Monday, June 11, 2012

Running the Badlands

The trip west began on Saturday morning. I stopped over in Historic Weston, MO at the Weston Brewery and Pirtle Winery. What a super unique treat! The brewery was housed above O'Malley's Pub, which was a series of underground cellars. I endured the mildew long enough to shoot a few photos and to meet one the the bands. The guitarist I spoke to claimed the band played Amish Folk music. This, of course, would go over well in an Irish Pub.

My arrival in Badlands National Park yesterday coincided with the forceful intrusion of a northwest wind. This unique landscape had been immersed in a sea of summer-hot air for days, but now it is being scathed by a loud, forceful, and fast-moving cooler air mass.

That wind limited my abilities to make a mighty fine mocha, but it did not stop me from exploring the area. I drove south to the Pine Ridge Reservation where I spent a couple of hours talking to Oglala Sioux. We spoke passionately about the atrocities of the US government, yesteryear and today, that have reeked havoc on proud Sioux Nation, leaving it with an unprecedented level of alcoholism and abject poverty. I visited Wounded Knee and the mass burial site of the 1890 massacre that basically ended the free reign of the plains Indians. If you have not yet read Dee Brown's book, I highly recommend the book that is believed to be the first unbiased account of the Indian Wars of the 1800's.

This post is being written at the spacious and welcoming Alternative Fuel Coffee House, which I came to after finishing off a tasty buffalo burger at the historic Firehouse Brewery next door.
Next, I am off to spend the afternoon and evening soaking up the emotions of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which seems ill-placed in the sacred Black Hills that rest just northwest of Wounded Knee. Tonight I camp in Custer (spit) State Park. Tomorrow I visit the Crazy Horse Memorial.

Here are some of the photos I've taken during the first days of this remarkable westward journey. Enjoy!

O'Malley's Cellar Pub at Weston Brewery, MO
Hallway to the Second Pub room where I met the "Amish Folk" band.
Badlands NP


Running the Castle Trail through the Badlands.
Technical section of Castle Trail



Polar data from one of my Badlands Recovery Runs
Parting shot.
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. - John Muir






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