You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd

“Ole,” I yelled from the back of the bike.  “What in heaven’s name (I used different words but won’t print them here) are you doing?” as I grabbed onto him for security.  He was weaving back and forth on the road dodging piles of buffalo poop.  Obviously, there had been a recent crossing of a good-sized herd of buffalo and I think every one of them had left a large deposit on the asphalt.  Believe me, you don’t want to drive through one of those piles because 1) they’re large, 2) they’re slippery, and 3) they STINK!  So as a result that old Roger Miller song came to mind, You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd, and you shouldn’t be driving a motorcycle through one either.  That was a couple of days ago, and I still can’t get that darn song out of my head!

We arrived in Medora on Sunday evening, and after setting up camp we took a spin through the park.  Apparently life has been very good for the buffalo herd as it seems to have become quite prolific over the last year.  There were buffalo ALL OVER.  We didn’t see much else other than prairie dogs and a few wild horses.  Sorry, Gang, no pictures on this leg of the trip as over the years I’ve taken so many pictures of the wildlife in the Badlands I certainly don’t need any more. 

You see, I have a looooong history with Medora and the Badlands.  Ole and I make it a mandatory stop every year on our way home from Sturgis and wherever else we decide to go after Sturgis.  It’s always nice to kind of wind down with some easy rides in a place you know well and are comfortable in.  We don’t do the musical anymore and we don’t do the shopping thing – just the scenery thing – and never get tired of it. 

I remember very vividly the first time I ever saw the Badlands.  I was a little girl of about 4 or 5.  As I’ve written in previous blogs I grew up as “trailer trash”  (please no one take offense if you live in a mobile home, it’s just an expression) and lived the life of a “gypsy.”  (Here again, please don’t attack me for being a racist.  Those of you who’ve read me for a while know about my run-in with a college student a while back because I used the term gypsy.) (Make sure yo read the “comments” on this post).   My father was a road construction worker and we moved about following the work.  We were in the process of moving from one location to another and the Badlands just happened to be on the way.  My father, who loved to travel and explore new areas, decided to drive through the Badlands instead of around them.  He had a 1953 Hudson Hornet at that time, a large heavy car, and was pulling our house with it, an 8 x 32 foot trailer house.  The road through the Badlands at that time was very narrow and covered with scoria, a red rock that’s found in the area.  My mother was terrified as he pulled this trailer house around all the curves, up and down the hills, and hung onto the passenger door handle with her right hand and the edge of the front seat with her left.  She would gasp for breath each time we made a turn around a sharp curve.  Me?  I just placed myself on the floor of the backseat and hid my head under a blanket so I wouldn’t have to look, although curiosity got the best of me periodically and I peaked.  Times are different now – the road is wider and asphalted, although the curves haven’t been straightened out.  But that just makes it all the more fun on a Harley. 

Following our ride we decided to stop at the Little Missouri Saloon for a toddy and possibly some summer.  Two drinks came to $15.50 – WOW!  I guess we won’t do that again.  I think they’re charging New York prices or something.  Dinner was delicious – $45 for 2 burgers, one with onion rings and one with hash browns.  We decided that the next day we would eat what we had in our fridge in the RV. 

We spent Monday dawdling around town taking in a few of the tourist traps – I’m not much of a shopper but went looking for some polished agates.  Medora used to be full of stores that had polished rocks for sale, but none to be found this time around.  The shops seem to be catering to a classier type of clientele than me and carry lost of high end clothing and household goods.  The town is full of specialty stores and sadly, I only found one good old “junk” shop that had the old cheapo tourist falderol.  But of course, no polished agates.  Oh, well.

We’ve really suffered this leg of the trip – no satellite TV!!  Our camp site had several large cottonwood branches hanging in just the right location so we couldn’t get a signal.  We had to tough it out and listen to the satellite radio – one of my favorite stations carries all the old radio shows back from the 40s and 50s – My Friend Irma, Fibber Magee and Mollie, Life of Riley – I’m sure a lot of you folks don’t remember them.  But I grew up with them (so did YOU Burl, so no remarks about age, okay?) and still really enjoy them. 

We’re on the road home this morning.  Ole promised Daisy that she would be able to sleep in her own bed tonight – she showed all those big fangs and smiled!!

That’s all until next time.

Love, Lena

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