Monday, August 16, 2010

Inner Bedouin Day 3 -- Big Bad Day

...literally and figuratively as to the title above.   Big refers to the concrete fauna we observed; bad meaning good, describes the beauty of the Badlands National Park.  We drove from Jackson MN to the Badlands in South Dakota.

The day began at Ace hardware however, where we tried a variety of pins to hook up the sway bar.  Found two that worked, bought 6 of them.  While Ace might not be a big tourist attraction for most, we thought it warranted a picture because it allowed us to drive on in comfort.  No more bouncing.  Please note my macho big mirrors, which make seeing around the travel trailer MUCH easier.  I've since added small convex mirrors as well and now have a clear shot of much of the road behind me.

At our first gas stop was uneventful till we noticed three HUGE tractor trailers pulling the blades used on the giant wind turbines.  Pretty cool.

This was only the first of many "giant" things spotted during the course of the day.  The first caught us off guard, hadn't fully done our Roadside America homework.   Suddenly, we saw a giant steer head sitting on the plains.  The first picture below shows the scale compared to passing cars.   The second shot gives it an Easter Island-esque quality.   We've since found that it is part of Porter Sculpture Park in Montrose, South Dakota -- the bovine head is that of an Egyptian cow.

At a gas stop, we caught a view of a giant buffalo.  Can't find anything about it tho', and have no recollection of where we took the picture.

As we drove along, we saw so many billboards for "The Corn Palace", that I was lured in by the siren song.  So, we went in search of it.  Jaime questioned the wisdom, and rightly so.  But, I've spent too much time around Mike Homan listening to Nebraska corn stories to pass it by.  And for any of you who may have wanted to go, but a stronger traveling partner convinced you of your foolishness - here it is:

About the only plus to going to it, was finding another large bovine next to a hotel:

By far the prettiest thing we saw on the drive were the huge fields of sunflowers.  Yellow as far as the eye could see.

But the  piece de restance of the day was for sure the human skeleton walking a Trex skeleton on a leash.   Set a bit off the road, if you didn't know it was there, you would be hard pressed to describe it.   Jaime and I realized that as the passenger, had she not know it was there and suddenly saw the ironwork, either her brain wouldn't have been able to register it as the ridiculous sculpture that it is, or, she wouldn't have mentioned it because really, who would believe it?   So, should you be driving along this stretch of i-90, you'll see a billboard for the art and finally (and quickly) the sculpture.

We ended the day at the Badlands KOA, you had to drive thru the Badlands National Park to get to it.  Just gorgeous.  We caught it as the sun was setting, making the red rocks even more vibrant.  I'll wait for pictures of that leg till tomorrow's post.   Instead I'll leave you with this giant prairie dog statue we found somewhere nearby:


J's mom said...

Jaime does enjoy taking photographs of the quirky things in life.
Did she sing you the state song of KS as well when she was telling tales of her childhood? Perhaps Happy Trails? although I guess she is far too young to remember Roy and Dale. Continued safe travels.

Yorke said...

Thats a lot of oversized stuff! And that wind blade is really amazing.
Will you stay on I90, or veer south to Jellystone? If you go southward, you will go through my old stomping grounds (as a kid) around Red Lodge. Maybe the Red Lodge Inn is still there and you could have Buffalo Burgers, or an elk steak.

Anonymous said...

Dr Sue and Dr Jamie
Congratulations! You are driving through some of the most beautiful country in the world. Beautiful and spacious sky and amber waves of grain,purple mountains majesty, above the fruited plains and you blog pictures of every cow statue within 100 miles, weed fields and an Ace Hardware - go figure. Must be a mid-west thing.
Disappointed in Seattle Sven