Monday, August 12, 2013

South Dakota Day 2, Part 2: Crossing the Missouri River & the famous WALL DRUG!

After the Corn Palace, we headed across the state toward the mountains.  This being our first time seeing mountains, they were really our ultimate destination.  Much of southern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota looked like corn fields and prairies, but as we soon as we crossed the Missouri River at Chamberlain...
 we could see the beginning of rolling hills.  You could just "feel" the mountains approaching!
 Lots and lots of prairies, very few settlements, and BIG hay bales!  So many hay bales and very few cattle that we saw, we wondered if these bales were sold and shipped elsewhere.
Three hours later, we arrived in the little town of Wall.  Anyone who's driven west across Minnesota and South Dakota has heard of Wall Drug.  There are Wall Drug signs about every 5 miles or so, touting all kinds of wonderful things that await you there.  Homemade ice cream.  Homemade doughnuts.  Free ice water.  Custom-fitted underwear.  (I kid on that last one.)  But seriously, you CAN'T MISS the signs.  When you're driving in the middle of a lot of country and not much other form of life than grass, you get a little excited about the prospects awaiting you at this magnificent drug store.
So here's downtown Wall.  The infamous drug store is on the right (green roofs), and every other little store is a commercialized replica of either a business that might have appeared in the Wild West.  If chicken buffets, cheap souvenirs, and $5 t-shirts were in the Wild West.

 The amazing and mind-boggling Wall Drug store!!  (Don't those drug store shelves blow your mind?  No?  Me neither.  But the buffalo head ain't bad!)
Hungry and intrigued by the whole Wall Drug experience, we broke down and ordered lunch there in the Wall Drug restaurant.  After all, who can resist "free ice water"??  The boys bought buffalo burgers (80% buffalo), the girls and I ordered chicken strips kids' meals, and Ally ordered a burger and baked beans.  We also ordered five homemade doughnuts (maple and chocolate frosted).  Total = $65.  Rather steep, we thought, but I guess we're paying for the atmosphere.  

Food critic talking:  The buffalo burgers were good and tasted like beef.  The baked beans were spicy.  The chicken strips and fries were good, nothing spectacular, but good.  The doughnuts were the EPITOME of cake doughnut excellence.  Definitely worth $1.35 apiece!!  

 We were not supposed to take pictures of the walls, so I cheated and took a picture of the center of the room, a really cool totem pole from which was carved Crazy Horse and Red Somebody-I-don't-remember-anymore.    The walls were plastered with really old western paintings, authentic stuff.  It was really quite impressive.
 After lunch, we stepped out back to go into another stripmall of buildings/stores/etc.
 The kids met many interesting "characters" along the way........

Wynne with Annie Oakley
 The kids even tried their hand at the shooting gallery.  Me not being a big fan of guns, I guess I could handle this one.

 Hold onto your hats, for there's more Wild Western Adventures to come.....Stay Tuned!


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