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Heading back from Wyoming, we spent the night in Wall, South Dakota, home of the infamous Wall Drug. This town proves  that with enough signage anything can be turned into a cash dropping destination. Monopoly is the game played here. The only businesses in town are shops, motels, and restaurants, all in the Wall Drug motif. A case in point were the motels. They all looked the same, and all were priced the same.  The only differences we could tell were their distinctively  familiar signage and the size of their breakfast bar. What we struggled to comprehend was why Motel 6 cost over $100 a night. Inquiring at the Best Western, which looked a lot like Motel 6, we were quoted a similar price. It became clear that we were going to pay up or drive a distance for a better price.

After a pricey night’s sleep, we set off for the Badlands. Heading East on Interstate 90, we turned onto the loop drive. We paid our entrance fee and received a map to the National Park. Opening the material Barb noticed that the map and Siri were not on in agreement. We pressed on, Siri’s protestations falling on deaf ears.

For the next several hours we drove by lookouts and buildings that were on the map, but in the wrong location. As a result of this condition we drove deeper into the park with a increasing sense of confused wonder. The sights were breathtaking. One minute we were driving through green high plains grass. The  next moment the landscape would bottom out with deep impassable canyons. Over the eons wind and water had carved out breathtaking pinnacles, cliffs, and crevasses. High above, the green high plains grass ended abruptly resembling verdant toupees covering naked Mother Earth.

As we wandered, we speculated what Siri’ knew’ all along. The visitor’s center and the overlooks were not where the map said they would be. Deep in the park we encountered a road marked ‘Exit’. An arrow pointed the way out the park. We looked for that road on the map, and finding it, Badlandsallowed us to regain our bearings. We realized that we had entered the second exit to the park rather than the first. Siri and the map were correct.

I feel foolish admitting how turned around we were.  And yet, we were. Our disorientation was as unsettling as the Badlands themselves.

And with all that confusion we never did check out dinosaur fossils. We were just happy to get out of the park with our senses and perspectives intact. In the future if Siri and I are not in agreement, I promise to spend a little more time getting into Siri’s virtual head.