The Badlands

I wake up early and feel rested after a good, long night’s sleep. I do some yoga. I love the way yoga makes me feel in the morning. It just makes me feel better all day long. I do about 20-25 minutes and then a brief meditation. Have yoga mat, will travel!

I shower and dress and go down to breakfast. I manage not to break anything this morning. I order French Toast and get my bacon and some watermelon from the buffet.

I hit the road after breakfast. I program in my destination – the Badlands.

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Don’t even THINK about doing a trip like this without a GPS.

Or an audio book. I got back to where I’d left off in Fly Away Home.

It was about an hour’s drive to the Badlands. It was flat, flat, flat. And then there it was. It was, in a word, AMAZING!

When I’d formed my itinerary I’d had Mt. Rushmore at the top of my list and next was Crazy Horse. Both of those are impressive. But this was by far the most amazing thing I saw. I almost didn’t do it because it IS an investment of time. It took another hour plus to drive the loop. It actually doesn’t take that long, but you keep getting out to take pictures.

Which I apparently couldn’t take enough of.

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I took the one above through my windshield.

There was this sign at the first pullover I stopped at.

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Gulp!

After a bit, there started to be these mound shaped formations.

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There were areas where it was like this on one side of the road…

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…and this on the other side.

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I know, that’s a lot of pictures of rocks. I was sending pictures back to my family and at one point I texted, “Help! I can’t stop taking pictures of rocks!”

But wait, there’s more.

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Just one more, I promise.

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Oh, and these, to prove I was there. It was cold when I started.

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Then it warmed up and I lost the jacket and scarf.

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Trust me, this is only a fraction of the pictures I took of the Badlands. I was so amazed at how beautiful and awesome a sight it was.

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Okay, if you’re still with me, and not off booking your own trip to see this amazing site, my next stop was the Minuteman Missile site.

They make you first stop at this little, hard to find trailer, to get a ticket for a tour and directions to an actual silo site. I passed it the first time. It is pretty nondescript.

I was going to just make the next tour. This was the living quarters of the team that had the capability to launch death and destruction over the earth. And they had a pink sofa in their living room. And that was their choice, they decorated it according to their preferences.

There’s just something about that, that seems terribly incongruent to me.

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They took us in the elevator that went 30 feet down in the ground. Apparently the team that was located here had a sense of humor. This was the thick, steel door that the duo who would actually turn the keys were behind for 24 hour shifts.

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This was where they hung out for 24 hours, including the bed where one of them could sleep. It must have been so boring, yet they must have dreaded a significant break in the routine and all that that would imply.

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It was quite interesting. And I am quite glad we don’t live in that kind of world. Not that our current world is better. Just a different kind of threat.

I want to go see the silo site. But I am hungry, and when I am hungry, eating is all I can think of.

I drive to Wall Drug for some food. I read about this place and decided I should check it out. Once I got there I had no idea why I’d want to check it out. It’s like a huge, cheesy mall with tons of cheesy junk.

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I got a Buffalo burger (it was ok, a few steps above McDonald’s and not as good as Larkburger –although I haven’t had a Micky D’s burger in probably over 15 years) and some ice water, which was free (they apparently were famous for their free ice water at some point).

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I then drive to see the actual deactivated missile.

It is boring. This sign is more interesting to me then the dud missile.

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The missile was under the glass.

It was in the middle of nowhere and kind of creepy to be there alone. I took a look, said to myself, “Yup, that looks like a missile that could kill unthinkable numbers of people.”

This was also creepy.

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I just can’t picture someone saying, “Let’s take a picnic to the missile silo today.”

I got back in my car and drove back to Rapid City. I rest when I get back to my hotel. This sightseeing business is exhausting. It makes me realize why I usually go and veg on the beach for a week. I had only been at it 2 days. I don’t know how people do it for a week or longer.

I choose the restaurant of the night. I am feeling like Italian and go to a place called Boticelli. The reviews had commented on good food and slow service. The waiter was fine, but the food was soooo slow. I got my wine, which was very good. I ordered the Caprese salad, which was pretty good, but not as good as Tally’s. It was just a straightforward Caprese. The tomatoes were good, but not as orgasmic as the tomatoes at Tally’s, and of course, there wasn’t that incredible bread pudding.

It took a little while for them to bring it out.caprese

It took them an absurdly long time to bring out my entrée. The waiter kept coming over to me and telling me it should be soon. I felt bad for him, because he knew it was taking too long and he was very apologetic. Finally, it came. I had ordered the tortellini carbonara.

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It was decent, but a tad salty.

After my tummy was filled, I went back to the hotel, drank some wine, read some, watched some news. It was Native American day, which I had never heard of before.

I went to bed early so I could get an early start tomorrow. I needed to see Crazy Horse before heading home.

 

This entry was posted in Excursions, Food/Menu Items, Non-Mexico Trips, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Badlands

  1. podsnel says:

    Very cool day- if you made some of those Badlands pics very red, or very green, they could easily be Kauai (Waimea Canyon or Napali Coast). I’m with you on the Minutemen decor- and on their sense of humor. 🙂

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