Rizz, we found out, is short for Richard. He gets something like 4 months vacation a year, since he lives in Australia and has had the same government job for 15 years. I’m thinking of immigrating. We had great fun chatting with him, making fun of his accent while he made fun of our tan lines.
|Klaus and Nathalie|
On the 5th, Stewart, Rizz, Dee, and I visited Wind Cave and Sylvan Lake in South Dakota by car, saving Dee and me a couple of days worth of biking. The next day we biked out of Newcastle into South Dakota to Jewel Cave then to Custer and stayed in Bedrock City, a little themepark devoted to The Flintstones. We arrived too late for the actual park area, so we check it out in the morning, fulfillng our kitch quota for the day. But, of course, we’re not content with just meeting a quota. We go above and beyond. So we visited the Woodcarving Museum also in Custer.
|hanging with Fred and Barney|
That afternoon, we checked out the Crazy Horse Memorial. When completed, Crazy Horse will be the biggest monument in the world, bigger than the largest pyramid in Egypt. It’s a huge endeavor and is all privately funded; they’re refusing any government money. The memorial is for all Native Americans, to show the world that they have something to be proud of, that they have heroes to look up to, and to right some of the injustice done to their people. This memorial is so deeply emotional that I can’t help but not be impressed with Mt. Rushmore.
We arrived at Mt. Rushmore about an hour before the lighting ceremony. It was grossly patriotic. Going from Crazy Horse to Rushmore, never have I felt so much shame and pride at the same time. Since we had time to kill and we were starving, we ate at their cafe. After we had sat down, I noticed that a lot of people were leaving tons of unfinished/overpriced food behind. How American. I decided to scrounge. A day ago I had told my bro about scrounging.
At Reed College, where I went for undergrad, we had people, known as scroungers, who would wait at the place in the cafeteria where people bring their trays after they were done eating and eat any leftovers before they were thrown away. Back in its heyday, Reed was on a meal system instead of a point system, where you could grab as much food as you wanted per meal. Students inevitably grabbed more than they could eat. Meanwhile, some students were either too cheap or too poor to buy their own meals. Thus scrounging. It got so common place that ettiquette guidelines were written for the student handbook; things like, ‘thou shall ask for permission before grabbing food from someone’s tray,’ and, ‘thou shall inform any scrounger that thou art sick if thou hast any communicable disease.’ It is said that the ultimate trial of a scrounger is if he or she can successfully scrounge at McDonald’s for an entire meal without getting ill. Scrounging has since been introduced to many graduate schools by former Reedies.
And so we scrounged. It was easy at this particular cafe because people would get up from their tables and not bus them. So Dee and I would raid empty tables before the professional bussers got to them. In addition to the spaghetti dinner and chili dog we bought, we made out with a side of mashed pos, a couple of dinner rolls, half a chicken, and a side salad. All of it, with the exception of the chicken, was completely untouched. Why do people buy food and then not even try it? What I really wanted was a side of corn, but I was too full by the time we spotted one.
Mt. Rushmore all lit up was pretty cool. But now we had a problem; it was dark and downhill to Keystone with no streetlamps along the highway. We didn’t feel like dying. Then Dee remembered, ‘you can camp anywhere in the Black Hills if something something something.’ He looked at me and said, ‘we’re something something something!’ So we were thinking of just camping in the parking lot but instead took the advice of a park ranger that we go back the way we came for one mile then campout at a trail head.
That night it became extremely muggy and we were having a hard time getting comfortable being all sticky. We made a couple of fans out of the Mt. Rushmore flier I had in my pocket and fanned ourselves to sleep.
In the morning we were going to buy breakfast at the same cafe, but the line was so long that we scrounged our complete meal. The horrified look on that mother was priceless. God Bless America.
On our way to Rapid City, we checked out Sittng Bull Cave (they let us in for free since we were biking) and then the Maze. There is a huge wooden maze along highway 16 which took about an hour or so to solve. And finally, we checked out the Journey Museum in Rapid City which we got in for free since I work for OMSI.
On the 9th, we stayed in Rapid City for a day (as of this writing) since Dee was sick with a fever and since it was raining. But mommy, don’t worry cuz Dee’s better now.