Population: 67

Interior, South Dakota is a tiny town on the border of The Badlands and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I stopped for gas and ended up staying three days. In the parking lot of the gas station - which didn't have any gas - I met Greg, ex-boxer, ex-trucker, and the owner of one of the town's two bars. We hit it off, and I followed him to his bar for a break from the heat.

Soon after I arrived, Lonnie, a deliberate, silent cowboy, brought his longhorn steer into the bar. A saddle was perched high on his massive back, and so up I went, my head nearly touching the ceiling as I sat atop this giant, gentle beast.

After hours of laughter and stories and countless cups of the most delicious iced tea, it was time for me to keep on down the road. Instead, Greg invited me to stay with him and his girlfriend in the trailer where they lived, in the bar parking lot. I accepted. My three days in Interior felt like a month, and I met all the characters that came into the bar - the cowboys, the bikers, the Sioux. Everyone was rough, tough, and wild, yet our conversations were deep and intimate, and I learned more about the heart - our own true Interior - than I ever expected.


Anonymous said...

Ah... Interior. Spend many drunk nights at the Shoe! Brave woman to stay with Greg. I guess he left out his more colorful history.

Anonymous said...

at every passage i want to say something. i keep on keeping on getting amazed. i wish i had this all in print, quiet to myself. away from computers - oh heck, i am going to have to print it all out, every month and entery (make my own home-made book) and staple it together for taking to the desert with me this christmas day coming. These tales of days, told in the most lyricall and heart-spun fashion, is something to be savored. You are gifted, I expect to see much more in print from you beyond delicious cookbooks.
~ Amber

joker the lurcher said...

oh my! you describe so well what traveling does to your mind. i went round the world on my own in 1988 and it changed me forever. i will never forget the nights with people who i would never meet again - for that reason our conversations were deeper and wider than i would have thought possible.

acuted said...


Awesome blog and awesome journey. I am thinking of a trip next Summer. Question: Did your butt get sore from the long days of riding? Any issues with making across the prairie's to the next gas station?

thanks for your time!