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Monday, June 15, 2009

Backward to Chamberlain

Mad Dash to Al’s Oasis

Yet another “included” breakfast missed, we drove up to Subway, where they make it until 11 AM; the only place in town where you can carry your breakfast away and eat it outside. Once finished, we declared we wouldn’t stop until Wall, and promptly pulled over two minutes later to photograph our last painted bison, which we had missed on our bison hunts on previous days.

Here are a few more. I think there must have been two dozen, including the one up at the Crazy Horse Museum, which is in an earlier entry.

This is my favorite:

And then we really did drive all the way to Wall, which for us is a prodigious feat. I mean, with the three dogs and the coffee and the soda and wanting to look at everything? The only reason we went so far without stopping is that we were retracing a previous route. Mostly. Because we had actually come into Custer the back way, and now we were going out the front, but with all the sightseeing we did, we’d seen a lot of that already, too.

So we went to Wall for a couple of reasons. First, we know how few chances there are to eat going across the state, so we had to get some lunch at yet another Subway. Second, I wanted a couple of bags of magnetite, one for me and one for my friend Jim. The plan was, if I didn’t get it someplace else, I’d stop into Wall Drug on the way back. Well, no rock shop we went to had it, so I went back, and while I was there, I got a bunch of stocking stuffers, too.

It was too early to actually eat lunch so we took it along and ate it in a rest stop where no dogs were supposed to be allowed at the picnic tables. But we put their cages in the shade with us and no one said anything. Of course, no one was there. No one much is anywhere in the middle of South Dakota.

And that’s one more example of how good dogs are treated like pariahs while children, no matter how badly behaved, are treated like celebrities. At the moment, I’m writing in Kentucky about other places and other times, but subsequent blogs will fill in the blanks. The point is, no matter who you are or how much money you have, if you have pets, you aren’t welcome in more places than any and every screaming, violent child. I may be mistaken, but I think in many cases, the laws prevent businesses from refusing to accommodate children, but they CAN refuse pets. Naturally, we take our business elsewhere; we have to. But given a choice, if you favor bratty kids over my dogs, you will not see one red cent of my money.

Our goal for that day was Chamberlain, on the banks of the Missouri River, a really beautiful little spot with a nice restaurant and one truly lousy motel. We saw it on our way out, and thought it was about as far as we could comfortably go in one day. If only we had gone farther! But we’ll deal with that next time.

Here you can see how pretty Chamberlain is, first from east of the river, and then from the west:

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