Hey there folks here's the semi-long form run down from the week we spent in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Its a hell of a long ride up there I will say that right off the back. It can be made in one day but its a real ball buster of a drive. It seemed to take forever to get through South Dakota. Well let's begin, shall we?
We started out at about 3:45am and it got interesting right from the start. As we were pulling out onto the main drag through town we saw a guy getting arrested. You could tell this guy wasn't, uh hmm, cooperating as the cops were putting him in the squad. Not much really happened noteworthy until we got into southern Minnesota. There's quite a few farms up there that are using wind power. We saw quite a few of the windmills seemingly out in the middle of nowhere. Going through Minnesota we pulled up on something I thought was a blown out tire, it turned out to be a wolf just chilling in the right land. As we slowly rolled by it was like, "What the hell are you looking at?" We stopped in lovely Mitchell South Dakota for lunch and saw some interesting stuff. Mitchell is the home of the Corn Palace which is baiscally entirely covered on the outside by different colored ears of corn. While in Mitchell we stopped at Arby's for lunch for whatever reason....in hindsight I'm glad we did. The check out girl at the Arby's had a few tattoos, but nothing crazy, that were covered by band aids. As the girl was ringing up the stuff I noticed she had some tats across her knuckles. I took a look wondering what they said, well they said "OCA COLA". Go ahead read that last sentence again. This girl didn't have "COCA COLA" but rather "OCA COLA". I guess she didn't want to go all the way with adding that first 'C' to her pinkie finger. Actually looking back her knuckle tats made her look like another kind of "c". Also on the way out there we stopped in the Badlands and it was sort of amazing that smoething that barren looking would be so close to an area so green with trees and grasslands.
First thing that I learned on vacation, when traveling with kids just take the time to find a hotel without a pool. If you don't the kids are more focused on getting back to the stupid hotel and in the pool then actually doing stuff on vacation. Remember this you'll thank me for it later in life.
So we roll into the Black Hills and gambling in legal there and there are literally casinos in evey rinky dink gas station with video poker machines and so forth. Also there's seriously a constant piney smell in the air out there. Its like someone dumped a big bottle of Pine Sol. The first place we visit after we got up there was to go to Rapid City South Dakota, which is the New York City of the Black Hills area. Rapid City is known as the City of Presidents because they have quite a few life sized bronze statues of the Presidents on different street corners in town. Nate is a history nerd so of course we had to visit some of the statues. In a weird little occurance as we were walking around the downtown area to see the statues a SUV with some lady in it slowed down and rolled by and honked her horn. I though wow that was odd. Then the same lady must have went around the block again and did the same thing except this teim she actually waved to me. Yes I guess I'm huge in Rapid City SD. I'm guessing they may have gotten some early intel about my impending announcement regarding the Kevin DeBolt brand. There were two things I did notice while watching the news from Rapid City. They didn't have a sports part of the news on the 10pm newscast on Saturday night. The other thing was that American Legion baseball is HUGE there. On the nights that they did have a sportscast on the new Legion baseball always got top billing. The big sports story up there was that one American Legion team didn't want to schedule a regular season game against some young upstart American Legion team in Rapid City. Legion ball is as big up there as major league baseball is around here.
Tuesday we took a bus tour of all the stuff up there and got an idea of what else we wanted to go back to see later in the week. We saw a lot of good stuff and the biggies of the Black Hills. Went to Mount Rushmore, Needles Highway, and Custer State Park. We went through three tunnels cut into the Black Hills that were really really tight fits for a tour bus. When we went through in the Trailblazer I could reach out the side and touch the side of the tunnel.
Yep we went through these two tunnels in a tour bus.
The main reason we went to Custer State Park was to see bison, an we heard on the tour that the day before they were far off the beating path but we were lucky because when we went the next day they were right next to the road, and at times even in the road.
"Hey you want to see me walk in the street and stop traffic? Watch this its pretty cool."
"See I told you I could go in the street and stop traffic."
At the state park there are donkeys that are descendents of donkeys that were brought there during the gold rush in the area some 140 years ago. They were tame as hell they would eat popcorn right out of your hand. Heck they were even tame enough to take pictures alongside a cocouple of complete jackasses in a cowboy hats.
While we were up there we also went to Deadwood which is a cool little town. A lot of gamlbing joint, Kevin Costner actually owns a casino up there. We went into Costner's place and left winners. We also went to Sturgis while we were up there as the rally was starting right as we were leaving town. While I was there I did decide I needed to buy a Harley, I had the yearn a little while back and it subsided. But now its back and I've got a plan to get one. We also stopped at Wall Drug on the way back, you have to its a law, and its a standard touristy type place. I'll be making my big announcement in the next two weeks probably, I have to go to the Lego Store first...it'll make sense later. I guess that about covers it, take it easy ya'll.