Time for a road trip! I get itchy to be moving, even when we're sitting still, or maybe that's especially when we're sitting still. It's beautiful here in the Black Hills, and I was still ready to see some different scenery. This morning, we managed to hurry through our waking-up routine, and got on the road about 8 am.
We were headed northeast of Custer about 90 or so miles, to Wall, South Dakota where the famous drug store is, and to drive the loop through The Badlands. We took the dogs with us, as we didn't want to have to rush back.
The route we took was 16A east through Custer State Park. It was a beautiful, clear morning and the drive through the state park was a very nice way to start our journey. Near the east border of the park we started seeing the buffalo. There were at least 150 or more, many of them right on the road, crossing back and forth. Jasmine and Mr. BJ had a blast watching all the "Big Dog Buffalo". That phrase comes from Mr. BJ's early years of traveling when he sat on my lap, and every animal we saw along the way was a "Big Dog...." cow, horse, dog, or whatever. This was a new one for them!
We arrived in Wall about 10 and found the town already packed with people visiting Wall Drug. This icon started in 1931 when the Husteds purchased the pharmacy. For the first few years, their business was barely hanging on. One night, Mrs. Husted got an idea to give travelers free ice water. She prevailed upon her husband, Ted, to make a series of signs to place along the highway, inviting people to stop for free ice water. The idea took off, people stopped for water, and now the place covers about a square block. The business is still in the family and now carries all manner of merchandise, from jewelry to art to t-shirts and trinkets. Yes, you can still get free ice water!
Something else you can get at Wall Drug is fresh, homemade donuts. We got on the subject of donuts last night in the rv-dreams chat room. I mentioned how I loved the donuts we used to get at the top of Pikes Peak. So, of course, my little craving antenna was up this morning, searching out a plain, fresh, homemade donut. Yes, said donuts were found. We even brought some home for tomorrow's breakfast.
On to The Badlands. I'm not sure what I expected, but this was beyond whatever that might have been. Jim described it as "prehistoric", I guess if I had to use one word to describe it, I'd say it's "otherworldly". We drove the loop from Wall which took us about 30 miles around and back to I-90.
On the way back, we stopped at a little restaurant in Wall and had hamburgers before coming back home. It was a great day trip, and now it's good to be back home!