Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Badlands, South Dakota

My goodness, what a beautiful, clear day it was yesterday driving in from Rapid City, SD toward my work destination of Kyle, SD. Crisp and clear and so fall-like. Just beautiful.

Kyle is a very very very very small town located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in southern South Dakota. Last year I sent my son a postcard from Kyle because, well, his name is Kyle and he sort of stakes claim to any town or thing that bears his name. In Charleston, WVA there are all these buildings -- they look like warehouses to me -- that have KYLE written all over them. We'd pass through Charleston on our way to the beach when he was a kid and he'd always proudly exclaim, "there are my buildings." So, it's always kind of neat when I come to Kyle.

There is not a lot there. There is a school (where I work when I'm there). A quanset hut restaurant that has burritos and tacos (cash only, no credit cards), another restaurant open only for breakfast and lunch, a gas station/conveinence store, a small cultural center, and housing. That's about it. If you live in Kyle and need or want anything that is not to offer in these places, you drive to Rapid City, some 80+ miles away.

Kyle is on the edge of the Badlands; those rock formations just simply fascinate me. My pictures, snapped quickly while driving as you can tell, don't really do the things justice. Some time when I'm here I want to venture in deeper. I've just glimpsed the outer edges each time I've been here. My friend who lives in Kyle, the teacher I visit, has a husband who does informal tours through the area. I should arrange to do that.
The land is just so vast in South Dakota. So darned big. From the Badlands to the prairie up northwest, to the farmlands of the eastern side of the state, everything is just big. I think its so big because there is sparse population in so many places. With no buildings and houses and trees and such, the place just looks so wide open.

Guess why they call the west the wide open spaces, huh?

So, that was my day yesterday. It has nothing to do with writing other than the fact that my day job travels often spur ideas and settings and characters for books. I do have a book in progress that is set on the Cheyenne River Reservation up in that prairie region I spoke of earlier. My hero is Lakota and my heroine is Anglo. Right now a proposal is sitting with Harlequin. We'll see.

What do you think...should I continue to blog about my travels? I have a lot of weeks of travel coming up so I thought maybe you guys might like to see some pics and read some slices of my travel life.

Off to work....

maddie
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