We were happy to again be racking up miles on the odometer as our final, but very distant, destination for the day was South Bend, Indiana. But, when the kitschy town of Wall presented itself through the H2's cracked windshield, we could not resist. Wall is the home base for the well-known Wall Drug Store. Sure, as the name suggests, the store does sell food/drugs/supplies, but it's really known for its expansive collection of... stuff. Everything from feathered hats to fire trucks, boots to buffalo burgers can be found at this place. One of Wall's top items is its extensive collection of Western artwork as well as an expansive array of photo-friendly props. More than one compromising photo was snapped of young Stick Boy as he enjoyed such distractions as riding a six-foot tall Jack-a-lope and the insertion of his mug into one of many comical pre-painted portrait props. Of course we indulged in a free glass of ice water (Wall's long-time offer to weary travelers) before gassing up the H2 and continuing on our way across the wind-laced, way-too-flat environs of South Dakota.
Due to the H2's boxy construction, the strong wind blowing across most of South Dakota served as a good test of the Hummer's build quality. In general, the H2 handled the onslaught of side gusts well, but we did notice a fair amount of wind noise emanating from the A-pillars. The noise wasn't awful, but noticeable. No problem, as we made full use of the powerful Bose stereo to drown out all external noise. Just as the sun was setting (and we were still nowhere near our final destination) we pulled into Mitchell, South Dakota, for a splash of gas and a look-see at the famed Mitchell Corn Palace. First established in 1892 as a place where locals could gather for festivals, the Palace has grown into a city convention center. However, it's really known for its ever-changing interesting corn mosaics that adorn the outside walls of the building, thus making it "the agricultural show-place of the world" -- their words, not ours.
Our seemingly endless driving journey continued and somewhere around the Missouri River we crossed into the Central Time Zone where we lost yet another hour, thus putting us even further behind schedule. At 11:35 p.m. we rolled into the berg of Blue Earth (home of the Green Giant vegetable company) for a few quick photos of our H2 with a 60-foot-tall Jolly Green Giant in the background. Lack of sleep and an absence of nutritious food had clearly taken its effect on Stick-Boy as he began flitting around the statue babbling something about being Jolly's boy Sprout. Clearly it was time to leave for our next nighttime destination -- the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota.
Quite obviously, our sleep-deprived status was on par with a sloth on barbiturates as we never once considered the fact that just maybe the Spam Museum might be closed at 1:28 a.m. Regardless, we wheeled our H2 up to the meaty attraction, pressed our faces against the front door glass, and fought our lusting desire for a hot Velveeta Spam-wich. Soon thereafter a Museum guard presented himself and we used the opportunity to conduct an on-camera interview asking a variety of H2-related questions, including his estimation of how many cans of Spam he thought the H2's 86.6-cu-ft of cargo area would hold. Not surprisingly, we were asked to leave the property.
From Austin we powered up with Pearsons Salted Nut Rolls washed down with a few Red Bulls to keep us energized through the wee hours of the night. Calculations showed that if we drove all night and didn't hit any major traffic and/or construction we'd arrive in South Bend, Indiana, about one hour before the second annual Hummer Homecoming event started for the day. That hour (in theory) would serve as just the right amount of time to shower and throw on a shave for the camera before our much-anticipated interview with Hummer's unofficial ambassador -- Ahh-nold Schwarzenegger. Of course, nothing worked as planned, as road construction, unbelievable morning rush-hour traffic in Chicago, and blurry vision all conspired against our on-time arrival. After 25 hours of nearly non-stop driving, no sleep, and sausage McMuffins burning a hole in our stomachs, we were ready to start Day 6 of our H2 adventure.