Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Saturday, 14 June 2008

They Call It the Badlands

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

It's about 60 miles of low, eroded soft sandstone mountains, interspersed with prairie grass. The campground is maybe half-full.








It's a cool morning at dawn and the birds are singing in the prairie grass. I need to wire up a loose splashpan on the Toyota and change the oil and oil filter on the RV. I bought seven quarts of synthetic 5W-20 back in Hot Springs.

The tow lights on the Toyota stopped working for some reason. My voltmeter shows good signals coming out of the RV. For all of the lights to fail at once, the cause seems likely to a bad ground in the Toyota wiring. There are four diodes controlling the brakes, turn signals and taillights. No way they could all fail at one time.



They have some empty Minuteman ICBM silos just up the road. You can sit in the padded blue chairs in underground launch center and turn one of the launch keys if you want to. The site is just a National Monument now that the cold war is theoretically over. It's closed on weekends.

We went outside the park to the little cowboy town of "Interior" last night. The small grocery store had only one red wine. It was a Gallo Merlot for $5. Not bad. They had a small town jail with iron bars on the windows. A hand-painted sign said Lawrence Welk was there once (in the town, not the jail).

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