Melissa Williams Portfolio

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

South Dakota [Sioux Falls- Badlands- Devils Tower]

TRAVELOGUE # 6hundred6tenths-of-a-6th
9/6th /2008 14:35HRS_Mountain Time

It’s that time again! Roll out the welcomes and keep them bratwursts poppin’, here comes another smattering of… DISPATCHES FROM THE WILD!

So…we drove through Minnesota, crossing the Louisiana River, never stopping in Wisconsin (even though they claim to be the Water Slide Capital of the World!), and traipsed into South Dakota, where we slept alongside the road in the chilly mountain air overlooking a lush valley sandwiched between a range of some sort. We soon came across Mount Rushmore, an amazing HOLY TERROR! Miniature Golf Course (where Mulligan seemed to be uttered every 4th stroke or so…), and the Crazy Horse Memorial. A publicly funded memorial, started from the grassroots level by a sculptor whom worked alongside the original designer of the Mt. Rushmore carving, the Crazy Horse Monument is indeed a labor of love and fine skill. An astonishing tribute to the renowned war chief, this appeared to be a gathering place for those who revere the indigenous American people’s cultures, and wish to silently atone for the immense slaughter that occurred. Quite possibly the most religious place I have ever been to.

This land is full on beautiful, from the wooded Black Hills to the arid Badlands, it bespeaks of isolation, comfort, and survival. We spied our first Bison in the Badlands, and only one prairie dog suffered the awesome might of the Starcraft.

Wyoming came next, where in this region we have stayed the longest thus far. The Devil’s Tower, known by the natives as the Bear’s Tipi, was formed by immense pressure, squeezing hexagonally shaped columns of rock upwards. We observed rock climbers and mean spirited tourists with their petty wives and illiterate children everywhere, making this a fine destination for anyone with a sense of humor and love of geology. By the way, Wyoming gets dusty, hot, and full of sage if you plan on driving inside a stuffy van with allergies and cramped conditions, so bring a power inverter, fan, and plenty of water and books. We also stayed near Caspar, where Melissa’s older-younger brother Josh was born. We traveled to her parents’ old house and saw the Dark Knight for the 2nd time. Fun times two!



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