The boy and I managed to get through Minnesota and into South Dakota. The feeling of being in the west was getting stronger and stronger. As soon as we crossed into South Dakota, there was a rest area that looked like a giant tepee. The trees were getting sparse. The billboards for Wall Drug were starting to pop up more frequently.
There’s an awesome rest area up on a hill overlooking the Missouri River and the town of Chamberlain, SD. I was enjoying the wide view, the big sky, and the warming morning sun as we walked the short trail through the short cedars above the river. Here was another clear symbol of being west; a sign that we don’t see up north; it read
This sign freaked the boy out. He was pretty sure that dozens of rattle snakes were going to crawl out of every bush and bite him, just for the heck of it.
To me, these were symbols of a homecoming, reminding me that I was well on my way to the Land of Enchantment, my birthplace, and where my heart is.
Of all the signs, scenery, and symbolism, none left me more thrilled at that moment than what we saw at the Chamberlain overlook: the first yucca of the trip!
Yuccas are the New Mexico state flower. And there it was! Short, wide, and bristly, beckoning me to continue, and quickly! I took a picture, and enjoyed the view.
The boy was just worried about the snakes. I was fine with that; he needed to learn to watch out!