South Dakota: Our original plan was to briefly view Mount Rushmore then drive another 4 hours to Mitchell, SD and camp for the night, giving our total driving time of 8 hours. Normally 8 hours of driving is completely doable. But we underestimated stops, the drive through Rapid City, and the drive to Mount Rushmore. We did actually really breeze through the viewing, since we decided to skip the $11 parking fee, but then we had to backtrack our way through Rapid City to head back into the interstate.
So we stopped in Wall, SD, which is pretty famous for Wall Drug. We passed more than a few billboards for Wall Drug, and we were told by Rob’s dad that we should check it out, since he used to go there as a kid. Since it was within walking distance of our campground, we went early this morning to get some food and do some walking.
They boasted $.05 coffee, free ice water, homemade doughnuts, art galleries, and lots more. The signage for the place is a bit campy, but it totally fits. Take your picture on a 10-foot jackolope, or beside a stuffed buffalo. Enjoy Dueling Banjos being played through the overhead speakers, and browse through an arcade-style tourist trap (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) series of stores where you could buy a variety of t-shirts, geodes, magnets, semi-precious stones, and other kitschy items. Throughout the entirety of the shopping arena, they have all sorts of memorabilia related to the owners of Wall Drug, old photographs of early SD settlers and Native Americans hanging on the walls, which was actually pretty neat.
So after we had our fill and spent a whopping $20 (not including breakfast) we walked back to our campground, and we’re now headed for Sioux Falls. Tomorrow: Minneapolis.