Saturday, July 11, 2009

Where the Buffalo Roam

I'm back! Didja miss me? What's that, you say? You'd like to hear about our fast and furious trip to South Dakota and back? Well, you don't have to ask twice!

Here's the short version: Drive, drive, drive. Eat. Drive, drive drive. Arrive in beautiful, mostly deserted, downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Eat. Swim. Sleep.

Eat. Swim. Drive, drive, drive. Eat buffalo jerky. Drive, drive, drive. Arrive in starkly beautiful Badlands, South Dakota. Have heart attack as kids walk too near the edge of sharp thousand-foot drop-offs. Eat at the rustic (to put it nicely) Wagon Wheel Bar in Interior, South Dakota, population 67. Hike the Badlands. Hike. Fall. Cry. Hike. Fall. Cry. Repeat. Sleep.

Biscuits and gravy at Cedar Pass Lodge. Drive, drive, drive. Watch buffalo making their home on the range. Try to get close to prairie dogs. Read sign saying, "Beware of prairie dog plague." Back slowly away from prairie dogs.

Drive, drive, drive. Shop for trinkets at the famous Wall Drug, the most famous gift shop in the West. Drive, drive, drive. Visit Mount Rushmore. Visit Mount Rushmore gift shop. Play on mountainside next to Mount Rushmore. Eat at DQ, because there's nothing like driving for 20 hours to eat at the same damn place you can eat at in Chicago. Drive. Visit Crazy Horse mountain. Drive, drive, drive. Climb the Badlands. Fall. Cry. Climb some more. Watch stunning lightning storm over the Badlands from motel balcony. Sleep.

Biscuits and gravy at Cedar Pass Lodge. Climb, fall, cry, repeat. Fossil talk with Ranger Joe. Climb, fall, cry, repeat. Lunch in Wall. More climbing the Badlands. Prairie walk with Ranger Joe. Visit Badlands gift shop. Climb, fall, cry, repeat. Watch Badlands evening slide presentation. Sleep.

Drive, drive, drive, drive, drive, drive. Sleep in own bed. Aaaahhhh.

Trip stats:

Total miles driven: 2,050.6
Total cost: approximately $2,000 (both families, for gas, food, lodging and sundries)
Total hours of driving: 35-40, including side trips
Total trip days: 5
Total pictures taken (E. Peevie only): 101
Total times pulled over for speeding: 2
Total number of speeding tickets: 1
Total number of times someone asked "Are we there yet?": 8,761

I'll leave you with this famous quote from M. Peevie: "How come South Dakota has all the cool stuff?"

More later. Because there is much to tell, of course.

NOTE: I don't know how to write on my photos, or put captions below them, so I'll just tell you here: in the mountain photo, the person on the top is C. Peevie, and the climber in the white shirt is A. Peevie.


Anonymous said...

JRO: Sounds like the trip was a success. While I'd love to visit those places, I'm not so sure I could spend all that time in my car. I would really love to see your photos. What did the you & the kids think of Mt Rushmore? I've never been there but would love to go. It's another gorgeous day in our beautiful city -- ENJOY!

E. Peevie said...

The car time was made more bearable by a) having a therapist along and b) having a DVD player for the kids.

Mount Rushmore is cool and all, but I'm more thrilled and impressed by the natural beauty of the Badlands and the Black Hills. One thing that is particularly interesting about Mt. R is how the sculptors made the eyes look alive.

While we were there, one of the original drillers was signing books in the gift shop. That was kind of neat.