Sackville-West Clan Wiki/ nlvt2007/ ablog/ sight seeing

Sight Seeing

Today ended up being a site seeing day with several stops. First was Wall Drug in Wall, SD. If you don't know what that it, well, sorry, you'll just have to go there one day.

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We had a good time at Wall poking around and getting little trinkets. Natalie got a set of clacking teeth (you know, the kind that bounce around chattering...) which is in perfect keeping with her plans to become a dentist. Unfortunately, they fell victim to her overzealous playing and broke within about 5 minutes of getting back on the road. Now they are just teeth with no clacking (surely a good thing for the sanity of her parents). I feel bad for her, but I know she needs to learn this lesson. She is now lamenting that she didn't get a bag of polished stones like the other girls.

As we merged back onto the freeway at Wall, we ran right up against the back of a major traffic jam. There was a tractor trailer accident somewhere ahead of us. A quick consult of the map had us off on the Badlands Scenic loop which is not only scenic, but also gets us about twenty miles down the freeway and past the accident. The Badlands are incredible. We took some photos which probably don't do it justice, but due to time contraints, probably won't get posted til later.

Next stop was The A-maize-ing Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. Its a pretty cool piece of Americana: a large warehouse type building covered in different colored corn cobs and plant matter. The bits are arranged to depict scenes of whatever the current theme is. The kids thought it was pretty cool. At least for a few minutes. Although I think they were disappointed that it wasn't an actual palace. So it goes.

As I write this, we are still on the road heading through western Minnesota. We just hopped out at a rest area and I heard a sound from my childhood; something I miss in Spokane; the cicadas buzzing. It is an incredible sound and was a constant in the summers of my childhood in Illinois. Sometimes it was so loud that you'd have to literally cover your head with a pillow to get to sleep.

One more stop tonight, though it will be dark: Blue Earth, MN and the Jolly Green Giant. This towering tribute to American kitsch culture is a must see on any journey within 1000 miles of Minnesota. :) Hopefully it will have big lights shining on it...

One more interesting note about today: many of the bikers from Sturgis are now heading home. There seem to be two distinct camps. First, are the guys who towed their bikes to Sturgis behind some form of rig or another: everything from minivans to full size tour busses. The second camp are guys who actually rode to Sturgis. I have great respect for this accomplishment. Some are from as far away as the East Coast and Southeast. They are riding hard with great piles of gear strapped on their bikes: a bed roll across the handlebars; a duffle bag or back pack on the seat behind them; a cooler or some other stuff bungied over the top. They are totally self-sufficient and I think its pretty cool. I can definitely identify with that mentality. I suspect there is a little animosity between these camps. One t-shirt said "I rode to Trailer Week at Sturgis, 2007". There were several guys with patches on their jackets, row after row of "I rode mine 1999," "I rode mine 2000," etc.

So tomorrow is the big day. We have a scheduled run of over 10 hours from Albert Lea, MN to Maumee (Toledo), OH. I think its over 600 miles, so we'll be up early and running late with no unnecessary stops. not fun, but we can do it. So there won't be much update I suspect from that adventure.

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