At long last:

Sometimes a cigar is just a...well, George Carlin said it the best at 0:50

Oh dear.

We’ve seen many strange things on out trip so far.  Not all of them deserve their own post.  When we drove past this sign, we both thought the same thing:  “What the WHAT?!?!!”

Do the owners of Curry Masala in Rapid City, SD, really not see what their sign looks like?  And, why, why, why, did they put those two ovals where they did?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  Sometimes, well, we’ll let George Carlin finish that statement (video clip is explicit):

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We arrived in Wall, South Dakota on a cool, dry, windy day.   We stayed for a couple nights in Wall, SD, which is only minutes away from Badlands National Park. By the time we reached Wall, it was evening, so we hurried to get into the park and see as much as we could before sundown.  It wasn’t full on tourist season yet, so even Wall drug closed early.

Because of the prairie dogs (who have plague–no kidding) and the rattlesnakes, Guinness was not allowed outside of the car anywhere other than in parking lots and other developed areas.  Going on any trails would mean leaving him in the car, so we didn’t venture too far out on any of our trips into the park.  We drove through the earthen formations and took pictures of the new wild flowers, the prong-horned antelope, the big horned sheep, and the meadowlarks.  From the car window, I even saw a Burrowing Owl.

We stopped at an overlook and let the dog out for a moment.  We were worried he would find a plague-ridden prairie dog or a rattle snake, but the only the thing we found was a very small bunny.  Thankfully, we were able to pull him away before he tried to eat the bunny.  Off the paved roads of the park, we started to see bison–huge and shedding their winter fur in thick chunks.  Guinness dealt with them by growling at them through the car window.  He showed them.  While we were out viewing the bison, however, it started raining.

It rained the rest of the evening, all night, and all of the next day.  The cold rain didn’t spoil our experience, however.  The water brought out the colors in the earthen formations, turning them from brown and beige to plum, mustard, sage, and brilliant white.  The water, which is what keeps the Badlands formations ever-changing, poured down through the desert in opaque streams of white and coffee.  We saw fewer birds and less wildlife than we might have otherwise, but we got to see the Badlands at its brightest and most colorful.

Just outside the park, we passed a herd of cattle, the calves newly branded, and out into a pasture with abandoned cars and farming equipment.  We ran out of the car, bracing ourselves against the wind and rain, took pictures, and then hurried back into the car.  Guinness got so little exercise that day that I took him to the rodeo arena behind our hotel later that night and let him run like a crazy through the cold we t grass just to get his yayas out.  He was his own rodeo.

We returned to the park the following morning and got to see the park without rain.  The colors weren’t as bright, but we got to walk around a little more and see out further.  When we stopped and looked out over the canyon, we could see all the way out to our next stop: The Black Hills.

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August 2020