North to Alaska

Day 4


At an ancient time the Great Spirit, in the form of a large bird, stood upon the wall of rock and called all the tribes around him, and breaking out a piece of the red stone formed it into a pipe and smoked it, the smoke rolling over the whole multitude.  He then told his red children that this red stone was their flesh, that they were made from it, that they must all smoke to him through it, that they must use it for nothing but pipes: and as it belonged alike to all the tribes, the ground was sacred, and no weapons must be used or brought upon it. Sioux account of the origin of the pipestone, as recorded by George Catlin, 1836.

A walk

through the quarry

to the Pipestone Creek Falls

My 50th Park 21st State

The Badlands

in late afternoon


I needed a day of peace and I found a place of peace at Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota.


You see, this tour began May 25th at Gettysburg National Military Park.  Since then a disproportionate number of sites Ive visited have commemorated war:  Antietam National Battlefield, MD; Manassas National Battlefield Park, VA; Morristown National Historical Park, NJ; Korean War Veterans Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial, DC; Springfield Armory National Historical Site, MA; Fort Caroline National Memorial, and Castillo de San Marcoe National Monument, Fl; Andersonville National Heritage  Site, GA; Tupelo National Battlefield, and Brice Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, MS;  and Shiloh National Military Park, TN.


It was 70 degrees at 7:30 this morning perfect for the 25-mile drive north from Luverne to Pipestone past rolling farm fields on a quiet two-lane road.  I spent over two hours at the park strolling the quarry watching Native American artists work the stone and choosing an exquisite pipe to be shipped home.


Returning south on Route 75 to I-90 I passed a BMW headed north loaded like a pack mule and I smile and wave vigorously.  We somehow recognize each other as Iron Butt Tourers I got my stamp a short time ago he will get his shortly.


Back on I-90, I can eschew the Corn Palace, but I cant resist Cabelas in Mitchell, SD.  They make my favorite motorcycling shirt actually it is a fishing shirt but it works perfectly for motorcycling.  I have 10 of them packed in the trailer and decide that enough is enough but enjoy looking at the taxidermy.  I hope to see many of the animals that they have on display during this trip.


Quite by accident I spot some sunglasses that Ive never seen before they are called Fitovers and they are made to fit over prescription glasses.  They look like they might work really well on the bike so I bought a pair Ill let you know how they work out.


Im in the Badlands once again and Im thinking cowboy stew.  I remember the little Budget Host Motel with all you can east Cowboy Stew for $4.95 that I discovered on my trip to Yosemite.  I pull in to find the motel as I remembered it and would you believe a sign on the door that says Cowboy Stew all you can eat $4.95 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  As I walk in the door laughing the owner looks at me in a strange sort of way I tell him I was here two years ago and was really looking forward to that Cowboy Stew.  He asked, Arent you the guy who was writing stories for the internet and wanted to use my credit card authorization line to send your story?


Ill watch the sun rise over the Badlands outside my front door tomorrow morning and while I do, Ill be hoping someone discovers the mother lode of pipestone under all of Israel and the Palestinian Territories and all will hear the Great Spirit say, .and as it belonged to all the tribes, the ground was sacred, and no weapons must be used or brought upon it.


So to you and Iowa Sioux and Thunder, Golden Retriever, Puget Sound, WA I say goodnight, once again from Interior, SD.

 Index, Day, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 thru 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32&33 34