June 30th, 2008

little review

Poem for Monday

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I am typing this at one of my two favorite places in the world -- the other being Glastonbury in the UK -- where we are sitting at a picnic table on the banks of the Belle Fourche river with Devil's Tower rising hundreds of feet above the campground. We set out this morning from Mitchell, crossed the Missouri River, passed at least two dozen road signs advertising Wall Drug, paused at the outskirts of the Badlands to take a few photos and left the Central Time Zone for the Mountain Time Zone. Then we stopped for lunch at the aforementioned Wall Drug, which makes the Corn Palace seem tasteful by comparison, took photos by the Jackalope and Ladies of the Night, bought fudge after considering some lovely knives with handles shaped like wolf heads, rainbow horse t-shirts and other wonderful items, and drank our Free Ice Water.

From Wall we drove to Mount Rushmore, which the kids had wanted to see again since National Treasure 2 (sadly, we saw no evidence of a city of gold anywhere nearby). Then we headed into the Black Hills to Devil's Tower, which we reached in the late afternoon and immediately went to hike around the boulders that surround the giant cliffs, weaving through a deep, wonderful-smelling pine forest and sunny hillsides. There's a huge prairie dog colony at the entrance to the national park where we stopped to watch the critters play. We checked into the campground at Devil's Tower where Close Encounters of the Third Kind ends, had a weenie roast -- well, actually chicken sausages -- and s'mores, and watched the sun set behind the monument. Glorious.

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I got to see the Milky Way spread out in all its glory, fall asleep to crickets and wake to singing birds, but sadly I had only the crappiest of internet connections and could neither answer mail nor post anything! And of course there's no phone signal. So here's hoping this gets through!