If there are reasons, good reasons, to leave your new husband in a small tourist town somewhere in South Dakota, I believe that refusing to hug the giant jackalope statue for a picture is one of them. He stood there, he did, for the many shots I needed - more light, less light, bigger smile, no smile, but would would he hug it? Would he hug it for just one quick minute? Absolutely not.
We made a few stops today, you know - to really soak in this country of ours. First up, the Corn Palace. The signs states that it’s the world’s only corn palace, but I would have believed it even without that proclamation. Google it. You won’t be dissapointed. There were corncessions, nice older women sitting at tables with guest books, handmade corn soaps, and really the only thing I noticed, official Corn Palace pencils.
When you’ve just visited a large corn covered masterpiece, it might seem overwhelming to think, what next? What could top this gastronomical piece of art? Why, the world’s largest drugstore, Wall’s Drugs, in Wall, South Dakota. It is here, in the backyard sculpture garden, that Andrew refused the loving pose, but also here that I tasted, a little flippantly at first, the world’s best donut. they might advertise their free ice water, five cent coffee, and homemade pie, but people, it is all about those donuts. It’s dangerous and I was very glad to know that I would not be near enough to go back every single day. I’d go into detail about the lunch we ate in their cafe, but I’m afraid the mention of all that roast beef! gravy! mashed potatoes! might send those of you, even those who don’t eat meat, into a frenzy for some classic diner dinner.
The landscape of South Dakota has been so diverse that each time I look up from my book (or nap), I find myself at once in what could be an entirely different state. It seemed to me that as soon as we crossed the border into Wyoming the mountains (or hills if you’re asking Andrew) began popping up in the distance, dark green and looming, like grand, old distant relatives to the rolling grasses of green and brown close to the road.
This morning when as we packed the truck to head out from our hotel I whispered a little love note to South Dakota, to the chill in the air, the steady stream of farms and cows - I’m constantly tempted to quickly name them all as we pass. I’ve been in a light sweater all day, a cool breeze has passed us each time we leave the car along with the reality that the people here, and even more so as we push westward, are preparing for Fall.
Andrew has asked that I note here that midway through lunch he offered to go back out into the sculpture garden and love on that large plastic jackalope like no one had loved it before, but that I declined because I wanted more time with the postcards. He’s right, I did pass on the pose in the end, but mostly because I realized the possibility of more posed shots in our future and you just can’t use all your power up at once.