Saturday, August 2, 2008

On The Go

Wanblee, South Dakota
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
Volume 3, Issue 13
July 27, 2008

-On The Go-
…oh the places you’ll see…

In the past nine days I have traveled 1500 miles. I have been through six states, numerous cities, and encountered friends and strangers along the way. I’ve slept in four different places and been away from “home” every evening but one. I’ve been to numerous places in South Dakota - Wanblee, Kadoka, Deadwood, the Badlands twice, Rapid City, Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, Custer State Park, and Crazy Horse all in the past seven days. I’ve also been to a professional rodeo, won $50 at a casino without spending a cent, watched Down River the musical performed live (at least the first half, I got sick and had to leave after intermission), met the former national bareback rodeo champion of the United States, encountered wild burros, watched a Powwow, rode with two sober (one being me) and five inebriated adults (who I didn’t even know) crammed into a small vehicle, and gone camping. Oh yeah, and I worked 40+ hours doing family practice/urgent care work at Wanblee Health Center on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation.

Things I still hope to see/do while I am in South Dakota – go to the famous Sturgis bike rally (“what happens in Sturgis stays in Sturgis”, or so I have been told), go horse back riding through the canyons, visit the city of Pine Ridge (90 miles from Wanblee), hike up Eagle Butte, explore Wind Cave, and I’m sure I will think of more things to do and see!!!

When I leave South Dakota on August 8 I will be headed further west, planning to arrive on the Oregon coast with a few stops along the way. If anyone would like to travel along or will be anywhere along the path, please let me know. It would wonderful to have some company – for an evening or for several days, you are always welcome.

1 comment:

Joy Hancock said...

I love the Dakotas...years ago my grandparents took us back to their homelands in North Dakota and parts of South Dakotas. It's hard to believe that my mom was born there and most of my great aunts/uncles were buried in a Moravian church up there (men on one side, women on the other). When they died in the winter, their bodies had to wait until spring for the ground to thaw.

The last time I visited was just a few years ago when my sister and I and her kids drove from Washington State to Washington, DC. We visited Mount Rushmore remembering what it was like when we were younger (before the nice renovations) and remembering some hysterical adventures we had along the way as a family. The Dakotas are not a place that people know much about...most people don't go looking for jobs there (you didn't)... I'm not sure I'd ever have been curious about them except that my family has roots there.

This time you have there...well it's not a stepping stone to something's essential for the journey, essential for what you will do in the months and years to come.