The Patricks Low Cost Housing Adventures travel blog

World's Largest Ring-Necked Pheasant......Roadside America!!

Their colors are fantastic!

The Corn Palace

An example of a corn panel

Being a retired person must be a wonderful thing. I don’t want to say I envy those people……but, am certainly looking forward to the time when I can officially say that I am one of them. Not that we will ever be so retired that there won’t be some side business venture, I am sure. It could be something like selling veggies or goats milk, RV washing or bush hogging a small field. I can’t see us ever being that idle………but still, to be retired with so much free time that you are LOOKING for something to do sounds quite nice. I am always thinking that after such and such, life will slow down. Is it just me, or does that time never seem to come? Hopefully, its not just me. Maybe that’s why vacations are so grand.

While Acadia was a delicious break from busy, going back to work in the truck seems quiet compared to our time at home. Granted, some of our “busy” is of our own doing. There just doesn’t seem like enough time in the day to get things done. I noticed getting up at 6am makes a HUGE difference in what you can accomplish! But let me go back a month ago and put things in perspective.

I used go back every so often and review what I had written. Had I talked about this before?? Or just thought about it?? What if I’m repeating something. After reviewing about 4 times I decided that if I can’t remember what I already wrote about, maybe my readers have forgotten too! No worries then.

Last I checked, we were delivering beer in South Dakota and then heading down to Sioux Falls to the John Morrell plant with a load of pig skins going to Kraft Foods in Woburn, Massachusetts. But before I go into that interesting detail I have to tell you about the cool things we saw before getting there. First is the Largest Ring Necked Pheasant in the World! Yes, folks, right here in Huron, SD.

“While the bird itself is intriguing, the story just kinda puts it over the edge. The Legend of the World's Largest Pheasant (abridged version): Once there was a giant ring-neck pheasant whom all the hunters wanted to claim as a trophy. One day a young boy happened upon the Giant Pheasant and, because of its magnificent beauty, spared the bird's life. In exchange, the pheasant promised to remain always at that spot, until every person in the world has seen the World's Largest Pheasant and his [smaller] offspring.”

Standing 20 feet tall and 40 feet long, this fiberglass behemoth is a beautiful painted replica of the male species. South Dakota boasts the largest population of these birds in America. We did see quite a few of them in the fields while driving thru. The colors in their feathers are magnificent with lots of variety.

Also in Mitchell, SD we drove by the World’s Only Corn Palace.

Originally built in 1892, it has been enlarged over the years to showcase the 275,000 ears of corn that are decorated the exterior walls every years with a different theme. Thirteen different colors or shades of corn are nailed to the palace to create a scene.

Somehow, I didn’t take the bypass around the town, so ended up driving right down Main Street in the truck and got a really good look at it! Fortunately it was a weekend so I could take my time and get a good look. It’s was quite unique.

What I love about the little towns where we stop to have local meals is the friendliness of the locals. It’s kind of hard to miss our big truck and trailer. And most often the surrounding tables become extended conversations, including us in anything and everything. When you hear all the horrible things that happen in the news, I think we forget that this “stuff” is not the majority of life in America. We have a country of compassionate, hard-working people. It’s great to be able to meet them out here.

So we picked up at a very, old plant where they live pigs go in on one end and the final product on the other. Our bills said we were hauling pig skins. We had no idea what that would be used for. When we arrived in MA at the Kraft plant to unload, he told us it’s used for gelatin. “Like jello” Jim asked? He informed us that LOTS of things have gelatin in them. Maybe it’s a thickener? Just thought you’d like to know.

We headed home for a month of taking care of business, were able to spend a week camping at Acadia National Park. Spending time with friends and family while returning home and in Maine makes life wonderful. I miss them all and feel so bad when there are some that we don't get to visit; but there is more time in the year. Thankful for all the memories and friends that we love. Hope you all have a happy and healthy summer!!!

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