Monday, August 18, 2008

Across South Dakota

For the past several days, we've been making our way across South Dakota. It's been a little warmer than I prefer - in the mid to upper 80's. Maybe I'm just spoiled because it was nice and cool in Canada and Minnesota. Anyway, I thought it was time to catch the blog up to current.

Even before entering the state, the signs began - the famous Wall Drug that hooked travelers with the offer of free ice water. I guess you don't have to built a palace to get attention.

Brenda said there would be sunflowers and there were.

Fields of them.

When we stopped at a rest area, some cars pulled in and teams of four got out, tied ropes around their legs, and pushed the cars across the length of the parking area. I was very interested because the rear windows said something about the Amazing Race which is one of my favorite TV shows. However Ron thought it was just a local thing since there weren't cameras following them.

I googled information on the Amazing Race. Their 13th season is set to begin Sept. 28 and is already filmed. However the 14th season is currently being shot and I couldn't find out where. Who knows?

This helpful sign told us what to do next.

The name Badlands comes from early French trappers who called the area les mauvaises terres a traverser which even I know from my high school French means 'the bad lands to cross.'

And I can see why. Imagine crossing the prairie on a nice grassy flat plain and suddenly the earth drops off.

My favorite section was where the minerals tinted the hills.

Then we make our way to Wall Drug. What a place! It covers two square blocks and consists of many sections that I would call individual stores, but they're all the same store. They sell everything from leather goods to fresh made donuts (Ron liked that.) They also have lots of things for the kids to play on - here's one now.

And a T-rex that comes to life every 12 minutes!

We're currently at the Elks lodge in Rapid City trying to decide if we should move the RV into the Black Hills or take day trips from here. Last night we went to Flying T Chuckwagon Supper.

After a cowboy meal of barbecue beef or chicken, baked potato, beans, applesauce, biscuit, and spice cake, we were entertained by a very talented group which included this lady with her unusual bass fiddle/washtub.

Here's a sample - I really thought they were fantastic!

They also had some audience participation. These lucky (?) folks were given appropriate hats and instruments. The lady on the washboard was unbelievably good!

This picture was taken way back in Mitchell at the Cabela's where we stayed, but I thought it belonged at the end.


  1. We've been there (Badlands and Wall Drug) - in 2005. We were under-whelmed with Wall Drug. LOL The Badlands are awesome. And did you notice that all the sunflowers point the same direction? They all point EAST. That was a pretty incredible sight - all those sunflowers!

    Have fun! I would love to visit that area again (except not Wall Drug - once was enough).

    Barb (RVing Gal)

  2. The Amazing Race is my favorite show too! Phil Keoghan is soooooo cool. Even if he was born two years after I graduated from high school.

  3. Welcome to Rapid City!! Unfortunately I left a few days ago.

    I enjoyed Wall Drug, and the Badlands. Back in 2004 that was my first solo motorcycle ride, from the RC Elk's. ENJOY!!

  4. Do get out of the city and treat yourself to the Black Hills. My alltime favorite little lake to kayak and fish is Bismark Lake which adjoins the Bismark campground. It is a national forest campground just before you enter Custer State Park on 16A, east of Custer, SD. I don't recall hookups but that shouldn't stop you. There are jillions of awesome hikes and little lakes to fish in the area.

  5. You just continue to make me jealous. I've always wanted to take pictures of sunflowers. And you had me going on the Amazing Race pictures. Wow! But I think the lack of cameras is a bad sign that it wasn't THE Amazing Race. Too bad...

  6. I live in Torrington, Wyoming. It is a wonderful place to retire in. Weather is great!!!!! People are so friendly !!!!!