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|Wed, 25 Sep 2002|
|written by Teresa|
We're parked on the shore of yet another lake here amongst the soft hummocks outside Hot Springs, South Dakota. The sun is warm and the only sound is the drone of the wind rushing past the ear and the rustle of cottonwoods on the edge of the beach. The water ripples as the breeze skims across its surface and the resultant waves lap gently on the shore.
The campsite is nearly empty and a small flock of wild turkeys scratch around looking for scraps. The beach is covered in the tracks of deer and heron and human feet both clad and unshod. The later seem somehow sad in the aftermath of summer and the summerhouses closed for the season stand silent.
Yesterday evening, we walked along the shore and I could almost believe we were in a sheltered bay on the coast. A number of the cottonwoods are home to the vultures coming into roost and from a distance the branches and foliage look infected with some strange disease involving half chewed pieces of liquorice. As the sun set, the water mirrored the skies magnificent range of colour and pattern leaving us quiet in it's wake. We sat on our newly replaced chairs, drank our G & T's and were generally content.
One of the wonderful things about rambling about in our shoebox is the opportunity to shop, launder and generally conduct business in small towns. Which "supermarkets" will have vegetarian burgers, fresh herbs or aubergines? Shopping is no longer a matter of ingredients for meals but rather a potluck affair resulting in some interesting culinary experiences. Now the hardware shops are another matter. Even the smallest town seems to cater for every size of screw, nut, bolt and grommet that your heart could desire. The staff in these stores know every item on their inventory and can direct you to it immediately while also inviting you to browse at your leisure as though you were in some exclusive and expensive establishment.
There are those who might argue that the true face of small town America is best glimpsed through its free community papers. This must surely be true in the Black Hills where two particular headlines grabbed our attention. I will restrain myself from commenting on either although you must understand that the effort required is considerable. The first read, "Man ends up with barnacle stuck to his penis" while the second claimed "Escaped Emu Mistaken for Naked Man".
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