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      Road Trip Part Two: Badlands National Park, SD

      Road Trip Part Two: Badlands National Park, SD

      Custer State Part

       

      The Badlands of South Dakota. What a wide-open and cavernous landscape. June 2019.

      The Lakota people dubbed this region “mako sica,” or “badlands,” long ago because its rocky terrain, lack of water, and extreme temperatures made it difficult to traverse. It stretches 244,000 acres with sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires.

      There are many trails to hike (be mindful of snakes) and enjoy beautiful flowers and quiet spaces. Bighorn Sheep, Bison, Butteries, and Black-Footed Ferrets live there and some are visible from your vehicle. People enjoy camping in the Badlands... it is really quiet, but be mindful that Bison that roam the land. 

      Near the Badlands is the Minuteman Missile Silo Museum and Mt. Rushmore. If you have the time, both were interesting. Although, Mt. Rushmore seemed to be more touristy and the was a parking fee. The Minuteman Missile Silo Museum offers tours of one of the underground silos, but be sure to get your reservations in advance if that's top on your list. 

      We stayed in an Air B & B in Sturgis that was an hour from the Badlands and Custer State Park. It was a two-hour round trip, but a beautiful drive and we appreciated the open road. Sturgis has a nice grocery store that we took advantage of to grab sandwiches and drinks on our way to the Park. We packed the cooler for most of the five-week trip. It saved a lot of money and was way easier than finding a place to dine after a long hike.

      We loved the Badlands and ventured there again in October of 2020. The weather was much different tha when we visited in June of 2019. In October, South Dakota weather can be sunny and warm one day, but snow-filled and windy the next. Pack extra cold-weather clothes and water.

       

      Badlands flowers

       

       

       

       

      Get in the truck and drive...

      Get in the truck and drive...

      In 2019, we were at one of the cross roads in life. And, when you are at a cross roads, you want to take some time to make sure your'e choosing the right path.

      So, we got in the truck and drove... for 5 straight weeks.

      First Stop: Madison, Wisconsin

      The Pig in a Fur Coat is a cozy little eatery in Madison, WI. A friend of ours was the designer for a mural they wanted painted on the building and since we were in the area... we could help paint.?

      Her design was perfect for the building. The flowers and leaves brighten the entire alley way and bring attention to the building. 

      Thanks for Alecia Rheal and Amy Zaremba for bringing us on the wall. It turned out great!

      We rented a room in an Air B & B just outside of town. The house was built in the 1960s (picture the Brady Bunch style) and the entire house was furnished with pieces from the period. 

      Next destination: Badlands National Park in South Dakota

      For the Love of the Farmer's Market

      For the Love of the Farmer's Market

       

       

      Here in Central Illinois it's getting close to farmer's market season. A time to walk Water Street, see all the people with their baskets, totes, and wagons walking through an avenue of fresh veggies, beautiful flowers, yummy treats, and artisan wares.

      To us the market is special. It's a place to connect with our local farmers and craftspeople. A chance to talk with the french baker or pick up some hand-made dog treats. 

      Raised in the Midwest growing food with my grandparents, the market reminds us of gathering fruits and veggies off the homestead to sell in our road-side stand. Passers-by would stop to pick up carrots, berries, sunflowers, or a zucchini. Times were simpler then. Fond memories of lazy summer days shelling peas in the shade with my grandma. Eating most of them while she looked the other way. The field behind us growing with every possible edible the sun could shine on. 

      Our grandma was especially keen on cut flowers... she grew a beautiful assortment of zinnias, sunflowers, mums, poppies, and more... growing enough for bouquets in the house as well to share with family, friends, and her church. An especially fun day was May Day where we would fold pretty construction paper into May Baskets, fill them with flowers from the field, and hang them on doorknobs with excitement.

      This year, we're adding cut flower bouquets to our market. A tribute to Grandma... we will have sunflowers, zinnia, snapdragon, and more. 

      Looking forward to seeing you at the markets this year. We will be at the Peoria Riverfront Market on Saturdays and the Keller Station Market on Wednesday nights. If you're outside the area, we do offer most of our pieces online at www.WildRouted.com

      And, as always... 10% goes to the National Parks.

      Happy Spring! De and John

       

       

      New Year, New Name!

      New Year, New Name!

       

      Hello 2021... meet Wild Routed!

      Many know us as the owners of Smiley Graphix Studio.
      A website + branding agency located in the Warehouse District, Peoria, IL. 

      When we started the graphic tee business in 2020, we didn't know what to name our little store just yet. So, we took some time to figure that out, realign our product offerings and write our story down. Here is a little clip of it...

       

      Growing up in the Midwest found us trekking through the woods, spending time in the garden with family, and of course, sharing stories around a cozy campfire. These are some of our fondest memories.

      Each hand-drawn design is a visual reflection of precious time spent with the people we love and the beautiful outdoor places we wander...

      Hopes for our future store:

      - A brick and mortar store front

      - Add home-grown floral bouquets to our offerings at the Peoria Riverfront Market

      - Get to know more people's stories around a campfire or two

      - Find out how we can support local businesses better

      Happy New Year to all! We wish you the very best. 

      De and John