Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 8: Worthington, MN to Badlands, SD

We tried to get an early start today to make up for the relative lack of progress the day before and we were generally successful. We made it to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD around lunchtime. Ron wasn't too thrilled about stopping there, but he was outnumbered. The corn murals on the outside and inside the building were quite impressive. Amazing what a creative mind can do with different colors of corn. The folks at the Corn Palace couldn't pass up the opportunities for "corn-y" humor, so puns were plentiful throughout the Palace and the town. In fact, South Dakota struck us as a state seriously lacking in subtlety. Cheesy billboards plastered the highway in an awkward juxtaposition with the natural beauty all around.

Our plan was to camp at the Badlands National Park that night, but I was worried that our plan would be thwarted by severe thunderstorms. The park ranger assured us that the threat of rain was minimal, so we started setting up camp around 5 pm.

I'm not a gifted enough wordsmith to be able to describe the absolutely stunning landscape of the Badlands, so I posted a couple of pictures instead. The campground was pretty nice and the kids were excited to do a little hiking around and to sleep in the tent. The rainstorm in the middle of the night didn't wake either of them up, but it kept me up since I had just been comforting Elli through a mild night terror. Once the rain stopped, I ventured out of the tent to find the bathroom. Without a flashlight or my glasses. I don't recommend this, given the high likelihood of stepping in a big mud puddle and/or walking straight into someone else's tent. Fortunately, I only did the former and not the latter. The experience got my adrenaline pumping enough that I couldn't sleep for another 30 minutes. The birds chirping EARLY in the a.m. guaranteed that I was not going to be well-rested for the next day. And to think I had been concerned about the caged parrot in the adjacent campsite keeping me up before I went to bed...

No comments:

Post a Comment