After some 34 hours on the road, a brief stop in Steamboat Springs, CO and a LOT of road snacks, Jamie and I successfully landed in Pine Ridge, SD. But don’t go thinking that it’s all roses and kisses after that. Oh no, my friends, things would not look up for a while. Allow me to elaborate.
[First, let’s rewind a couple of months. We enter on Brittany and Jamie planning their pioneer survival techniques.
Jamie: Oh! This campground says that you can stay for just $10 a night. We can camp, right?
Wrong. After driving right up to the campground, not knowing it was the campground, re-asking the front desk woman to point us in the direction of the campground (giving her a freebie smoke break, you’re welcome), driving back to the same campground, getting out the tent, finding out it had a broken pole, fixing the pole, stepping in a bug pool, almost stepping on a live snake, almost stepping on a half-eaten DEAD snake, meeting the baby version of the girl from “The Ring,” adopting a stray dog (whom I’ve affectionately named Scott), and spending an hour blowing up the air mattress, we were settled.
Then, night fell.
Our tent was ravaged by the merciless plains winds, which sounded more like a waves crashing on the shore than grasses blowing in the breeze. But this was no tropical vacation. No, it was a nightmare ride on Hades’ hell breath. At approximately 10 PM, midnight, 2 AM and 4 AM, we woke up and left the tent to re-stake it. The sunrise was beautiful.
Today, with our egos and sleep schedules battered, we headed out to meet the people from Re-member, a volunteer organization on the rez. A woman named La Donna No Neck helped us keep our chins up and we were happy to actually to start doing some work. And we’ve got a dinner date with them tonight at 5. Much better than the cold Chef Boyardee from last night.
We then traveled to the Oglala Lakota College to meet with KOLC-TV head Tony Braveheart. Keeping our fingers crossed that we can talk to some students!
We’re doing our best to play it cool and try to meet as many people as possible, but it’s tough being a stranger in a strange land, man.