Some info for the shoe tree curious: it was found in Nevada, on Highway 50, otherwise known as the loneliest road in America. I thought it was a mirage at first. Miles and miles and miles of absolutely nothing, and then... shoes. Hmmm. All I could think was that it was on the way home for a lot of Burning Man folks. Apparently it is not such a rare phenomenon as I thought, either. Anyone interested should check out roadsideamerica.com. They have a special feature on shoe trees across America. And no, I did not throw up a pair of shoes. I only brought 2 along on this trip, I can't waste them.
Wall Drug was kind of fun. Again, for the thrifty traveler, not thrilling. Although there wasn't much in there that I would have paid their prices for anyway. I did get a couple presents, sat in the Traveler's Chapel with Stripes, and put a quarter in to hear Max the monkey man sing "Alley-Oop". Pretty sweet. The next morning I drove through the Badlands. I can imagine coming across them by accident back in the day. It would be kind of like the shoe tree, actually. You're going along, through the rolling prairie, a couple bison meandering by you until you shot 'em, and all of a sudden the ground falls away, practically under your feet, and you can see amazing castle like creations, layered pillars, and no damn way to get through. And you'd think, damn, wish it was just shoes.
Coming at it from the north it's very abrupt. The plains turn into deep canyons with no warning at all. From the south, you are lower down, and you get some warning. You can see the amazing castles in the distance, and down among you there a some gentle variations. It looks like there is something alive under the flat grasses, poking up only here and there in gentle bumps. The grasses stop in a surgically straight line around the base of each rocky, strange colored bump.
I passed quickly through Sturgis in order to get to my hostel in Deadwood. I want to do nothing today but knit, write and watch massive loads of TV. I can explore tomorrow. For tonight, I have one of 4 bunk beds (top, of course) in a room about the size of Goldie Hawn's walk-in closet in Overboard. And a shower. Heaven.