September 16, 2021
After a good night’s sleep, we pack up without making breakfast or coffee, because we are headed to a place that has five cent coffee.
From Wall, we head south to the Badlands.
On the way out of Badlands National Park we see three things that catch our attention: The first is a place on the west side of the road that has a big billboard proclaiming “Feed the Prairie Dogs!” This is a bit of a shocker, since we’ve been hammered with signs for days saying “Don’t Feed the Wildlife”. And sure enough, out in an open field, there are people squatting down, hand-feeding wild prairie dogs, and petting them. Two thoughts come to me:
1. I wonder how many people get bit every day?
2. Why hasn’t every prairie dog within a hundred miles moved here?
The second thing we see on the side of the road is this:
And the third is this:
Although it requires a bit of backtracking, I’ve been wanting to visit the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site for a while. The visitor center is on the Interstate just north of Badlands. After viewing a very informative movie there, we ride another seventeen miles back towards Wall to view the Delta-09 missile silo. You can’t enter the silo, but they have replaced the top hatch with a glass dome that allows a view into the silo, which contains what I assume is a mockup of a Minuteman Missile. Or at least a deactivated one.
After doubling back, we pass through Badlands National Park again and head south to Wounded Knee. The memorial here is not the official US government type, and if it were, would no doubt tell a different version of history. As a kid, I remember being told about the “Battle of Wounded Knee”. However, since that time it has been, um, clarified that it wasn’t a battle as much as a massacre of local people by the US government.
At the end of the day, we camp at Chadron State Park in Nebraska. We have had two full days of Speed Touring, and are now on our way towards Texas.