Yesterday my family was off to Mitchell, South Dakota to see the World’s Only Corn Palace, a site visitors of our area often stop to visit. I spent a day in the office, with no excitement and lots of paperwork, but such is the life of an administrator.
Today we traveled West to see two of South Dakota’s most memorable sights, the Badlands and Mount Rushmore. Parts of the Badlands look like sand castles built by giants. Abundant moisture has made the fields and mesa tops a brilliant green, further highlighting the layered earth tone colors of the exposed soil. We stopped at many of the scenic pull offs to explore the unique landscape.
At the end of the scenic Badlands Loop is Wall Drug. After seeing literally hundreds of signs along the way, my niece had to experience it for herself. We quenched our thirst with the free ice water and took home the free (one per family) bumper sticker to further spread the word. John climbed up on the same giant jackalope statue he rode on as a kid 34 years ago when we visited as a family, and I sent the picture on to the rest of my brothers and sisters.
I’ve been to Mount Rushmore many times. It’s a joy to be with someone experiencing it for the first time. When I visit National Parks, I’m always impressed by the knowledge of the Rangers. On the tour we took, besides learning a lot about the four presidents, there was a good overview of Lakota (Sioux) culture and the land disputes over the Black Hills that are still unresolved.