Beautiful for taking pictures out of a truck window. Not so great for baling hay, which kind of defeated the purpose of me being in South Dakota in the first place. It's also pretty unusual. The area usually gets under 3 inches of rain in July according to Wikipedia. This year, they've had over 8.
It also makes me glad I'm not a pioneer. With my luck, I would have looked around, said "hey, plenty of water and great soil!" and stopped my conestoga wagon. The next summer would not have made for a pleasant surprise.
The good news was that the rain delay gave me a chance to see a little bit more of the area, like the World's Only Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. I did laugh a little at the "world's only" part, but the building itself is pretty cool.
The current Corn Palace was built in 1921, although there have been buildings decorated in corn in Mitchell since 1892. And that's really corn on the building. With a few exceptions during WW2 and bad drought years, a new mural is designed and created each year. 13 different colors of corn are grown by an area farmer (I'm dying to go tour his fields like a true ag nerd) and stapled to the building each fall to create the mural.
And you can visit it for free!
Even better, the building is used as a gym for the local high school and college basketball teams. You can also rent the Corn Palace for events- I think it would be great to see a bride and groom pull up for a reception in a big green tractor.