Thursday, March 25, 2010

From the Mississippi River to the Badlands

Minnesota’s barns are trim, no question about that—red & white & green & brick with shingled gambrel roofs—morning along the Mississippi River near Dakota, Minnesota—the train tracks winding north to the big river’s source—ice on the Mississippi—grandiose waters even here in the North Country—ice formations on the rock cliffs beside Route 90—later Canada Geese marching across a frozen pond in a tiptoe waddle—the birches from Wisconsin thru Minnesota—the redwinged blackbirds pecking for grit along the road shoulder—

South Dakota: the beginnings of the unkempt west—standing water & round hay bales & signs stating The Wages of Sin is Death—the endless signs for Wall Drug & the Petrified Gardens—the latter closed for the season—dinosaur sculptures & teepee sculptures in the rest area—totems of extinction—a 20 ounce cuppa Joe from a Cenex in Chamberlain—looking at the prairie dog postcards & Mt Rushmore t-shirts—

Wall, South Dakota: a shabby western Disneyland near a Minuteman missle range—the Badlands—serious atavism & I do mean serious—the history of the world told thru severe erosion—wild west jungle—ancient ocean—the mule deer grazing placidly—the rabbits furtive & freezing in the dead yellow grass—the meadowlarks soaring above prairie—the story of Chief Big Foot & the winter passage thru the Badlands into history at Wounded Knee—stark history amongst the jagged rocks & the exposed strata—

Today: the Crazy Horse Memorial—then on to Wyoming & Montana


  1. Unbelievable! This is so spectacular. As always wonderful descriptions of what you are seeing & doing.

  2. What a journey! Your posts give us a flavour of it, but it would be fun to do it for real some day.

  3. Hi Alan: Yes, journey indeed--I'm somewhere between 6,000 & 7,000 miles at this point!

  4. great pic of the badlands!! aren't they magnificent! say hi to crazy horse for me!

    you are booking it!!! I'm so impressed that you are taking the time to give blog updates!! you are organized.

    thank you!!

  5. Reads almost like a prose poem! Are you driving John?(Haven't being paying attention,humble apologies) That's some mileage.

  6. Hi Mouse & TFE

    Mouse: Bookng indeed! In retrospect, my yen for sightseeing & my wish to get home & see Eberle by Friday night worked at cross-purposes--probably should have taken another day. But I'm safe for the night at a Comfort Inn in Bozeman, MT & have just about 500 miles to Indian Valley: a virtual walk in the park!

    TFE: Thanks! Yes, driving--about 7,000 miles in the last 20 days. I'm about done in, but as I said to Mouse, should be home for supper tomorrow!

  7. Lovely descriptions like: the redwinged blackbirds pecking for grit along the road shoulder

    It'd be great to one day take a road trip along the Mississippi... see how its character changes from north to south.

    And great photo of the Badlands - it looks extraterrestrial.

  8. Hi HKatz: Thanks! The Badlands are very e-t!


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