Into the Black Hills

Trip Start May 01, 2010
Trip End May 29, 2010

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Monday, May 17, 2010

We spent most of the day today on I-90, which bisects South Dakota and stretches like a concrete ribbon across the American West. Beautiful blue sky today with lots of sun and wind and a constant procession of cumulus clouds. We diverted into Mitchell to visit the famous Corn Palace which, to our surprise, turns out to be a full-scale arena, complete with large theater and full-sized basketball court. The Palace is redecorated each year with a new motif, expressed in corn ears, husks and stalks. Very clever and colorful. Several photos are attached.

We stopped for lunch in Murdo, S.D., home of the Jones County High School Coyotes and the Murdo Drive In and then headed on to the Badlands. We took the scenic loop through the Badlands, which we learned are moving inexorably northward as the soft stone is gradually eroded. It's difficult to imagine, but wagon trains picked their way through this rough country, finding passes through the escarpments and chasms of the Badlands.

After leaving the Badlands we rolled into Wall, S.D., home of the famous Wall Drug. Drug is really a misnomer. It’s more of a department store, selling Stetsons and spurs, Western art, clothing, ice cream, pottery and yes, even drugs and sundries. For a moment I let my gunslinger fantasy carry me away, but left the black hat, gunbelt and chaps hanging in the store. We did have some interesting encounters, as you will see in the photos.

Tomorrow: Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills.
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Alan Freitag on

I'm impressed by anyone who knows what an escarpment is. Must have been a nice change from the eskers, drumlins and cones of southern Wisconsin. Great photos, especially of the Badlands.

Suzie on

I love the pictures of the Badlands. Cash seems impressed.

Dick Crockett on

Mildred looks like she might be one of our relatives. I think she kind of favors Pete.

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