Notes from the road — the P(x) digital diaries
Day 11: Tuesday, August 24th
After staying a lovely evening at the Siesta Motel we headed over to the local EconoFood to get coffee, quick nourishment and lunch food. Next we went back to the ever "corny" Corn Palace and corn festival. The footage and pictures we took are not entirely accurate. Apparently the corn mural's design was still the 1999 scene of "Building a Nation" and this year's theme is "The New Millenium," which will depict the internet (We have no idea how). Now that you know more about Mitchell's Corn Palace that you ever wanted — we venture on. ... We interviewed a few tourists and then the local storekeepers. What to know what they said??? Then watch the movie!!! As we left South Dakota Cynthia exclaimed, "God, listening to the locals made me feel like I was in the movie Fargo." But now we are off and headed to the Badlands. On the way we saw lots and lots of corn fields (fancy that) and more bizarre road signs including:
Manage your Wildlife Wear Fur And Game Wear Fur
Wow, we're not in California anymore!
We hit the Badlands and Chris with her charming way gets us out of the $10 entrance fee. Got to like it! Chris was pumped as we entered and drove through the gargantuos striped sediment mountains. They were truly awe-inspiring. We had lunch at the visitors center where an enormous black and yellow flying animal landed on my derriere. In the true spirit of filmmaking I screamed to April, "Get this shot!" Once I thought she had enough footage I screamed, "Now get it off!" April being a persistent Director of Photography continued shooting well past my comfort zone (only she knew I was not in serious danger), "get it off, get it off," I continued. Concluding that episode of Wild Kingdom we settled down to finish our lunch, which included an Indian Cucumber given to us by the nice motel owner in Hamburg, Iowa. Wrapping up we were happy to see the Green Tortoise bus pull up. Go Tortoise! We concluded our driving tour of the Badlands and a couple of unexpected interviews Chris decided to grab at a lookout point while Cynthia and April were napping in the back. You see the tomb causes these napping bouts. They are uncontrollable. It is like reentering the womb, all you want to do is suck on water bottles and sleep, occasionally kicking your arms and feet around much to your twin's dismay. On this day Cynthia had gone into an uncontrollable sleep coma only waking to see great sights, eat and nod. Otherwise it was serious snoozeville. Her subconscious mind just has a way of taking its own vacations.
Our daily travels land us at the Town House Motel in Rapid City, South Dakota. We decided that overall morale was low and we needed a night out on the town. We got ready, loaded up the boys (Oscar and George, that is) and hit Main Street. We interviewed a woman and her two daughters in front of a saddle store with an anatomically correct life size male horse standing on an eight-foot base (too high to climb for pictures, damn). Wandering past a Firestone Tire shop we were greeted by waves and smiles from a group of men seated in a circle inside the store. We descended upon them hoping for interviews only to find that they were in the middle of a staff meeting, but asked us to come back in a little while when they were finished. Actually a couple of the men offered to quit their jobs right then and there to leave with us, but we said that would be necessary. Venturing down the street to an Italian restaurant with outside dining we interviewed a trio of two women (locals) and one man from Pasadena. We didn't know it at the time but we caused quite a stir in the restaurant and the town. Apparently someone said 60 Minutes was inside and all of the locals hid, something to do with the mining industry in the area perhaps??? The rest of the town thought we were a Spielberg crew. We wish we had that type of backing!!!
Heading back to the Firestone we found three of the men hanging out outside waiting for us. We have discussed this amongst ourselves and are convinced that these three guys are the original Manny, Moe and Jack. They were hilarious. Moe even put our "Where are we going?" bumper sticker on his car, Yippie! Do all of you have our bumper stickers on your cars??? If not let us know and the stickerfest will begin! The last interview of the evening was inside a facial room in the local beauty salon and training center where lo-and-behold they carried April's brand of shampoo which was inadvertently left as a gift for Jeremy in Arkansas. Hope you like the expensive shampoo Jer! This evening tragedy was averted. Oh, by this point we are soooooooo hungery and ready to ROCK!!! The decision was made to eat at the Italian restaurant we had interviewed at earlier (maybe our fame would get us a good table). Just by coincidence wine was half off on Tuesday evenings. Lucky for us, not for Rapid City. We were all very excited to feel civilized for the evening as we consumed three bottles of nice wine with our pasta. Far cry from Taco Bell! Bellies full and head light we wonder — Where's the bars? First we hit a local young'uns club "Fat Boys Saloon" where April and Cynthia had to sweet-talk the bouncer into letting them in. Who knew you'd need an ID in Rapid City?? Dancing began quickly and as always we were making waves — dirty looks emanated from the local femmes and sweet smiles from the boys. We ended up sitting with two guys who had walked right out of an episode of Starsky and Hutch (Gratuitious chest hair included). We blew that place off and went across the street with a great Army dude we meet in the teen-scene. The tunes were hot, but the dance floor was vacant. We quickly amended this, but as always there was work to be done back at the base so I walked April home and Cynthia and Chris soon followed. Before we could pass go and collect 200 dollars everyone was out!