Week 7: The Black Hills, Badlands and The Worlds Only Corn Palace

Week 7: The Black Hills, Badlands and The Worlds Only Corn Palace

The road is our classroom!  Best. Learning. Experience. Ever.

First lesson learned:  A  week in South Dakota is plenty, for me.
Second lesson learned: Locust sound extremely electric and quiet themselves quickly when bats approach!

Mileage: 4425
Soul Status: HIGH. I loved getting a visual of places I had only learned about via text books. I loved
talking to people who are passionate about protecting our national parks and monuments, the people keeping
the legends alive while the rest of us are worried about getting our TPS reports in! (get it?)

Feature photo: Willie Nelson’s picture made of corn. I LOVE and appreciate the randomness of this great
country! “On the Road Again…”

Random stuff:

Can you hear us getting fatter? We made fabulous pizza’s in the fire. Zoe made her first batch of
peanut butter cookies (or cew-keys as she says). And lastly, Brian ate cheese and gravy fries for the first
time ever. Time for us all to simmer-down and eat a salad (or ten). Ugh.

Originally, The Black Hills had been a place I thought I would be eager to leave after a couple days,
but we extended our stay, TWICE. I also thought the stories and monuments would become redundant,
but I was wrong, again. Another awe-ha moment came when we discovered that all forests are not equal!
What I mean is, each forest, whether in Washington, Oregon, Montana or the Black Hills has had it’s own
look and feel. I have always appreciated mountains and pine trees, and now, being in the plains, I appreciate
them even more!

A few highlights include:

Corn Palace – Yes, this is a real thing and yes it is made (at least partly) of corn. It’s the claim to fame
for the good people of Mitchell, South Dakota and also serves as a basketball arena and a concert hall that attracts
some decent size bands.

Crazy Horse – An amazing icon for the Lakota tribe that represents courage and strength. I look forward to watching
the construction of this impressive monument and pray that they can raise the funds needed to complete their vision.
Side note-We have absolutely loved learning about the Sioux and their culture while here in the Black Hills and at
Little Bighorn Battlefield (see last week’s post).

Mount Rushmore – Was more of an event than I expected! We were there for a few hours hiking the grounds, watching
the movie in the massive outdoor amphitheater and experiencing the night time program and “illumination of the faces”.

Cosmos – A house that defies gravity. Ummmm…the kids enjoyed it. I will never see that $35 again.

Deadwood – We learned all about the hard drinking, crazy lives of Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane and Jack McCall.
I feel like we could all be friends. Never a dull moment and I really love shenanigans.

Badlands – Impressive. Reminds me of a drier, pointier and not-as-cool version of Goblin Valley, Utah. Glad we
got to see it, but don’t know that we need to go back.

Quote from the movie at the Crazy Horse Monument:

“When the legends end, the dreams die. When dreams die, there is no greatness.”

The journey continues!


Boondocks and Bliss