Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The "I must be crazy" Chonicles - South Dakota Edition - The Badlands

One day last summer in a fit of hormone induced insanity I decided that I wanted to take the kids to South Dakota.  I planned it all out.  We would drive and see all the major landmarks of South Dakota.  We would bring a cooler full of food and picnic across the state.  We would bond as a family and have wonderful memories that would last forever.  When Jesse came home from work I filled him in our spur-of-the-moment vacation.  He said "Are you crazy?"

It was a valid question.  I was newly pregnant and still taking hormone shots to help me remain so. I was crabby and nauseated most of time.  We didn't really have the money for a week long drive across South Dakota.  I hate eating outside.  Those were all good reasons to nix the entire plan.

I'm not one to listen to reason.  We took that trip.  We saw the sights.  We made memories.  We ate outside.  I took a lot of pictures.  This is the story of this trip.  This is...

The Badlands
The first thing that I need to tell you about the trip is that we rented a car.  I think.  Honestly, I'm not sure.  I know we talked about renting a car because we were worried neither my car or Jesse's would be able to stand a drive to South Dakota.  I just don't remember if we ever got around to doing it or not.  Yes, we drove all over South Dakota and I don't remember if it was in a rental car or not.  I think this speaks to my mental state at the time.

There's not much to say about our drive to South Dakota.  There's nothing to see except corn fields and sunflower fields.  Seriously, that's it.  We survived by letting the kids watch movies.  I'm usually against kids watching tv in the car but friends of ours lent us a dvd player and I made a absolutely-one-time-only exception to the rule in order to help preserve our sanity.  It wasn't all bad.  They watched Oh Brother, Where Art Thou and even those of us in the front seat were able to enjoy the music.

When we got to South Dakota the first thing we saw was The Badlands.
I took about 47 million pictures of the Badlands.  Each of them looked exactly like this.  
Joseph really liked the Badlands.  I mean, he REALLY liked it.  So much so that he cried when we left and asked every day if we could go back.  This was shortly before we found out he needed glasses so in retrospect it's possible that the reason he liked it so much was because it's the only thing we went to that he could um, see.
Elle really like the Badlands too.  In fact, if we hadn't kept a tight grip on her the entire time we were there I think she would happily run right off the edge of a ledge in an attempt to get closer nature.
She has a manic love of nature.
Joseph was not scared by the "BEWARE" signs.  I told him to at least pretend or the snakes would bite him just to be buttheads.  That was the part of our trip where he collapsed on the ground laughing because I said "buttheads".
After a lot of walking around and picture taking we found the one shaded spot in the entire Badlands and sat down for a picnic lunch.  It was here that I gave Elle a carton of spoiled milk and had her drink some before Jesse realized there were chunks floating in it.  This was also the spot where Joseph pointed and yelled very loudly "Hey!  Those people are LITTERING!" when the people next to us left their trash on the ground.  Then he stormed over and picked up their trash and threw it away.  Then I gave him a cookie.
Here's a piece of wood.  I have 14 pictures of it on my camera.  I don't remember taking them.  It was very hot that day.  It's entirely possible that accidentally took these as I passed out and fell on my camera.

As we were nearing the end of our Badlands tour I spotted a small brown lump in the road.  It was a dead prairie dog.  I love prairie dogs so that made me sad but it did make me notice that we were right in the middle of a prairie dog town.  Hurray!
They dare you not to love them!  We got out and watched the prairie dogs for a long time.  A really long time.  The kids started to get bored but I maturely pointed out "This is my trip too!  I let you guys watch Cars 47 times on the way here now you need to let me stay and watch the prairie dogs for a few more minutes!"

There were signs all over the place instructing people not to feed the animals but since most people think the rules were written for other people and not them, a family right by us decided to throw corn flakes to the prairie dogs.  Jesse and I yelled at them.  They were embarrassed and got in their car and drove away.  Between that and the litter incident I decided the theme of the vacation would be Correcting Assholes with a secondary theme of Being Assholes.
Once I was done being Nature's Great Defender we headed out of the Badlands.
As we were leaving I made Jesse stop the car so I could get out and take a picture of a passing thunderstorm.  At least that's the excuse I used.  Really I just wanted to get out of the car and fart.  Pregnancy makes me gassy.

I hope you enjoyed our trip through the Badlands.  Stay tuned for the next installment in the "I must be crazy" Chronicles - Wall Drug!  And if you enjoyed my pictures you can see more on my flickr page.

Five years ago today Joseph was concerned with colon health.


shyestviolet said...

J and I took nearly the exact same trip you're taking, it sounds like, pretty quickly after we started dating. Let's just start calling South Dakota the Relationship Challenger State.

Anonymous said...

We rented a car by the way


Lindsay said...

HAHAHAHaHA! That looks like a great trip. So FUNNY.

Stimey said...

I love that you were all, "Hey, let's go to South Dakota!" That's like me saying, "Huh, I hear West Virginia is nice this time of year."

I'm looking forward to parts 2 and 3.

Also, next time you go, take me too. I can totally be an asshole.