The Black Hills Laugher – South Dakota

Some of the most beautiful scenery in the USA is in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is most famous for being the home of Mt Rushmore. The quad headed mountain carving of four famous US Presidents. There also is another mountain sculpture under way of the famous American Indian Warrior Crazy Horse riding a horse.

As you come from the East toward the Black Hills it is a majestic site seeing the dark mountains off in the distance. Of course part of what makes it so scenic is that you have been traveling through some of the flattest part of American heading from the East. It is so flat in most of South Dakota that if you stood on a beer can you would be at the highest point in the state outside of the mountains in the West.

Years ago three friends and I took a trip out to the Black Hills. It was at the end of a hot August. Before you reach the Black Hills from the East you have the option to stop off at an awesome sight called the Badlands. I would describe it but you would think I was talking about a meteor site or the moon or something. Just Google the Badlands and you will get the idea. I personally loved it.

Back to my story. After a an afternoon at the Badlands we got a camp site about half hour closer to the Black Hills. After we set up a couple tents the wind starting really cranking up some serious miles per hour. The sky began to look very ominous in addition to that. Whether it was a good or bad thing I don’t know but we were under a big healthy tree.

This terrified one my friends. While we were eating he says “I hope this tree doesn’t get blown over”. Which is funny because I was certain the tree would hold up much longer than our tents. But he continued by saying “if this tree falls and kills me my parents will never speak to me again”. He was serious too.

Okay now that was hilarious the way he said it, had you been there. But I was shocked that he wasn’t concerned that the massive tree might kill all of us. I mean thanks alot for worrying about the entire group. But it was still funny to explain to him that if the tree kills him, it is safe to say that no one will be speaking to him.

Actually when the rain arrived, and arrived it did, the wind died down significantly. So we survived and the tree was as sturdy as ever the next morning. Next we headed off to the Black Hills. Well we showered and dressed the went. I mean not like we we’re naked. You get the point.

It was beautiful to say the least. The weather was a postcard like that day. As was our custom we found ourself a nice campground. That day the high was about 89 degrees fahrenheit. What we didn’t know was that in the Black Hills it can get rather cold at night. We went to sleep and it was already in the 40 degree area. That was about 10pm. Little did we know a severe cold front was passing thru. It was about 2 am and we all were freezing our butt off. It didn’t help that we had cheap department store sleeping bags. We found ourselves heading to the car. Of course you would think to sleep in it. Well that is what I was going to do. My friends thought that was crazy. Which I am crazy but that is beside the point.

The one friend devised this ingenious plan. He took his suitcase in the tent and emptied all his clothes into his sleeping bag. For insulation was his theory. Then he placed his suitcase over him for good measure. He also suggested that the three of them use one tent. And the other two thought this was brilliant. Meanwhile I fired up the car and made it nice and toasty. Imagine the three stooges in a sleeping bag, turned into a laundry bag, making fun of me. “He’s out there all uncomfortable in the car while we can stretch out here in our stuffed bag. What a moron”.

The next day they actually made fun of me and told me the laughter they shared why I was “stuck” in the car. Let’s just say I didn’t lose any sleep over it.

The next day we did some more sight seeing around the Hills. Saw some animals in their natural habitat which was cool. At lunch that day we went to a local non-chain burger joint. I saw on the menu a list of specialty burgers. California burger, Hawaiin burger, Texan burger, and Buffalo burger. I thought to myself ” I know what a Californian, Hawaiin, and a Texan burger is, but what is a Buffalo burger? Like hot wing sauce on it or something?”

So I go up to order and I ask “say what is on a Buffalo burger?” He rolls his eyes and says to me like I’m the dumbest man alive “duh Buffalo, whatever you want on it”.

Okay so now I was confused. I re-track my thought process and go through the other selections and ask again with more annunciation. “No you don’t understand my question, what automatically comes with a Buffalo burger? Something unique to Buffalo as in New York state?”

Now he is really tired of me. Thinking I’m being a jackass he says “look you’re not funny. Do you want the burger with buffalo meat or not?”

Then the proverbial light bulb goes off in my cranium. Then right behind the epiphany I just had I became irate at him for thinking that I’m just supposed to know that Buffalo meant animal and not the city. Especailly in the context in which it was presented to me. So knowing that it was not legal to jump over the counter and ring his neck, I smile and say “well no wonder I didn’t know what your buffalo burger was. There isn’t any buffalo in North America. They are called Bison”. (of course I was banking on the presumption that they didn’t have buffalo meat shipped in from over seas) Then I order a Turkey Club sandwich out of principle.

Anyhow a good time was had by all and I often think about how I would like to return their again. Maybe some day. Oh and if any of you go there could you try the buffalo ,,,,,,, I mean bison burger and tell me how it was?