Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mission Trip Day 8: Heading Home

Our last day in South Dakota began with blessing the house that we helped to build. 

After the short service,we took up sharpie markers and signed the house.

Then we hit the road, to sight-see our way back to the airport, several hours away.  Our first stop was at The Petrified Gardens, or as I will refer to it The Worst Museum EVER! 

This place was straight out of National Lampoon's Family Vacation! We saw signs for it for miles and it came highly recommended by the grocery store clerk/ hardware store cashier/travel agent who is probably related to the owners of the Petrified Gardens.

The first display was of rocks that glow in the dark, not too exciting but not too bad.

Then you opened a door and saw a pile of petrified wood, with a label telling you it was a pile of petrified wood.  There were several piles with equally obvious signs. It was so silly, we laughed so hard! 

Back inside, there were rocks shaped like hams with labels to tell you that it looked like a ham, and driftwood that looked like an alligator with labels to tell you that too. The AC unit didn't have a sign, so I suppose it wasn't supposed to look like anything but a very sad AC unit!
This place was just kitschy, only they weren't trying to be kitschy. My favorite was the gift shop, full of creepy animals glued to pieces of petrified wood and creepier animals made out of other dead animals.

The next stop was SO AMAZING it completely made up for the Petrified Gardens. The Badlands just drops down below the prairie, kind of like the grand canyon only without the river crossed with something from a sci-fi movie. Words just can't describe it, and pictures can't capture it, but you get the idea.

Here is a group photo at the beginning of the Badlands.
A rare picture of me (note the new boots!) and below is a panarama of the badlands made using photo shop photomerge.  I had some issues uploading such a wide picture, so it has a big white border above and below.  Scroll down and you will see it. Keep scrolling for more pictures and the rest of the story.

We ate lunch at Wall Drug again and boarded a plain in Rapids City to fly to Chicago. Our plane home from Chicago had issues so we were ushered back to the terminal and eventually placed on a second plane with a second set of issues. We made it home safe, but very late at night.  Thank you to all the friends and family who have supported us in words and deeds while we had this time of service to our sister church in South Dakota! I can't wait to tell you all about it.... In person!

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