Let’s face it.
Continental breakfast sucks.
Today I bit into a powdered donut and it made a sound.
“Crack!” said the donut, blinding me with stale sugardust.
The band fund is lean again, thanks to the 1,500 mile friendless gap between Missoula and Columbia, Missouri. I thought Facebook had solved these kind of problems.
Wyoming likes its trucks. Big trucks with meaty tires, driven with dogs lazily wondering in the bed. When a truck dies it is left out to pasture, where it will rust and root itself into the landscape, alongside fallen ranches reduced to Bunyan-sized toothpicks. research if that’s an appetizerIn the town of Upton (“The Best Town On Earth” according to its water tower) a black man near the Skull Creek Mall stood very still, almost like a statue. I couldn’t tell but I thought I saw a placard titled A BLACK MAN AND WHAT TO DO SHOULD YOU ENCOUNTER ONE.
While Jim navigated The Cowboy State’s desolate byways, Nicole gave herself a pedicure, and we were all treated to the perfumey fumes of nail polish.
It was April Fool’s Day. As an elaborate prank, The Black Hills National Forest had replaced its Ponderosa Pines and spruces with trees that had fallen victim to forest fires. Hilarious, but I wish we would have come here on a regular day. I bet it’s real pretty.The Bumpin’ Buffalo in Hill City housed our lunch. I ordered something called Chislic. The waitress was pleased with my choice.
“That’s what the mayor gets when he eats here.”
Nicole was not pleased with her choice. She got a salad, but what she really wanted were Rocky Mountain Oysters.
“When am I going to get a chance to eat testicles again?”
Jim pointed out that she could have them every night. Nicole said she would like to try human meat sometime. Those nail polish fumes in the van were pretty concentrated.
We ate on the rooftop overlooking the Black Hills. The chislic- marinated sirloin tips lightly pan fried and served with homemade potato salad- was mayoraly delicious. It was a peaceful lunch until a spider crawled on Jim, resulting in a foul-mouthed Little Miss Muffet freakout. The family next to us laughed it off.
“Take off your shirt!”
We went to Mt. Rushmore to see The Beatles. Nicole, who was clearly having a goofy day, pointed out how handsome Abraham Lincoln was. “…his eyes…”
“So out of those four guys, you would do Abe Lincoln?”
Without hesitation she answered affirmatively.
We riffed on the possibilities of that situation for a while, and wondered how our 16th president might have tasted.
Mount Rushmore was pretty cool, even in the eyes of some huffing sickos like us. My only complaint is that they left off Lincoln’s stovepipe hat. That and they didn’t play anything off the White Album.
The signs for Wall Drug remain the kind of kitschy Americana that still warms this cynical heart. 5¢ COFFEE! FREE ICE WATER! HOMEMADE PIE! FUDGE! BE YOURSELF! We had to go.
It was a ghost town. Most of Wall Drug’s advertised features, like 5¢ coffee and taking a picture of a buffalo were closed for the day. But we went there, just like every other American, because the signs told us to. It was after all SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT.With no time to see The Badlands we made a straight shot east into South Dakota’s manure-laiden plains. A particularly thick shit cloud hit us while I was chewing on a cud of Trader Joe’s pretzels. I had to use 80% of brain to convince myself that I wasn’t actually eating feces.
David Bowie’s spooky Low provided the soundtrack to our arrival in Sioux Falls. With limited midnight options, we ordered a Domino’s Pizza and watched cable TV. For a part of the country that prides itself as the land of opportunity, there sure wasn’t much to opportune.