2nd December 2005
Mitchell, South Dakota

With the increasing snow we decide that it would be a pretty good idea to find a camping store and buy some supplies. There is a huge store in the area and we spend a good deal of time looking through the store. The lines of rifles and bullets available off the shelf are a bit of a culture shock. Our main desired purchase is sleeping bags - I need one for the Inca Trail in a few months in any case and just in case our car breaks down we know that one would be useful for us. We opt for bags that are good down to -7C - nice and toasty. We also buy a whole bunch of other items - bug sprays and the like. Purchases made we begin to make our way west towards Mitchell.

The drifting of the light snow across the road is an enchanting sight. The whole road seems to dance as we keep going on the almost empty roads. There are some wonderful moments on the drive as we crest hills and look across the gentle slopes to see winding roads snaking their way over the hills into the distance without barely a single car in view. In the fields to the sides the cows form lines as they wander from one field to the next.

Mitchell has a bit of a curiosity within it's town limits - The Corn Palace. The walls of this building are made entirely from corn and the patterns are changed every year. We drive past the outside. This year there seems to be a cowboy theme with pictures of men riding off into the sunset. It's an interesting building but we don't get much time to have a look. We make a quick stop at a mall to buy some supplies before we hunt for the Thunderbird Inn where we are staying the night. On pulling out of the car park the car slides into an almost sideways position. You have to be really careful on snow this deeo.

Some of the trees have the most incredible ice formations on them and the icicles hanging off of the motel are pretty impressive. The snow has nearly drifted up to the height of the window by the time we get to bed.

Chris Cottam