South Dakota is a Bad mo-fo

Your instant gratification link: http://offramp.exit83.com/photos/cross_country_trip_2005/category1020.aspx

This morning I woke up to overcast skies (thank god), so I put the roof down and started my route south to Mt. Rushmore. It took me about an hour, but it was a fun drive as it was cool outside. For once, I expected huge crowds, and I wasn’t disappointed. I spent a little bit of time there, took some photos, bought a cheesy gift (Mt. Rushmore Kalediscope!), and took off for Crazy Horse Mountain. As I learned that this sculpture (when completed) will pay homage to the famous Native American, Crazy Horse. The sculpture is massive, as the whole Mt. Rushmore sculpture could fit in the upper part of Crazy Horse’s face. This sculpture has been worked on for over 50 years and will probably take another 50 to complete as it is being paid for 100% by donations.

After Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse, I zig-zagged across SW South Dakota towards Badlands National Park. I had a hunch that Badlands was going to be cool, but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. I was mezmorized by the views…it’s an amazing contrast. You drive thru miles of grasslands til you hit this funky wasteland of spires.  

After gazing at these spires forever, I headed towards Wall, SD. Once there, I went to Wall Drug (So THAT’S where it is!) and had to search for the drug store portion of the store. After buying some Advil and scoring a milk shake I walked around a bit and found….me on a jack-a-lope

After Wall, I drove like mad towards Valentine, Nebraska. Once there, I tried to check into the Comfort Inn. The woman at the desk told me that her friend runs a motel down the street that is just as nice, has net access and is $30 less per night. Woah… I think I like Nebraskan hospitality, why would she tell me that? No matter, I bolted for the other place and scored a cheap room at the Dunes Motel!. Finally, I went to dinner as I changed time zones again and it was getting late. I was in Nebraska, so I just HAD to get steak. I found the best steakhouse in Valentine (there’s only 2) — the Peppermill Steakhouse. It was typical midwestern food — serve the best native food and serve everything else “red neck” style. I got a 12 oz. sirloin which was good as what I’ve had at The Metropolitan Grill (Seattle) or Peter Luger’s (Brooklyn), but I didn’t have to book my reservation months in advance — I just walked in. However, the uh..hash browns, if that’s what you’d call them, were cooked and had processed American cheese slices melted on top. It was gross. Oh well, at least the steak rocked.

Tomorrow, I’m off to corn country — Iowa. I don’t know how far I’ll get as there are no other major sites to see between here and Ohio, so I should be able to travel a good distance!

Comments

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