Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Wild West Road Trip - Day 3

Day 3 - Sioux Falls - Rapid City - July 15th

We had another long drive ahead of us today, it's a long way from Chicago to get to the true Wild West of America and Rapid City was to be our next stop for 3 days as this is where the famous Mt Rushmore is, along with Custer State Park and Deadwood.

It wasn't long on the road, when we saw a sign to Mitchell, home of the World's only Corn Palace so we had to stop and take a look, and it was truly bizarre, as the Corn Palace is still in use, serving as a mutli-use center for the community and region. It hosts stage shows, sports events and much more.

What makes it unique is the exterior decorations (made entirely of corn, grown specially for the palace) are completely stripped down and new murals are created each year. Inside there are murals too made entirely of corn.

After our brief stop to see the Corn Palace, we carried on the highway to Rapid City, but on the way we discovered a fantastic 1880 town, so we popped in for a look and it was a great 2 hours spent, seeing how an 1880 town was, how small the houses where in them days, and how live revolved around the community and the saloons. We took a short horse and wagon ride, where our lovely rider allowed the girls to sit up front with him and they even each got to take the reigns of the horses and drive the wagon, it was the highlight of their day/world.

After this impromptu stop, we carried on our journey to Rapid City, along the way and before we got to the Badlands, we stopped to see and feed some Prairie dogs, that were ever so cute.

It wasn't long before we were driving through the Badlands - an absolutely wonderful place, it reminded me a lot of the Bungle Bungles in Western Australia in certain parts, it was very spectacular, an amazing place, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

From there we stopped at this amazing little town called Wall, it became famous because of a couple who back in 1936 needed to find a way to get people to come to Wall and spend money at their drug store (pharmacy) named Wall Drug, they had bought in 1931 and were trying to make a go of it. So they decided to offer free iced water to all the passing highway traffic and it worked and today they still offer free iced water and the town is booming with visitors.

The famous Wall Drug

We even helped their economy by having dinner there, and buying the girls some cowboygirl boots

Mr C on this very bizarre rabbit with antlers 

Leaving Wall and driving onto our next stop was beautiful, it was dusk and the scenery was so pretty, it didn't take the girls long to fall asleep, after our few impromptu stops we were later getting into Rapid City than anticipated, but it was great we got to see the things we did along the way.

And Rapid City was our destination for the next 3 nights,  our gateway to explore Mt Rushmore and much more.

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