My retirement “fun” was delayed by a painful ankle ailment, related to uhhhhh, “age.” Activities for 2 weeks were limited to what can be accomplished while occasionally on crutches – and that wasn’t much because I was pretty busy with “poor me”! Repairs were very necessary! After a 3-hr. drive north, through Custer State Park, past Crazy Horse monument, past Mt. Rushmore, we found the the Orthopedic Center, where my Dr. used words like “arthritis”, “impingement”, “collapse” “deterioration”, but he also said “cortizone” which quickly brightened up my horizons. Hey, THAT was a great birthday gift! Bless his heart, when I asked if it was finally time for me to “lose 20 lbs.” he responded, “my dear, we ALL need to lose 20 lbs.” What a bedside manner he had -- I think I may have hugged him!
After the Orthopedic Center in South Dakota, and it WAS my birthday, and that cortizone shot had perked up my spirits, we decided to head east for a 2-day road trip, about 70 miles, to Badlands National Park, in SD in the southwestern part of the state, near/in/through Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I was shocked to learn it was there all this time, and I'd never heard of it - MY loss.
The drive north to the Ortho Center included this view of Crazy Horse, taken from the moving car.
|Crazy Horse, a work in progress, taken from the car.|
And finally the Badlands!!! Oh my gosh!
|View from our Lodge porch|
My photos fall far short of showing the drama, ruggedness, and desolation of these amazing crags, mountains, hills, remnants of millions of years of volcano remains. This area must be full of archeological treasures. There was a 30 mile route in one direction, and we stayed at a very nice motel, Cedar Pass Lodge in the Park, with lovely quilts on the beds, with a good view of more incredible landscapes, and also with a nice restaurant and Visitors Center. This is part of the Oglala Sioux Reservation – I will risk scarcasm as in no way can anyone grow crops in most of this particular Badland area. Returning home we went another direction, yet still in/near the National Park, across flatlands and tables where it’s nice to imagine days of bison traversing this land.
I would definitely recommend this trip, although it’s NOT plush. Climate is semi-arid, not much snow, but a lot of wind, and I presume very HOT in summer. Fill up your gas tank before you get in the Park.