Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Crossing South Dakota

2285 - 2815

Opening quiz: how do you drive all day, start in South Dakota, end in South Dakota, travel in three states, and get nowhere? I did it today.

I begrudgely left Hisega Lodge this morning, after a great breakfast and some fellowship with folks from Minnesota, Illinois, and Baltimore. But the open road called!

First stop was at Dinosaur Park on Skyline Drive above Rapid City. I have always loved dinosaurs, from way back, getting a plastic molded one at the World's Fair in New York as a youngster. The bummer was I was the only one there; no one to take my picture.

Next stop was the required one at Wall Drug. It has signs for hundreds of miles along the interstate. Two favorites: Wall Drug: Don't Misssss It (with a snake) and Wall Drug: Worth Crowing About (with a rooster). It is HUGE and has absolutely everything TaT-worthy (TaT is a term I learned from my Minnesota friends this morning: Trinkets and Trash). I managed to resist.

Near Wall is the Badlands National Park, named by the Indians because it is so other-worldly. It really does seem like you are on the moon. The wind was blowing hard so I have my hat pulled down pretty tight here.

Then across South Dakota, which is none too exciting. It was pretty easy to picture the plot of Dances With Wolves playing out before me (though I did not stop at the Dances With Wolves movie set off I-90). I picked up a South Dakota Tourism CD set at a rest stop, which included South Dakota History, Indian Culture, Outdoors, and Scenic Drives. It proved to be informative and helped pass the time. It gave me great intel on the Badlands.

About halfway across the state, I got a wild hair and decided to back road. Turning at Mundo, first I headed south to the Rosebud Indian Reservation (to check out the casino there, but I did not even play because the blackjack table was full). "Bonnie," my TomTom voice, then sent me east across northern Nebraska (state number 2). I passed through a wide variety of towns; all had the population on their signs and most had only three digits. I particularly enjoyed this sign that I was entering the Middle of Nowhere (thus getting nowhere).

When I hit Sioux City, I was briefly in Iowa (state number 3), and then back into South Dakota to reach my motel in North Sioux City.

Sorry, no beer tonight. Looooong drive, I got in late.

Did you pass the quiz?

Tomorrow: South to Omaha and the Henry Doorly Zoo, and then on to Missouri.


  1. I had one of those plastic dinosaurs from the World's Fair in New York! I think mine was a "brontosaurus," which as we now know, never existed. I guess that makes it a collector's item.

  2. I'm beginning to get the impression that along with zoos and beer, your other "mission" is to try your luck at casinos across America . . . I'd be curious for you to post your winnings and losings here so we can keep track! I'm happy to set you up an excel spreadsheet!

  3. (Hmmm... Thinking about the gifts I've known Unk' Edwin to send... And he resisted the TaT? And no beer stories today?)
    OK, game's up -- what've you done with Ted?

  4. Not sure I can answer the quiz question. But what's you current Flip-A-Hummer score?

    I was thinking the same thing, Murray.

  5. These stories remind me of when Laura and I visited the world's largest hockey stick in Eveleth, MN. I wouldn't recommend going out of your way for that one, Ted.

  6. Hey, I liked that hockey stick! :-)

  7. It was not really a quiz, only that I did it...

    I notice my family wants "Flip Off the Hummer" yet I have not seen one. If it was flip off a PU, I would have a broken camera.

    TaT v Uncle Ted Gifts: need to make a clear definition. One is crap, the other cool. Or personally meaningful.

  8. And no casino scoring please. Let it suffice to say that so far I have helped infuse the local economy...

  9. Meanwhile, I'm laughing that ALL of these posts were made before everyone went to work! See how much we live to hear your latest adventure, Ted?!

  10. There must be a time zone thingie going on here, because I am squarely at work when I read and comment. Wasting company time. Helps me get through my day.