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Quick: tell me three things about South Dakota!

It’s okay if you can’t. Mom could only come up with 2 things, and I had never even heard of South Dakota before we got here. Anyway, it turns out that South Dakota is such a rad place that Mom and I decided to stay here for an extra day to hike a longer version of the trail that had been hidden behind the blizzard the day before.


slog when it sucks up your legs and tries to pull you into the ground with slips and sucks, but South Dakota was supportive of our hiking. Even though it had snowed the night before and everything was covered with a fresh suggestion of white dirt, we walked on it as if we were regular dirt. Now that there was sunshine, the rocks that were craggier than Clint Eastwood’s cheeks were decorated with sparkles that twinkled in the sunlight, as the fresh white dirt did on the ground.




Soon, we met a dog and his man. We had seen them earlier in the car kennel, but because of stranger danger we had pretended we couldn’t see them and walked past as if they were invisible. Now that we were on a trail (where strangers are allowed to talk to each other), the stranger explained that he was another refugee from Michigan, and he and his man were living out of their truck and hiking around the country until it was safe to go home again, just like us. “Have you been to the Badlands,” The Man asked Mom. “No. I don’t even know what the Badlands are…” Mom said. “Oh man, you’ve got to go to the Badlands,” the Man said, like the Badlands were made of the most delicious cheese and bacon he’d ever tasted. “It’s only like an hour away. You can’t go home until you’ve visited them.” “But what are they?” Mom asked again. The Man took out his Witch to show Mom what a Badlands was. She took a mini step back as he held out his arm to show her. Looking at the same Witch was a sure way to get hexed with the boogeyvirus. As we walked away from The Man, I asked, “So, Mom, what is a Badlands?” “I’m not really sure,” she thought. “Most of what he tried to show me was a video selfie of him talking about napping in his car. All I saw was something like a canyon in the window behind him.” “Let’s look it up when The Witch is talking to us again,” I suggested.




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