Ham and Eggs

June 8, 2001

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117-1707.jpg (41009 bytes)117-1717.jpg (111252 bytes)The morning welcomed us with a very mild, almost apologetic shower, as if nature was trying to let the Californians know what weather really means, but ran out of water. It came to me as a small surprise that I could not find any 0-30 motor oil in this climate which is rather cold in the winter, so 5-30 had to do. With breakfast in our tummies and enough oil in the engine we headed the few miles from Rapid City to the Bad Lands Nat'l Park. 

117-1727.jpg (105252 bytes)117-1726.jpg (117718 bytes) I understand that for the farmers this land is less appealing than say the eastern ranges of Nebraska. To us visitors, though, armed with four cameras and seemingly unlimited disk space, this place looks like Bryce Canyon on steroids. We quickly set up the tent and went to look for interesting shots. On the way we also visited the town of Wall, which seemed like tourist trap which the Swiss could not have orchestrated any better. Luckily, they had a small grocery store, where we could buy some - limited - goods for a quick dinner. Ham and eggs, baby, nothing too fancy. The leftover eggs shall be converted to hard boiled eggs for breakfast. By the way, quick question: how long does one need to cook eggs for them to be hard boiled? I may be able to program a computer or drive a car around the race track, but I must shamefully admit that I have no clue about hard eggs. Where is mom when you need her most?

117-1721.jpg (107193 bytes)117-1722.jpg (73992 bytes)After dinner we went to walk around the Bad Lands a bit, and to take sunset pictures. In the parking lot a lazy magpie was eating dead yet apparently still yummy bugs off Pot's bumper. This kinda brought me in conflict with the "Don't feed the wildlife" law, but gave me the comfort that all the killing was not in vain.

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The scenery transforms indeed marvelously at this time of day, and having lots of bits at your disposal is a good thing too, especially if you eventually decide to throw them all away because you had the camera in the wrong white balance mode. Ooops.

Once the sun had set I suggested to Essan that we go for a drink to Wall, it being Friday evening and all. Surprised, Essan wondered what happened to my non-drinking, so I explained I would have a Coke of course. Once in Wall, population 800-something, we entered the Bad Lands Bar and met the local population, consisting mostly of men with cowboy hats and some couples-in-the-making. In the breaks between commercials we could also see the Lakers playing the 6ers. On the other hand, we provided some entertainment for the natives as well, as the interracial couple of the week.

When the Lakers finished the 76ers we left the premises and drove back some 30 miles to the campground, where we witnessed the moonrise and hit the sac.

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