One year ago today

Exactly one year ago today, I rode the SVS from Sundance, WY to Rapid City, SD to visit Calamity Jane’s grave, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and Mt Rushmore.

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It was important for me to visit these sites, because I remember being in South Dakota with my parents as a kid. My dad LOVED the Dakotas. We visited every historical monument erected wherever General Custer’s horse took a shit. I hated it.

When dad passed away nearly six months ago, mom and I put together a photo collage of his life for the memorial. The picture I brought back to California with me is of Dad on one of our Dakota trips (probably mid-1980s), proudly standing beside a stone monument that proclaims Rugby, North Dakota as the geographical center of North America. He has a camera around his neck, a baseball cap from some other touristy stop, and a huge shit-eating grin.

I’ll get to Rugby, North Dakota someday, too, and get the same photo next to the same monument. In the meantime, I know Dad is looking down at me and getting a huge kick out of things like the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park. Being a huge dorky tourist: it’s a family tradition.

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