Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Sunday in South Dakota

We were on the road out of St. Joseph by 7:09 a.m. and I was driving. Conditions could not have been better – few cars, we zip from Missouri into Iowa, up into South Dakota, turning west at Sioux Falls, where we learn that South Dakota has a speed limit of 75 mph, wooo HOOOO!

We have been watching all the American farmland – we’ve seen a lot of farmland:


Once we got into South Dakota, we began seeing signs for the Corn Palace. You may not have heard about the Corn Palace, but it is built every year from corn, by local artists, and is a big deal in Mitchell, South Dakota. We can’t drive by Mitchell without going to see it; it changes every year, but is always . . . hmm . . . sort of spectacular, in a very corny sort of way. It really does grow on you.

So we exit the highway to go see the Corn Palace and discover that it is also a big street festival this weekend, so it was really a fun place to be as I was snapping a few photos of this year’s Corn Palace decorations . . .

And then we ran across town to visit the big Cabelas so AdventureMan could buy a new hat:

There are dead stuffed animals everywhere, displayed . . .

From there, some of our joy of arriving in South Dakota paled as we slogged all the way to Wall. It’s my fault. I had found a town called Kadoka, at the head of the Badlands Loop, and I was sure there would be hotels there, but since we don’t really know where we are going to land every night, I hadn’t really checked or made any reservations.

It gets worse. AdventureMan carefully got all the AAA information for our trip, but then somehow left the travel books by his side of the bed. I was supposed to get an iPhone so I could find places and make reservations as we travelled, but I never got one, mostly because no one ever has any. So sometimes AdventureMan will tell me to look it up on my iPhone and sometimes I will tell him to look it up in the AAA books, but that is a really, really bad idea when we are both tired and wishing we had a place to stay.

So I did what I often did, and prayed for a miracle.

I feel kind of bad wasting God’s time on my frivolous needs, like a nice place to spend the night, when he has a lot of more important things on his plate, but in desperation, I flat out prayed.

And a miracle happened. When we drove into Wall, we went left, and there were some little cabins and a man who wanted to show them to us. They were brand new, and utterly clean, and full of charming attention to detail, with a great big good bed, and TV, and wireless internet and . . . well, everything, including a discount. Now that, my friend, is the grace of God, a miracle, a prayer answered even better than anything I could have asked for.


We love the Badlands. This is our second time in the area; it has a weird, ascetic kind of beauty. It is the passion and fury of weather and seasons against natural elements and stone loses. Tomorrow we will drive through, and end up at a spa in Hot Springs, SD, where all these hours of driving will be massaged away. You can check it out here: Red River Rock Resort Hotel and Spa. Come visit the Badlands. Come stay in these lovely cabins and drive through the haunting environment.

August 29, 2010 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Travel | , | 6 Comments