Occupy Wall Drug

17 Dec

I know, I wimped out last night.  I just checked, Madison, Wisconsin to Pierre, South Dakota is six hundred and ten miles.  Writing it out makes it almost feel as long as it was.  But it was worth it because now, as we sit in the Sleep Inn in Casper, Wyoming, we are just a 5 hour drive to Jackson.  Which means we’ll be in our winter home by game time.  Booyah.

So today you get a 48 hour retrospective with some photos and lots of references to being an American.  ‘Cause out here, we are AMERICANS!

Leaving Madison, Wisconsin we really started to feel, see, and hear the difference, don’tcha know.  Once out of the capital city we hit dairyland.  Farm after farm.  Not like the farms we see in western Mass or Vermont, these are farms like if Ralph Lauren owned a farm.  Serious pastures, serious black cows.  All this among every type of reference to cheese on 30 foot high billboards.  You can start to feel lactose intolerant just by maintaining the speed limit.

This continued on into Minnesota and then suddenly, it changed.  Can you say amber waves of grain?  Mile after mile of endless highway.  As the sun set

on a long day on the road we crossed the bridge over the Bad River and drove north  until we reached the state capital of Pierre.

Pierre is a simple town with every conceivable budget type food chain and a Walgreen’s.  We stayed at the Governor’s Inn.  It might have been where the first Governor stayed while he waited for the Governor’s mansion to be built…100 years ago.  So upon check in we decided that a great dinner was in order.  Those who know me know I love Trip Advisor, so the absolute hand’s down best restaurant in Pierre was said to be the Cattleman’s Ranch Steakhouse.  A family business with the whole family working there, I think the whole town was there too.  Now say what you want about the great steakhouses and their $40 steaks.  Lemme tell you how good my $12.95 12 oz sirloin was:  As tender as a tenderloin with the gigantic flavor of a grilled sirloin with no fat, sauteed mushroom and onions, a perfectly baked sweet potato and sawdust on the floor.  Does it get better?

We decided that even though we were tired, it would be cool to get up early, and drive two hours in the dark to get to the Badlands at dawn.  And we did.

The Badlands are beautiful.  We drove around for about an hour marveling at the formations that about 10 million years of erosion has created.  It’s a National Park and I am always amazed at the quality of our National Park system.

Our day in South Dakota had a little bit more in store.  As soon as we got into South Dakota yesterday we started seeing sign after sign for Wall Drug.  Wall Drug started as a tiny drug store in Wall, South Dakota and has become a western tourist empire.  After 200 or so road signs you think we didn’t stop?  We Occupied Wall Drug for a hearty western breakfast.

Our next stop was Deadwood, South Dakota.  Take a look at this shot of Main St.  Nice western town, eh?  Well, behind every single quaint storefront is a slots parlor!

And our final visit was to Mt. Rushmore.  It’s even better than the pictures and absolutely worth a visit. Plus, we got to add a fifth head to the carving!  They are very accommodating.

At 5pm we pulled into Casper, Wyoming and we’ll be in our winter home in Jackson by kickoff tomorrow.  It’s been a great trip so far and we love have you along with us with your comments and e-mails.  Thank you.

The final mileage will be revealed tomorrow night, so in the mean time, have a great Saturday night and Go Pats!

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3 Responses to “Occupy Wall Drug”

  1. Mindy Shanfeld December 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Love your updates and photos. I know Marci is important and now you have the photo to prove it. Love, M

  2. Susan Leiber December 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Love love love reading your blogging. Makes me want to jump in the car and start driving west.

  3. richard cohen December 17, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    you are in the town where my grandfathers sister Marion lived and had a copper mine.
    Thanks Michael and Marci.

    Enjoyment Plus

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