As it turned out, South Dakota was the first place that we saw windmills. At first it would just be one or two, and then all of a sudden out of the blue there would hundreds. You might even go so far as to say that there were "wind farms". We also crossed the Missouri River, which, as you might imagine, is pretty huge.
My dad wanted to stop at this place called Wall Drug Store, located in Wall, South Dakota. Apparently when he was growing up it had always been a dream of his, so naturally, since we were passing by, he decided that, much to my dismay, we had to stop.
The story behind Wall Drug (named because of a giant "wall" of natural rock that the town sits atop) is that it was a ma and pop drug store basically in the middle of the nowhere. They were really struggling for business, and needed a radical new business plan. They decided that, given they were in the middle of the desert, that they would start offering free ice water to travelers passing through. Then they started putting billboards 300 and 400 miles out from their location, and literally you'd see a Wall Drug sign every 10 miles or so. By the time you actually got to Wall, South Dakota, you would HAVE to stop for some water! They also boasted 5 cent coffee, and both of those claims are still true today, despite the fact that the place is not a giant kitschy tourist trap. However, my dad's desire was satiated and that's what matters.
After a night's stay in Rapid City, South Dakota (which, honestly, is not worth talking about because there was nothing there) we drove towards Yellowstone in Wyoming. But we still had a few stops to make along the way, one of them being Mt. Rushmore.
When I tweeted about being at Rushmore, I actually got a lot of replies that said something along the lines of "wow I didn't know it was even in South Dakota..." which is about the same place I was at prior to planning this trip. The other thing was that it was a lot smaller that I had imagined. I was sort of expecting something that absolutely swallowed you up. And despite reading the stats online, it's hard to imagine what the size will be until you're actually there. Needless to say, Rushmore was one of the coolest things I've seen in the States to date and it's definitely, definitely, definitely worth a visit.
|on the way!|
|all of that rock on the bottom is stuff they've chiseled away|
|clearly my thoughts were on my future home...|
|one of my favorite pictures of the day|
|and of course, the motherland|
|that white line is going to be a horse's head... the indian's arm will be resting atop it|
Next stop -- Wyoming! Slowly but surely making our way all the way across the country!