Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 7: It's Sunday - this must be the Badlands, Corn Palace,Wall Drug, & Mt. Rushmore

We squeezed a lot in today. First a visit to the Badlands. A strikingly desolate and unearthly landscape.

Brief stops at Corn Palace and Wall Drug. Corn Palace was worthwhile...Wall Drug was most definitely not. Yes I have heard the argument that these are monuments to capitalism in America, but who cares. Is there really such a shortage of monuments to capitalism that we must all drive to a tiny town in South Dakota to gaze upon it with wonder? After having zipped past zillions of Wal-Marts?
The Corn Palace is a multi-purpose meeting facility and, effectively, a giant birdfeeder, that the community decorates with murals every June-Sept. The murals are made entirely with tons of corns, grains and grasses.

Mount Rushmore is so iconic that I wondered if I really needed to see it in person. But going there gives a better appreciation of the scale and the story behind it's construction is pretty interesting as well. We had heard the light show at night is impressive, but I couldn't sit through the sappy presentation beforehand, so we left part way through. If you decide to go, go around 9:30 and see the lights sans the sap.

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