Day 19: June 26, 2014
Keep Pushin' Till It's Understood

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I was reading the Wall Drug handout over breakfast there when it finally registered with me that the Badlands were right next door. The Badlands are not something I've nurtured a life long desire to see and I don't think I'd have gone very far out of my way to take a look but I didn't have to. The west end of the Badlands Loop Road is just a few miles off of the expressway not far from Wall. The other end is even closer to the expressway. For some reason, one word descriptions kept occurring to me. Words like uninviting, inhospitable, barren, and revealing. The first three come from the feeling that, despite knowing that humans have and critters do live there, nothing could or would want to. The last comes from the readily seen bands of differing color and texture marking layers of geological history.

I did a drive-by on the twelve foot prairie dog that stands between the park's east entrance and the expressway.

I wasn't really surprised to see the street closed in front of the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. The owner of the motel I had just checked into had told me that some construction work was in progress. The murals made of corn are removed and replaced by new ones each year but this is a little early for that and there is more to it. Some remodeling is going on outside and in the lobby and the outside changes include somehow using LEDs in the "Next Generation Corn Palace". The Palace is still open but the entry is on the side of the building. As I entered, a greeter told me a movie was just starting on the far side of the room so I headed directly there. I'm guessing that this is something of a makeshift theater made necessary by the construction. The movie was followed by a brief tour with a guide pointing out some of the murals in the room. The Palace is used for basketball and concerts but it's currently just a really big gift shop. I was quite surprised to see the shirt I photographed at the Fort Cody Trading Post offered here with the words "Fort Cody" and "Nebraska" replaced by "South Dakota". Somehow that makes it seem even more bizarre to me plus, where I think the shirt I photographed may have been the only one present at Fort Cody, here there was a selection of sizes hanging above a well stocked shelf. I'm curious but fearful about the thoughts behind making or buying this shirt.

For what might be the first time ever, I picked a motel from a rest area rack card and it worked out well. I somehow failed to get any outside pictures of the Coachlight Motel but I did get some of my room.

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