Hey all, it’s Taylor. Dad’s fine, somewhere near Badlands National Park. He says it’s super hot (and has easily slipped into using numbers like ‘110’ to describe the temperature, does anyone really know what that means in this country?) and super windy.
Oh also I think he stepped on a nest of rattlesnakes. You can ask him about that sometime.
Along my way I found a wonderful place for breakfast in Peterson MN. At Judy’s Country Kitchen, I was well fed at a reasonable price and the staff genuinely wished me a safe trip. http://www.judysmn.com/
In the Badlands National Park in South Dakota the temp climbed to 50C on my thermometer or over 125 degrees F. Regardless … it was hot like a pizza oven with a continuous fan blowing in my face, blowtorch winds might be the best description. I walked off the walkway to the edge overlooking the pass where Chief Bigfoot cleared a path down the Badlands Wall on December 24, 1890. Five days later he and 200 of his people would be die in the massacre at Wounded Knee 65 miles south. For more information regarding the treatment of the Lakota follow this link http://www.honorthetreaties.org/educate/
I found lots and lots of snakes in a nest overlooking the steep drop off down into Chief Bigfoot Pass. The loud rattling sound from the underground snake nest convinced me that they were large snakes and that there were many of them. Some of them came out in a writhing mass; way too many to count, with heads and tails pointing in all directions. Possibly because it was a late spring, this was the first time they had left their winter nest. Being dressed in knee-high motorcycle boots and wearing my AeroStitch Roadcrafter riding suit does offer protection in the event of a crash or to the weather elements, and in this case the wildlife. My real concern was getting surprised or startled by a snake that I hadn’t seen and falling over the edge.
I visited the Tatanka Trading Post in Scenic SD and the friendly dude with his dog in the shop. It’s a great place (I visited twice) and also the only place within miles, to get a cold soft drink and find local crafts. The local road ” Bombing Range” leads south from Scenic to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the Wounded Knee Massacre site.