Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sans Photo - Interior, SD

Sometimes, even when you have a camera available, you fail to take a picture of the things that most deserve a picture. It must be something you train yourself to do by incessantly carrying and using your camera at all times. During our recent vacation in South Dakota, we faced the prospect of a $250 hotel room because of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Deciding to travel further afield for cheaper digs, we contacted a motel in Interior, SD, right on the edge of the Badlands National Park. That hotel was full of bikers, but they have a cozy little network in Interior, and they just called around and found us an open room at the Badlands Inn. Our expectations were exceedingly low, so we were pleasantly surprised with the wonderful staff, the nice digs (not great digs, but two beds, clean, air conditioning, and nicer than some of the more expensive places we stayed), and the fact that it was a bit quieter than the Sturgis area proper.

However, before we got to the motel, we drove around town for a while first - and I use town in the loosest sense of the word. There were three hotels and a cafe/gift shop just inside the park, but the town of Interior itself is about a dozen severely dilapidated trailer homes, bleached by the sun and covered in thirty years of Badlands dirt, and a run down building or two that might be general goods or might be car repair - it's hard to tell just looking at the shop and/or yard. There was one other stand out building, the local bar - a small, dingy hut with windows so dirty you couldn't see in, just a general glow from inside, two obviously drunk, laughing Mexicans outside (could have been Hispanic Americans - difficult to say, and we didn't ask them), and the cause of their laughter - an older, slightly swaybacked, longhorn steer tied to a post by its reins, a saddle slung across its back. Based on the laughter and based on a gut perception that the cow wasn't just simply tied up there by the owner as a joke, Pooteewheet and I had to agree that it really looked as though someone had ridden a saddled, longhorn steer to the bar for a drink. Some people just won't let their spouse hiding the keys keep them down.

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