Day Three – Enough to be a Vegetarian

Posted: 19 November 2007 in observations, triptastic

We spent the day in South Dakota.  It’s more fun than you might actually imagine.  Although last night featured a hotel in Sioux Falls just a few miles from the stockyards (and if you’ve ever been near one, you know the indescribable smell) we continued on to Rapid City this morning.  We hadn’t planned to stop at all at first, we’d hoped to just charge right through to our destination, but in a odd moment of clearheadedness, we booked a room for tonight. 

The route from one side of the state to the other went from dry (Really?  This is supposed to be a scenic route?) to stunning as we transitioned from rolling farmland to spiked peaks and fir trees via several detours.  We had a brief interlude at the Corn Palace, themed Everyday Heroes for 2007.  Since I can’t imagine ever coming back to the Corn Palace, I assume it will remain that theme in my head for the rest of my days.  Note, dear reader, that I’ve linked you to the webcam.  Do make sure to check in at regular intervals to see the world’s only corn palace both night and day.

We also stopped at Wall Drugstore.  Not worth the link, though you can google.  More notable is the signage preceding the place.  Every 40 feet for the entire six. hour. drive. was a sign promoting the free ice water, 5 cent coffee or various other attractions.  At one point, the signs resorted to preying on children, “Kids!  Bring your parents!”  It was less exciting than I remember as a child, probably because wooden cigar Indians are only exciting when you haven’t see one before.

Enroute to the Badlands, we remarked that South Dakota had offered more graphic and plentiful roadkill and, yes, road horror than any other state thus far.  A truckload of chickens crammed ten to a cage was stomach turning, as were the splattered deer, skunk, pheasant and raccoon on the shoulders.  Most unnerving was the glassy eyes stag strapped to the roof of a Subaru, cardboard platter flapping in its still face.  D. and I just about turned vegetarian at that moment.  It’s clearly a hunting state.  At one rest stop, an elderly couple remarked that our dog was very handsome (and he is) immediately followed by “Are you here hunting?”  What?  Do we look like hunters?  Maybe the dog looks hunt worthy, but D. and I do not boast the steely gaze or fluorescent orange of the hunting type.  Or guns.  Or lack of reason.

We wrapped up the evening with a stop at Mt. Rushmore and finally settled into to our significantly better hotel in Rapid City.  Tomorrow, we’ll arrive at my family’s home and the stories about my crazy mother and sleeping in The Hole can ensue.  Tomorrow is also my birthday.  And tomorrow promises snow and something called the Devil’s Tower.  I know you can hardly wait.

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