SD badlands and Rapid City

by

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Up and out, we headed north from Valentine. Not a whole lot to see until we reached I-90 in South Dakota and turned west. Before long, we spotted a tortoise crossing the freeway, scurrying along at full speed, maybe one foot per second. It was in the fast lane already, heading for the median, and there wasn’t much traffic, so it had a pretty good chance of making it. Don’t know whether it planned to spend the rest of its days in the median strip….

We saw a few other torti later, but withdrawn into their shells, possibly dead, certainly not moving. It’s a tough life out there.

Turned off to see the SD badlands, which are reputed to be far better than the Nebraska badlands. After spending most of the day there, we agree.

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This is reminiscent of the formations in the sandstone of Utah, just without the hard edges and deep colour. Utah is better, but this isn’t bad.

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There are signs warning of rattlesnakes. If only! We actually did see a snake, but it was dull green, and disappeared into the grass before I could get a photo.

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The fossil centre showed various things that had come from here. Jacky says the oreodont was an animal that fed entirely on chocolate cookies. And who could deny her?

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I think it’s interesting that a dragonfly’s wings are open on the leading edge. I’m sure that has dramatic aerodynamic effects, although I cannot predict what.

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We stopped for the night in Rapid City, which lies on Rapid Creek. Had the name been Rapids, instead of Rapid, its origin would have been obvious, but no such luck. Found a classy hotel right downtown, checked in, and went out to walk in the heat.

We found the Firehouse brewery and pub straightaway. Much better!

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I have to regard it as questionable taste, but Rapid City, and others around here, feature the presidents of the USA. Bronze statues on all of the street corners downtown, tricky Dickie not least among them.

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We turned down an alleyway when we saw some fairly talented graffiti art. Maybe officially frowned upon, but nice to see it anyway.

After wandering around for a while, we went to the Kathmandu Bistro, Nepalese and Indian cuisine. They had four special Nepalese entrees on the menu, one of which was chow mein! Of the other three, we ordered two, dumplings that were really won-tons, and goat curry. Not bad, and we’re spoiled again.

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