Sunday, August 10, 2008

A new car & hiking in the hills

We've got a new "rig" that we are driving around these days, and it is quite a good one. Automatic, good engine, good breaks -- we're quite happy with it!

But, being a reservation car, it has to have some quirks, right? Well, all of the doors on this car are one-way. All of the inside handles are broken off. With a little finesse, the front passenger door can be open from the inside, but that one also happens to be the one where the outside handle is broken off -- making it a one-way door as well. The other three must be opened from the outside or by rolling down the window and reaching over.

video
The other quirk is a fun one -- the key got stuck inside so it requires a pliers to be started, as seen in this video. Also in the video are some shots of our drive through the black hills around the twisting turns and one-way tunnels on "iron mountain road" on the way to our hiking spot.

We ended up climbing up a rather spectacular rock face. Here is the view from the top. During my day in the hills I couldn't help but be reminded how the Black Hills were a spiritual haven for the Lakota people. The hills and rockfaces covered in ponderosa pine forest are truly spectacular. Along with the massacre at Wounded Knee, the sale of the Black Hills in violation of the 1868 treaty is still very much in the minds of people on Pine Ridge Reservation as a symbol of the historic oppression of their people at the hands of the US government.

And to close, here's a nice picture of the four of us who climbed it (left to right): Stephan, Allison, me, and Al.

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