Sunday, August 2, 2009

More South Dakota

Joshua playing a piano from Deadwood at The Bay Leaf Cafe, a restaurant with a healthy and delicious menu in Spearfish.

On the way to Spearfish, SD.
The location of Joshua and Cora's first fight on the trip.
(May it be the last.)

Deadwood, South Dakota.
The real town that was dramatized in the HBO series a few years ago.

From the Badlands we drove to the Black Hills of South Dakota to the town of Spearfish. On the way we had our first fight--just a misunderstanding and release of built up tension spurred on by a dramatic phonecall from my grandmother. The loud stream right next to us helped move the energy quickly. It was a sudden burst of extreme emotion that ended with some good hugs and a return to love.

We did another hour of driving after the fighting incident and we stopped by a campground that I remembered staying in twenty years ago. We got to view a spot near there where a key scene in "Dances with Wolves" was filmed. It was hard to imagine a whole movie crew in such a remote location. We considered staying at that campsite, but it was our nineteenth wedding anniversary and we had reservations at The Bay Leaf Cafe and really wanted to go there. The choice was to stay in a beautiful campground and skip the restaurant or stay in an RV campsite that was not as nice but close enough to the restaurant that we would still be able to eat there. Food won out over campsite and it was a good thing too, because the next day rain overtook the whole place. The amenities of the RV park were very helpful in those conditions. I spent hours in a white cinder block laundry room doing laundry with Fiona and Eli while Joshua and Isaac cooked breakfast (!) and broke down camp in the pouring rain. I did an extra load of laundry with the clothes they had been wearing as well as everyone's soggy sneakers. A woman who worked there, who had a voice scratchy from lots of cigarette smoking, heard all the banging from the shoes and said, "I hope that doesn't dent my drum." It took me a while to realize that she meant the round thing that holds everything and spins around in the machine. There were no dents in the end and there was a load of dry shoes, much to everyone's delight.

We didn't exactly fit in with the RV crowd at Elkhorn, but it was fun talking with a 64 year old man from Texas married three times, with a few near death experiences and an artificial heart valve that you can hear pounding away if you are standing next to him. I asked him how those experiences changed his life and he said that they made him realize that it is best to enjoy life, and live it to its fullest, because you never know what can happen. He was certainly living his dream of getting away from the Texas heat, driving around in beautiful places and motorcycling with his honey here and there. He said that the only time he loses awareness of the somewhat painful pounding of his heart is on his motorcycle--something about the vibration of it and getting lost in the experience of joy. I always like seeing someone live their dream and am fascinated by all the ways in which each person's dream is truly a reflection of who they are.

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