Today we visited Badlands National Park www.nps.gov/badl.com and Wounded Knee, www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_Massacre the site of the massacre of Native American men women & children. We travelled absolutely miles to visit both of them, and both were a disappointment. The site of Wounded Knee (GPS: N43.141312 W102.362479) wasn’t very obvious, and we had to ask around before locating it. We found a large painted board by the side of the road which pinpointed the site and told the story, and then visited the mass grave of those killed on a small hill above it. This was the site of the battlefield. I don't understand why the Indians ever agreed to a road being built right through their supposedly sacred site. They really could have done something better with that location, both to protect it, and provide jobs for the local Native Americans who have the highest rate of alcohol abuse in the country coupled with one of the shortest life expectancy.
If only they could get the road re-routed, create an authentic Native American village and introduce a buffalo herd on the plains. Just think how much tourists would pay to live and sleep in authentic tepees and ride out on horseback with Indian guides to visit the buffalo. As for the Badlands, well they’re not bad enough in my opinion; I don’t know what they were moaning about. There were lush green rolling hills everywhere and it would have been easy to journey around the rocky formations. I see now why they have a speed limit of 45mph around the area – it’s so that if you fall asleep at the wheel through sheer boredom you don’t do yourself too much harm when you crash. It’s been a whole day spent behind the wheel for very little return.
On the long journey back we passed through the town of Wall and popped in to visit the Wall Drug Store, the largest and most famous in the world (GPS: N43.992781 W102.241754). Being a tourist is hard work, and I failed to see the attraction, but out there in the middle of nowhere, I guess watching a turd decomposing would be exciting.
This evening’s meal was Spaghetti Bolognese eaten indoors and washed down with lashings of red wine. Whilst sat at the table three deer appeared from the woods behind the RV and passed right by our window. By the time we managed to get the cameras out they’d moved across to the other side of the campground.
Tomorrow will be spent preparing for the long run south back to Alvarado south of Fort Worth, Texas before flying home on the 22nd.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Custer’s Gulch RV Park, Custer, South Dakota