Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sprint Sucks ... and Other Oddities

I'm sad to say there were no bison out my window this morning. Mom says I'm turning into a bison junkie. She's right. I just can't get enough ... in my eyes or my mouth.

Tasty tasty, pretty bison.

We do see a few while driving out of the park. This one didn't look so pretty. Kind of scraggly. Mom said it looked like a young one. Grandma said old. I just think it had mad bison or chronic wasting disease.

Just ahead, there are a few more. I'm in bison heaven. These big shaggy beasts walking down the side of the road. It's so cool. But it makes Mom nervous. I think she might get sick every time we pull up next to one.

Looking for wildlife with her and Gram is a trip in itself. They are having a hard time seeing. Yesterday, Mom tried to convince me that a large brown box on the side of the road was actually a group of deer. Both the girls point out deer "stumps" in the woods so often that I start pointing them out to like they're some new novelty.

Look ... a wild black stump!

People would think we were nuts if they heard half the conversations that go on in this car. Like the one today about Grandma's colonoscopy. I'm supposed to have one when I get home and wondered what it's like. What I'm really wondering about is the anesthesia. It's my first time, and I'm a bit anxious. She goes into a 10 minute graphic -- and I mean graphic -- conversation about the entire process. She didn't have anesthesia, so she remembers all the gory details.

"And then my lower bowel ... "

Mom and I are both trying to tune her out. Why is it that older people think their personal body functions are a worthy topic of conversation?

We stop by Mt. Rushmore again since I want to get the most out of our shiny new $10 annual parking pass. Just kidding -- I think the light might be better ON the monument instead of behind it like it was last night. I'm right, but you can decide for yourself. Here is a pic from today, and I've posted one on yesterday's blog, too.

We drive through Needles Highway (GREAT suggestion, Dr. Selva!) We really enjoyed the winding road and beautiful rock formations.

Next up ... Wall Drugs. This place is a stitch. On a 45-mile stretch of road between where we get back on I-90 and off in Wall, South Dakota, there are at least 50 signs for this roadside attraction that consumes an entire city block. From what we gather reading these signs, this place offers free ice water, a new T-Rex, a six-foot jackalope and coffee for 5 cents. Although veterans and newlyweds get theirs free. With a doughnut.

Then it's on to the Badlands. Mom is terrified of heights. And when I say terrified, I mean really terrified.

I made this poor woman accompany me a few years ago when I went bungee jumping. I didn't understand the severity of her fear until I jumped ... and she screamed. I can't lean over walls, and when I was trying to take a picture in Yellowstone a few days ago and sat on an embankment wall, she started knocking furiously on the window until I got back in the car.

At the Bandlands, there is a five-foot wide walkway leading out to an overlook. She clutches my arm and closes her eyes the entire walk out. She says when she was a kid, she walked out there by herself. They didn't have railings then, so she got out pretty far. Then she looked over the edge and froze. My uncle had to go out and collect her. My brother inherited this fear, but I can't wait to go skydiving.

Just don't get me near any small spaces.

Like the back of this damn Rav-4. I finally get a chance to take a nap, which seems to coincide nicely with Mom blaring her music on the stereo. I bury my head deeper into the pillow and scrunch up in a slightly less uncomfortable position. And I mean slightly ... I'm nearly six feet tall, so I'm knees to nose back here. Then Mom starts making phone calls at a decibel not found in normal conversation. We haven't had cell phone service for two days. No contact with the outside world, which means we've had to actually talk to each other.

Lord, help us.

Mom finally broke down today and put her roaming on. I refuse, but guarantee Sprint and I will have a heart-to-heart when I get back home. How can they not have coverage across an entire STATE?

Sadly, it's too late to see the inside of the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, when we arrive. But their corn corn rendition of Mt. Rushmore on the outside of the building was fabulous. I leave you tonight with this question -- do you think global warming could ever make it hot enough to turn the corn palace into popcorn?

Pass the salt and butter.


  1. Hi Amy,
    I share your love of the bison/buffalo. Here's where I get my fix:
    Raised on the S. Dakota prairie, grass-fed and humanely slaughtered. It's the best tasting animal flesh I've ever eaten. Slightly sweeter than beef, but so fresh that it tastes likes the prairie. On the pricey side so I can’t order often, but utterly delicious. They are great folks to do business with and publish a fascinating Blog and Newsletter, too. Check it out...

  2. Bunny of leaky memorySeptember 16, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    Dear Mermaids,
    I must take responsibility for the misconception that the Alamo had been...ahem...moved. I told Carol that I had heard this on the radio. That much is true. However, today I remembered which radio show I heard it on. Car Talk on NPR...the brothers Magliozzi said that the Alamo had been moved. So of course, it was total BS! But I couldn't remember if I had heard it on Science Friday or All Things Considered or what. Stop teasing Gramdma, it's all my fault.