Decorah to Wall, SD travel day

Yesterday (Tuesday) was mostly spent moving further west. After sending off our Sri Lanka visa applications at the Decorah post office, we headed north into Minnesota and connected with I90 and headed west. I had a hard time the night before finding a motel room in the Badlands region. Kris discovered why. There is a multiday gathering of bikers in Sturges, SD. Our desk clerk said that numbers were actually down this year and estimates were that there were only 500,000 bikers in the region. Apparently this has been going on for 85 years. As a consequence, we are paying about $170/night for very ordinary motel rooms.

The scenery along I90 has been a continuation of what we have been seeing since we left Ohio, corn and soybeans as far as the eye can see. (By the way, why do we not see any fallow fields? Have we found a way to avoid them?) This scene did not change until we crossed the Missouri River at Chamberlain, SD. Rather suddenly the crops changed to hay and pasturage for black angus cattle. Finally, approaching Wall, we see rocky outcrops more and more frequently. We were also treated to a grand thunderstorm on the horizon as we came into Wall. Lightning lit up the thundercloud from within. This reminded us of our experiences in New Mexico.

We’ve had variable luck when we have stopped for gas and food. We had a lovely Chinese lunch in Albert Lea, SD when we followed the signs into town to the the China Restaurant. We had an awful dinner when we stopped in Oacoma, SD at Al’s Oasis. Of course we had to visit the famous Wall Drug once we got to Wall, SD. We found it to be a rather eclectic collection of stuff. Heavy on T-shirts, cowboy hats, knives, rocks, Black Hills gold, and cowboy art. We left emptyhanded.

Today we explore Badlands National Park.

Tim

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