Caves, Wall Drug and Sleeping in a Walmart Parking Lot

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So, yesterday we decide to be on our way out of South Dakota. We’ll drive 5-6 hours, stop in Sioux Falls, camp or get a hotel room and head onto Minnesota. We do really well at packing up and manage to get out of the camp ground by 10am. Head to the Sitting Bull Crystal Caves and take a tour. It was pretty cool, the crystals were pretty and being in the cave was awesome. But we weren’t allowed to touch anything. A living cave, if you touched the crystals it would stop their growth…and you’d be fined $5000. So, I shoved my hands deep in my pockets and resisted the urge to touch anything. If you don’t know me, you probably don’t understand how difficult that is for me. I need to touch things. I’m a very sensory person. In a crowd with strangers standing close to me, I have to resist the urge to touch their hair or their arm. It’s like that with everything. So ‘Do Not Touch’ signs are one of my worst enemies. Luckily, they had a few rocks and crystals at the front of the cave that I could touch, which helped but still.
Anyways, when we finished our tour, it was back on the road.
About 30-45min later, we stop at Wall Drug. I’d never heard of it before but its the big touristy thing to go to before traversing The Badlands. Unfortunately, mum didn’t realize what a huge place it was, we ended up there for something like 2 hours. But, we got fudge and ice cream(yumyum) aaandd knives 😀 they were actually pretty inexpensive and decent quality.

I almost didn’t get one because while I was looking at some of the ones not in a case, some old got working there chewed me out for touching them when I wasn’t 18. I mean, how was I supposed to know? He didn’t have to be such a jerk about it :/ but once he left I decided I still wanted one and the other guy working there was nice so it worked out alright 🙂

We finally left at like 330, and we’re still several hundred miles from Sioux Falls. So what do we decide to do? Drive until mum is tired and sleep in the car. We ended up making it to Sioux Fall, but by that point no one wanted to bother with a hotel room. So we tried our hardest to get comfortable and sleep. It wasn’t an easy task for me, but I thinki finally managed to get a few hours of sleep and I’m not too sore to move, so I’ll consider that a success 🙂

That’s all for now!

XOXO
Rexi :]

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The Black Hills of South Dakota

So, finally in our trip, we’re wandering, not rushing.
Where better to do this then South Dakota? ….okay, no.
Although it is beautiful, and its very cool to see things like Crazy Horse and Mt Rushmore and wild buffalo and things, but less face it…its South Dakota. And pretty soon every patch of trees starts looking the same. Too any one reading this that may live in South Dakota, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure its perfect for some people. Just not for me. The meandering is getting tiresome and I don’t wanna take another picture of a rock. I wanna just go go go right now. I have way too much time to think during a period of time where I want to be a zombie cause thinking makes me sad(most people from camp will understand what I’m talking about) I’m continuing to try and enjoy myself despite all this, cause I dont wanna be grumpy and ruin it for everyone else, but lets go! Meh. And one other thing…the bugs -_- now, I’m not some prissy girl that’s afraid to roll around in the mud. The bugs themselves really don’t bother me. I just hate the ones that bite! I’m covered in bug bites head to toe. I’m gonna have to get used to it, I know, but ahhhh! I’ll look like a walking raspberry with all the red bumps I’m acquiring. Even now, I keep stopping writing to kick at the bugs landing on my legs. I really need to find bug spray before I asplode. Anyways! I’m probably boring you by this point and the laundry is almost done. So, Im off and I hope you have a lovely morning/afternoon/evening/night!

Love
Rexi

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Awesome Trip

It has been a beautiful trip so far. we’ve been to California, Oregon,     Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and finally;../ were in South Dakota. Were going to see Mount Rushmore today and then stay in SD for another night and then to Minnesota. We’ve had lots o’ fun and hope to have lots more.

-t

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Goodbye, darling friends. Hello, South Dakota.

The hardest part of traveling, for me, is leaving. Everywhere we go, we see old friends, meet new ones. Everywhere we go, I fall in love with something new. Everywhere we go, we have to leave. I try to not hold on to things too much, that way when you drive away and watch it disappear its just a fun adventure you had that’s over and you can appreciate that. But people…they almost become part of you. And when you leave, the little part of you gets left behind. You want to run back and grab it. Take it with you. You can hear the little part of you screaming, ‘come back! come back! You’re forgetting me!’ Of course, you can go back and visit, but you know you’ll have to leave again. Nonetheless, I try to appreciate the beauty around me as we drive through South Dakota, instead of focusing on how much I miss my friends. Its something to ease the ache, and I try to think about how I’ll see them again, not about how I had to leave. I’m grateful that I have all these new exciting things to look forward to. It helps make everything better and keep my head above water. Something about being in a place like this, without all the big cities and rushing cars….its peaceful. You can watch the mustangs run, feel cool grass and rocks on your feet, you can smell earth in the air. So, the conclusion to all this, is that even though I’m sad, and leaving is hard, the benefit of traveling like this, is there is always something new and shiny to look forward to! I’m grateful that I get this chance, because most people don’t and I wish everyone could! Love Always, Rexi P.S. To all of my friends reading this, you mean so much to me and I know I’m going to(or already do) miss you so much. I think I would literally die without you. So pleaaaaaase, keep in touch, and we have to work out seeing each other….as much as possible! I love youuu all!!! ❤ <hugs>

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Next stop, South Dakota

After an incredibly enjoyable family camp at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs, it’s yet again time to get on the road.

We’ll spend tonight saying so long to some good friends, and tomorrow we part with O and M as they continue their lives in the greater Denver area.

Then, tomorrow night we will camp for the first time in our almost 3 week journey. Finally, South Dakota is supposed to have decent weather for a few days and the tents might get a little use.  While we’re there, we’ll see Custer State Park, Crazy Horse, Mt Rushmore, the local hot springs and wind caves, and maybe even wild mustangs.

And after a much needed rest and some maintenance on the van, I am feeling ready to drive again.  3400 miles and counting.

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Inferno, or: Butte, Montana

I’ve been reading a lot lately. KC has about the best library I’ve ever been in. One giant, squashy couch opposed by an expansive bay window, and, on the other two sides, shelves and shelves of books. Because KC has so many books on philosophy, mystic texts, and ancient tomes about god-only-knows, it almost has the feeling of a place of worship. The C clan’s taste in books is incomparable. Rumi, Oliver Sacks, Oscar Wilde, Soren Kierkegaard… What I would give for years to read it all!

I picked out a biography of Dante during his exile, which, given our nomadic lifestyle, I felt appropriate. It’s incredible. I do find it curious that humans can reach such heights of awareness, whether it be of beauty, or religion, or reality, and that, while it informs most of civilization, we lose sight of the work itself. It’s not the creaky slog I expected at all. It’s quite alive, and, more than that, it’s a kind of flint for ideas. 30 minutes later, after a lot of glazed over mouth breathing, you remember that you do indeed exist, and, even more, you were actually reading. By far the best kind of book, in my opinion.

We went through Washington, Idaho, and Montana today. Green lakes shining in the midday sun, expanses of pine trees as far as you can see…it reminds me very much of home, Colorado. The car was uncommonly silent today, so it all passed in a daze of sleepiness and reading. Now we’re all hunkered down in a tiny cabin in Butte, Montana, avoiding the rain. R and L are playing guitar and singing songs, while my typing counters the patter of the rain outside.

Content? Yeah, this is content.

–O

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The Madness Continues

Hi! So, I’m gonna try to stay more on top of blogging every day after this. We’ll see how that goes 🙂 So back to where I left off Day 6 Its time to visit Portland 🙂 Up til Friday, I’d never been to Portland before, so when my friend that lived there asked me to come hang out with her, I was excited 😀 First, I went to the friends house, where her mom made delicious lunch for us! (If you’re reading this, thanks again!) Then it was off to the city, with Tara, D and L. We took a train into the city for only $1.50 each for two hour unlimited. Which is a much better price then what we had to deal with in San Francisco. We were headed to the mall&the waterfront when we saw a Ben&Jerry’s house handing out free ice cream, and how could we resist that? so we jumped off the train and ate free ice cream(which, in my opinion, tastes much better than ice cream you have to pay for :)) and took pictures with cows! Plastic ones…but still cows 😀 Then, we went shopping at the mall and got a few belated birthday presents for friends 🙂 After that we went down to the waterfront. There were a bunch of random druggies and hippies. It was pretty fun 😀 Except the random creeper giving out free hugs (and in tiny letters ‘and high fives’) I gave him a high five cause I’m cool with that, but I definitely wasn’t gonna have the amount of physical contact involved in a hug. And of course he says ‘c’mon! give me a hug!’ me: *lies* I dont like hugs, I have personal space issues. *walks away quickly* But it was fun and the water was pretty and we played in the fountains. Then it was time to head back to her house, for delicious, authentic Indian curry. She really is an excellent cook and by the time I left I was full and happy. That didnt last long, as we got stuck in construction for almost an hour on the way home. But it was  a fun day and I’m glad I got to see Tara 😀 Plus, C’s were home now and we got to say hi to them 😀 Well…I stayed up til the wee hours of the morning talking to MC about nothing, which was pretty awesome 😀 Day 7 After 3 and 1/2 hours of sleep, I’m up and about for the day. First off, we need food. Because only one person has been in the house for the last 6 months, there’s not much to eat. So, me, mum, ZC and O head out to go grocery shop. We stock up on cheese and bread and things at the grocery store, then go to Eugene Saturday Market that I’d heard so much about. We got super yummy fresh fruit and vegetables and honey sticks 😀 Then we went to Voodoo Donuts which I think is one of the coolest donut shops I’ve ever been, too. After ordering some much needed coffee, we ended up with a dozen assorted, awesome donuts. Included in these were a donut shaped like a little man with a pretzel stuck in his frosted on heart, a maple bar with real strips of bacon on top, a grape donut dipped in grape kool aid, and a rather interestingly shaped donut, picked out by the teenage boy along with us 😛 Although I was hesitant to try a few of them, I liked all of the ones I tasted. Expensive, but super tasty 😀 After that, we went back to the house and the USvsGhana game was on, I wasn’t enthusiastic about watching it, but was forced by JC And ZC. I was surprised when I actually enjoyed it and got really into it, when mum tore me away to go back to the market and then to visit a friend in the hospital, I must say I was reluctant. Maybe I dont dislike sports so much after all! :] We spent a few hours at the hospital and the market then met back up with C’s and the rest of my family for dinner at Toshi’s!(again) I then proceeded to fall asleep on the grass in front of the Cs house while cleaning out the car. Oops! When I woke up it was about 830, then I fell asleep on the couch on accident and woke up again at midnight completely confused and passed out for the rest of the night. I guess those 3 1/2 hours of sleep caught up to me, after all! Intermission..I’m gonna pause and say, I apologize if my posts get a little boring, as I like to detail my day, once I get caught up I’ll try to pay more attention to talking about only the important things, I dont wanna forget any of this though, so I’m writing for me, too 🙂 Day 8 I got to go to ‘church’ with KC. Church is what they call the attendees of the ecstatic dance class on Sunday call their class. Now, class isnt really the right word, because when you hear dance class, you think, teacher showing the students what to do, students copy, learn routines, all that lovely stuff. But this was entirely different from that. It was a really new experience for me because I’ve never been to anything like it before. You just let go. Let the music flow over you, and dance from your heart. It was very relaxing and invigorating. I’ve never been one for meditation but I think this is probably rather similar. I just let my mind go blank and the music filled me. I wasn’t the least bit self conscious, although I usually am if I dance with people around. but I could feel that no one was judging my dancing or even paying much mind to me. So, I just let myself dance how I felt and it was amazing. Then it was back to our whirlwind schedule. We headed up to Portland again, the drive felt like it drug on foreverrrrr! But we finally got to the house of mum’s friend, JH, whom I havent seen since I was 6 and didn’t remember very well. So it was nice to be able to see her 🙂 After that, we went to Powell’s in downtown Portland. When we got there, I was tired, grumpy and just wanted to get back to Eugene. As soon as I walked in, it was like someone slapped me in the face with an energy-fish. I mean, everyone had told me it was a huuge bookstore, the biggest in the US, in fact. But from the outside it didnt look that impressive. It was only when I walked through the doors that I actually realized the enormity of it. Most exciting to me, they had a huge foreign language section! Most bookstores lacked that and I was ecstatic to go explore. I spent the whole time looking over the shelves of the French and Italian sections, I ended up with Le Magicien d’Oz, the French version of The Wizard of Oz 🙂 There were some other awesome books in French and Italian but unfortunately, I only had the money for one. Good news is, they ship, so you can order books online 😀 Obviously, I like reading. Probably to a rather nerdy degree, but oh well! :] We ate at The Roxy Diner and then headed back to Eugene. I was annoyed because mum had promised we’d be back in Eugene by 10 and we didnt even leave Portland til 930ish(two hour drive without traffic) Most of the reason I was upset was because I really wanted to hang out with our friends longer before we left and we were leaving Monday afternoon. But when we got there at midnight, ZC and MC were still up. So, we(ZC, L, MC, O, ZC’s friend, T, N and I) hung out and talked and joked and chilled until 4am(by which point, the friend had left and O, T and N were asleep) when we could no longer keep our eyes open. Goodnight! ;P Day 9 Saying goodbye to friends is always hard, but fortunately, we get to see two of the boys and and the mum again later this week in CO. So, we exchanged goodbyes and lots of hugs, then we were off on our way to Colorado. The day was largely uneventful, drove all day, arrived in Spokane, computer, sleep. And noww you’re just about caught up! I’ll write about today and maybe some other stuff tomorrow ;D or maybe tonight…hmm, we’ll see. Love you all, thanks for reading (if you made it to the end I’m impressed!) ❤ Rexi!

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