As Mike and I headed into Rapid City, South Dakota, driving by the Flying J about a mile away from our campground in Hermosa, my eyes would be drawn to a white chapel perched atop a small hill. The green grass surrounding the tiny building was dotted with granite headstones bedecked with brightly colored floral arrangements.
One day, after I dropped Mike off at work in Rapid, on my way back to the rig, I turned onto the dirt road next to the Flying J that led up to Highland Park Cemetery.
The entrance is flanked by two historic Civil War canons, and the views of Hermosa and the road to Keystone are spectacular. The chapel holds an altar with a Bible on one side and a pew on the other. On the back wall, a glass-enclosed spreadsheet details whose remains rest there. Benches are scattered around the grounds, and there’s often a white-tailed bunny scurrying about.
That day, and every other day after that, I did my morning run on the gravel tire tracks that encircle the site. The solitude was soothing; the panorama was inspiring. A special, peaceful place.