Friday, September 25, 2009

Retroactive Travel Post - Day 9 - Leaving S. Dakota

On our way out of S. Dakota, we stopped at the Prairie Home Museum, just outside of the Black Hills. It has an actual sod house built by a homesteader as well as real representations of what they used in their daily struggles. Again, it's amazing to think about what they went through, and our generation does not have nearly enough appreciation of how hard they struggled in the founding of this country. If people understood the perseverance of our forefathers, we would whine a lot less about our problems and just deal with our lives. They didn't even have trees to build their houses, and had to make them out of dirt bricks that they cut out of the ground (thus the name, sod houses). They barely survived, and many of them didn't make it.

Anyway, it was a really cool educational experience for parents and children alike (BTW, that's an outhouse, but the body you see is a mannequin with his pants around his ankles). Apparently we were in the vicinity of the house of Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Little House on the Prairie fame. I was never a big fan growing up because there wasn't enough killing and violence in the stories, but I can appreciate them now that I'm a responsible parent. In fact, A is reading the books right now, though she's more partial to fantasy stories.

From there we took another detour and went to Devil's Rock. It is essentially a huge rock formation in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming, which in and of itself is entire state in the middle of nowhere. The name resulted in a misinterpretation of the native language, and it just seems to have stuck. I listened to a couple of guys complaining that it should be called "God's Rock" or "Angel's Rock", instead of using the name of the Devil. I'm guessing it offended their pious sensibilities.

One thing cool about the Rock is that people actually climb the thing. There were dozens of rock climbers there when we got there, though it's crazy to see them near the top. Makes me a little uneasy. We hung out and read up on the Rock, then stopped for some lunch at the local KOA. We didn't like patronizing the cheesy camp grounds, but that's all there was at the time. One thing about KOA's and other really touristy places is they really stick it to you in terms of cost, and you begin to resent it after awhile.

After lunch, we jumped back in the car and headed for Yellowstone, unaware of what was awaiting us. Until then, thanks for reading.

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