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Our 2009 Road Trip, Part 14: Rushmore!

Mount Rushmore!

Photo by my son, nailing the “homemade Christmas card” aesthetic.

George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. Ted “Theodore” Roosevelt. Abraham Lincoln. You might remember them from such films as North by Northwest, Superman II, and National Treasure: Book of Secrets. It’s okay if you don’t remember that last one, but it’s not the last time we’ll mention it in this miniseries.

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Our 2009 Road Trip, Part 13: Warrior in Progress

Crazy Horse!

Y’know what’s cooler than sharing a world-famous monument with three other guys? Having your own.

Some MCC readers may be following this miniseries and thinking, “When did you get to Mount Rushmore? Are you to Mount Rushmore yet? Where’s Mount Rushmore? How much longer to Mount Rushmore? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”

First of all, knock it off. Second of all, as of this chapter we’re seventeen miles away. We had someone else to see first. He’s taller, he’s wider, and he’s been funded with exactly $0.00 of your tax dollars, making one of the most independent art projects in American history. Show some respect and some patience. We’ll get to the white guys soon enough.

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Our 2009 Road Trip, Part 11: The Wall Drug Trip

Jackalope Rider!

Legends are whispered about the brave and fearless jackalope tamer bringing law and order to the Old West.

Camp. Kitsch. Hokum. Cheesiness. Roadside attractions are all about leaving an indelible impression, sometimes without regard for decorum, class, dignity, or societal aesthetic norms.

If you’ve ever been to South Dakota’s fabled Wall Drug, you know where this is going.

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Our 2009 Road Trip, Part 10: Bonus Badlands Bonanza

Badlands postcard!

Portrait of a guy who won’t stop posting Badlands photos. Because he can. It’s either this or take on politics head-on. I’d rather jump down one of those canyons.

I said in our last chapter that I would probably save our remaining Badlands photos for the eventual outtakes section at the end of the miniseries. Ten minutes after clicking the “Publish” button, I wondered to myself: why wait? Let’s go wild with ’em!

See, this is the kind of arbitrary about-face that a writer can pull when his moods swing and he doesn’t have enough readers to question his choices or hold him accountable for his promises. I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

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Our 2009 Road Trip, Part 9: Into the Badlands

Badlands!

No relation to the Springsteen song. Like, at all.

Longtime MCC readers with superhuman memories, including and possibly limited to my wife, may recall we previously posted pictures from our Badlands experience here years ago and then here last year, plus a teaser in the previous chapter. At long last we now come to the entry I’ve all been waiting for: our official Badlands chapter, within the original narrative context. Of all the natural sites we’ve ever visited throughout our travels, we took more pics of the Badlands than any other…which means these took twice as long to whittle down to the following finalists. It’s entirely likely there’ll be a bit more Badlands in the “outtakes” entry at the end of this series. For now: Badlands!

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Our 2009 Road Trip, Part 8: 350 Miles of Pretty American Wasteland

Golden Calf!

The current sociopolitical climate is so tough for ailing churches and other religious communities that even the Golden Calf has fallen on hard times.

Our destination of Rapid City, South Dakota — the city that contains some of our most iconic American monuments — was nearly 1100 miles from our hometown of Indianapolis. We spent Day Four knocking out 350 of those miles all at once, the stretch of I-90 from Sioux Falls to Rapid City. On most road trips we can count on options along the way — scenery, attractions, gas stations, restaurants, and other recurring features of civilization. The interminable stretch between the two South Dakota cities wasn’t quite that accommodating.

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