Home » Ferret, Black-footed Ferret » And we’re back! Notes from the road…

And we’re back! Notes from the road…


It was a bit Ironic that travel plans would take me to the Rapid City, SD area… Unlike Mark, who flew right into RC, SD and was immediately taken hostage, I got to enjoy a few sites and sights along the way… Not unlike the Leave it to Beaver story arc that had me visiting Toronto for a few days only to discover the ubiquitous nature of  the American Beaver (Castor Canadensis) in Canada!


Here we get a sense of Mr. Allen’s (shall we say quirky?) sense of humor…  OK, moving right along, slowly…


I am sure that Johnny is already tired of being the Sheriff’s set up man… delivering straight lines to the Sheriff’s mysterious and ironic responses…


But enough of this Mark Trail inspired tomfoolery and suggestions of relationships with Grizzly bears that don’t / shouldn’t exist…  Let’s take a peek at some photos from SODAK 2017…

First Stop, The Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD.

Corn Palace

Features  “a-maize-ing” (ha!) murals made of corn!  And Hosts events inside with a capacity of 3,200 seats.  It is also home to the Dakota Wesleyan University Tigers and the Mitchell High School Kernels basketball teams.  Your faithful scribe is featured bottom left with a seemingly happy ear of corn!

Next onto Chamberlain, which, according to its own history has struggled to be a place where people would want to actually stay… but really served as a jumping-off point for many, including Lewis & Clark!

L&C Dignity

At the rest stop there is a magnificent statue!  As found on Trip Advisor:  Officially titled “Dignity,” the statue depicts a colossal (50 ft. high) Native American woman holding aloft a star quilt. It was built of steel by sculptor Dale Lamphere, weighs 11 tons, and was dedicated on Sept. 17, 2016. The statue cost over $1 million, and is engineered with pivoting diamond-shaped panels in the quilt so that wind can blow through it and not blow the statue over.  

According to the Artist:  Her Name is Dignity.  Standing at the crossroads, Dignity echos the interaction of earth, sky and people.  It brings to light the beauty and promise of the indigenous peoples and culture that still thrives on this land.  The intent is to have the sculpture stand as an enduring symbol of our shared belief that all here are sacred, and in a sacred place.

Between Chamberlain and Wall, SD, there are over 60 billboards warning the weary traveler of the Drug Store in Wall that features free ice water and 5-cent cups of coffee… Upon arrival though, one finds the greatest of all tourist traps (probably) in the lower 48… enough said.

Wall Drug

And what trip to SD would be complete without a visit to Mount Rushmore?

MT Rushmore

…still breathtaking, especially on a clear, sunny day.

We also took a trip to the Crazy Horse Memorial, the scale of which is ridiculous… all the heads of Mount Rushmore will fit into the head/hair of Crazy Horse.  This sculpture was commissioned and started around the same time as Rushmore, but remains a work in progress, accepting no federal monies and relying on contributions.  It’s the work of the Korczak Ziolkowski family, and continues today.


On the way through the badlands, we stumbled upon the “Prairie Homestead” which offered a glimpse of life in a sod house.  This homestead was established in 1909, was occupied until the 1950’s and features the house, a storm/root cellar, an outhouse (poor fella…) snakes and prairie dogs (white ones, which is a bit of a rarity according to the guides…)

prairie homestead

Finally, and with a sound one can only image, here’s part of what greeted us every morning at our mountain rental, as we shared the trails with a herd of Black Angus Beef Cattle…


Johnny and Sheriff better wipe their feet before they come inside…

2 thoughts on “And we’re back! Notes from the road…

  1. Sounds like a great time you’re having, Dennis! I gotta get out there some day. Until then, I’ll just have to vicariously enjoy it through the exciting dramatic presentations of “Mark Trail”. And your photos, of course. Liked the photos of the sod house!

    The first panel in the first Trail strip of this blog entry features a photocopy of the Sheriff from an earlier submission, including not only the ubiquitous wooden hand with pointed finger, but the amazingly inept beard, seen from a back 3/4 view. Apparently, Allen thinks the Sheriff must be putting Brylcream or bear grease into his beard, so it glistens from whatever light is around it. From my view point, it looks like some phony Paste-On, making his face look like some eerie mask. I agree: poor Johnny, playing “Tonto” to the Sheriff’s “Lone Ranger”. “What you want me to do next, Kemosabe?” I suppose The Sheriff must have a 5-pound uncooked rump roast or dead animal in the bag to distract Ol’ Grizzly.

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