the real ones are yet to come
in South Dakota
The Grotto: a collection of mineral stones arranged to form
pictures of Jesus' life
The Grotto at night
We now leave haunting Iowa and move on to the next state.
Minnesota was never on our route map. We just drove through the state
for a few hours. However in just that much of time we came across this
beautiful building: possibly some kind of museum, or a farm house or
something. We did not venture inside.
A building in Minnesota by the highway. No we did not
venture inside to see what it was...
South Dakota lives upto its name Great Faces Great Places.
Though this state does not seem to be as rich as its neighbours, it
has some great places to go to. The faces part (in the name) comes
from the fact that SD is the house of Mount Rushmore - we will come to
that later. You will also notice that it is in SD that you notice the
rough prarie country. It can be very harsh and we really have to
admire the people here who have conqured this land and have lived on
it, changing it from a barren place to a fertile plain. But still at
many places you notice the rough terrain and the harsh winds.
We started with SD by seeing the doll house in the town of Mitchell.
It was an excellent sight. Mitchell is also famous for its world
famous corn palace that we mentioned. Otherwise the town is nothing
out of the ordinary. The corn palace is an amazing structure, but its
right in the heart of the downtown that is not very pleasant.
A bride shows off her dress in the dollhouse at Mitchell,
The queen and the royalty are on a walk in the doll house
at Mitchell, SD
The world famous Corn Palace at Mitchell, SD. The entire outer
layer of the building is made out of corn and its by products. Amazing,
isnt it ?
Ajay then posed with a local tramp - like pole attract is it ?
Then we next went on to the western parts of SD. Unlike the eastern
parts the western parts are mostly mountainous regions - start of the
western mountain range in the USA. This region is also dry, dusty and
right out of a Clint Eastwood movie !!
Ajay takes it easy on the mule ride at Wall Drug ;-). It takes some time
to know that the mule was dead !
Our first site out west was the wall drug that we have written
profusely about. After that was the famed badlands here. We also did
an excellent 7 mile off road trip here. The photographs below do
not do any justice to the views we saw here.
A view of the badlands on one of our hikes
The drive up sheep moutain in the badlands was really enchanting
The view from the top of sheep mountain, badlands, SD
Our car did a great job, climbing up this dirt road
We now leave badlands and enter the Black Hills area. On our way
into Black Hills we visted the bear country of which we have an intriguing
photo. We found an excellent motel here see the picture below.
A bear cub goes to sleep on a tree branch in Bear Country, SD
Our motel -The Chalet, at Custer, SD
So that was week two of pictures. Please proceed to week 3 for more exciting
pics in the Black-Hill/Badlands area.