Born to be mild
Posted by keithosaunders on August 14, 2010
As we were driving across the beautiful state of South Dakota I couldn’t help but extol the virtues of driving on the open road– the wonderous scenery, the freedom to stop and explore your surroundings, and the feeling of movement. Point A to point B. I couldn’t help but break into an a Capella Born to be Wild. This is, however, extremely difficult to pull off while driving with your wife, kids, and dog in a brand new minivan. Also, real rebels don’t ask the wife, “is it OK if we listen to the ‘Nanny Diaries’ on books on tape now?”
But what a day! We drove through the Badlands which were breathtaking and otherworldly. The entire state is a feast for the eyes but the Badlands, with their craggy rocks and stark beauty are something else.
There is a motorcycle convention going on somewhere in the state which has brought tens of thousands of bikers. They’re all over the place. I pulled off one exit and was immediately engulfed by dozens of them. I’ve never seen so many spread out over such a wide area.
I have to say, though, they are very good drivers. None of them speed and they are extremely attentive on the road- no swerving in and put of traffic, or drag racing for them.
Although I didn’t go drinking with them tonight, they seem like a fairly benign bunch. Most of them are middle-aged and a few are seniors. I noticed that a couple of the women took off their t-shirts and rode around the Badlands in their bras, but that was the wildest they got.
We ate dinner in a pretty little town nestled between mountains called Spearfish. A man sitting at a table at an outdoor cafe struck up a conversation with me about our dog. He was sitting with the owner and they ended up inviting us to eat with them.
Richard and Frenchy had great anecdotes about South Dakota and were well versed in its history. Not only were they interesting, but they were extremely friendly and open. It’s not often that you are able to make such a quick connection, but when it happens it is not only heart warming, but life-affirming.
Yet another reason to travel by car!