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Not so bad lands

Posted on Wednesday, June 27th, 2007.

Following the lead of the pioneers, Jenna and Mitra corralled their horse-drawn StoryCorps wagon and headed out for the Western part of South Dakota.

After seeing numerous billboards along the way, Jenna and Mitra stopped at Wall Drug to quench their parched throats with free water. Free water, you say. Yes, it’s true. Wall Drug gives away about 20,000 cups of water a day!

At Wall Drug, they encountered the Jackalope, a creature of myth and folklore thought to be a cross between a jackrabbit and antelope. Following the suggestions of the jackelope legend, Jenna subdued the otherwise "killer-rabbit" by putting out a flask of whiskey for the creature to drink. After drinking its fill of whiskey, Jenna was able to wrangle in the beast.

Pictured above is a sign for Ghost Town, population 13, one of the many towns Jenna and Mitra were spooked by. South Dakota has 99 listed ghost towns with populations of two hundred or less.

In pursuit of the miners trail, Jenna and Mitra headed to the Black Hills hoping to line their pockets with gold. Instead they found a lush, verdant landscape that is sacred grounds for the Lakota Indians.

While in the Black Hills, Jenna and Mitra visited the controversial Mount Rushmore (far left corner of photo) and placed their heads in front of the heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abe Lincoln.

The spirit of the jackalope returns to haunt Jenna by sprouting antlers atop her head.

Unlike the Black Hills which are described as an "island of trees in a sea of grass," the Badlands are more like being on the moon while remaining on earth. View the slideshow below to see Jenna and Mitra amongst the arid canyons of the Badlands.

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