South Dakota: Part 1

The third day, although we technically only had 3 1/2 hours of driving time was THE LONGEST day of the trip somehow….Because we had such a short amount of driving time we dawdled…and the kids (to be more exact, Edison) started to get a little stir crazy.  So in a moment of desperation we pulled over at an exit and wound up at the some weird PETRIFIED GARDEN.  Being tired travellers from the expensive east coast, we thought the admission cost of $5.00 a person was a bargain.  And then we walked into the “backyard” full of petrified wood.  Where I ended up getting the hysterical laugh/cry giggles.

  ooooo…petrified moss….

It is in the middle of nowhere, er Kadoka, South Dakota and you go into this dark little building – pay your admission price to THE GRUMPIEST OLD MAN ON THE PLANET who will gruffly tell you to “go on in the back” You then open  up an old creaky horror movie door and enter a big fenced in back yard of tree stumps/rocks/things to trip over.  I’m not sure what I was expecting.  After all, petrified wood is just, um, petrified wood…but still…


  Here we are, trying to get our money’s worth…


           Claudia, very interested in this particular petrified log…


And lest you think I am the only one who was a little creeped out by this place, enjoy this review I found online concerning this place…

I had a creepy feeling going  to the location because it is in the middle of  nowhere and there was nobody at the gardens except for us. I kept having this crazy thought that the guy who sold the entrance ticket will come out with a shotgun and start firing at us….but, that didn’t happen. So, it’s all good.”

Probably not as glowing of a testimonial as the petrified garden people were looking for, but beggars can’t be choosers…


My dad did leave bleeding because he accidentally walked into one of the “displays” while carrying Claudia.  He testifies that the wood REALLY is as hard as a rock.


After we had our fill of this, we got back on the road and were drawn into WALL DRUG (the semi-famous crazy big tourist trip in another middle of nowhere place — their billboards are funny and start over 100 miles before you get there, so that by the time you get to their exit you feel like you are “old friends”).  Amazingly enough, through the joy of cell phones we found out that my brother Mark & his family were also lured into Wall Drug & so we all found each other and ate dinner together there – then travelled onto our hotel in Rapid City, SD.


   6 foot jackalope – cousins Adeline, ilya & Edison

  Pop Pop gets in on the action to run through the water fun.

  Fake Mt. Rushmore wall.  🙂

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