Woke up early-ish to take care of some chores (not the least of which was going to Cabela’s sporting goods, which has been popping up on my radar lately) before leaving for the Badlands in the center-ish of SD.
First stop, however – the Corn Palace. Oh man, what an awesome place – got some great pictures, which will someday go up on Flickr. The Corn Palace is, essentially, a high school gym with a bunch of corn glued to the outside of it. Every year since 18somethingsomething the Corn Palace has been done up with a new “theme” – this year was the rodeo, there was one year that must have been the Far East since there’s a picture with the enormous Indian sign for peace on it, also known as a giant swastika. Got some good pictures of that – there was even a little plaque underneath it that said “the symbol on the main tower is the Indian symbol for peace.” I chuckled about that for awhile.
From there, it was on to Cabela’s. I thought I had died and gone to heaven in this place – I walked out of there with a new daypack, some extra stuff for my survival tin, a gigantic knife, some low-top hiking boots, and a brand new Cabela’s credit card (they’ll give that shit to ANYBODY).
Cabela’s is, above all, a hunting store. Allow me to share some favorite items with you (the first two were featured on some T.V. show I saw, so I sought them out. They exist!)
Exploding Varmints: This 2 DVD set features 80 minutes of “up-close digital footage of close-in kills and slow-motion action”, exploring the zeitgeist of our modern fight against Nature. This is a Melville-ian journey into Man vs. Wilds, albeit closer to a Jack London than a Thomas Hobbes, if you will permit me, with “Mr. Hunter” portraying a jaded and thoroughly avant-garde Ahab to the louche White Whale of “Sammy the Squeak, Lenny the Long-Tailed Squirrel and Rocky the Rockchuck.” This journey into sound and color, magnificently captured with hand-held digital and lovingly edited by Mr. Hunter himself, is not one to miss – be ready for the existential crisis that follows as we questions why (why?) we are locked in a perpetual cycle of nature-violence-nature. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The Butt-Out tool: “This tool is the fastest, easiest way to disconnect the anal alimentary canal from deer or similar-sized game.” It looks like a little corkscrew, and you shove it into the deer’s ass, twist a bit, then pull out the cork and sniff it for freshness. I’m buying one for the cats.
The Fishing Lure toilet seat: Because nothing says “please gingerly rest your genitals near me” like pictures of viciously barbed lures.
The “Bear Looking Up” Toilet Paper Holder: STOP FUCKING STARING AT ME, YOU “UNBEARABLE” PERVERT! (get it?)
The Various Meat Grinders : I just like the pictures.
Ladened with so many goodies, I hopped in the car and began my drive across South Dakota, finally arriving in the afternoon sometime (I haven’t worn a watch in a long time). The Badlands are indescribably beautiful – my pictures can’t begin to do it justice, so I would encourage everyone to go out and visit there if they get the chance. I drove very, very far out into the park to Sage Creek, then grabbed gear and hiked a bit into the interior until I could set up camp. The wind on the prairie is howling, so it took me a bit to get things set up and make myself some dinner. After that I did a hike along the ridges for a few hours, watched the sunset, then headed back to camp where I eventually dozed off under the stars.