Posts Tagged With: south dakota

You’re Entering Wall Drug Country!

Wall Drug Country

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MONDAY 7/16: Wall Drug Country

After the lull across North Dakota on Sunday, we’re excited to see the signs welcoming us to Wall Drug country. And, the signs touting FREE ICE WATER  and 5 cent Coffee! Already, South Dakota is showing itself to be a happening place, comparatively speaking. Seriously, though I am excited to be here. I’ve planned this vacation for hours. I’ve scoured a few websites and even downloaded the Black Hills/Badlands app. Yes, there’s an app for that.

Monday morning we grab some breakfast at the Frontier Cabinssuper swanky Frontier Cabins Dining Room/Gift Shop/Fireworks stand. Seriously, this place is truly a hidden gem. We were given a cabin upgrade on check-in because the cabin size we wanted wasn’t available for two nights. We had agreed to switch cabins after the first night, but they didn’t want to inconvenience us and just upgraded our accommodations. And the kicker? You get a FREE BAG OF ICE for every day you stay! SD, you’re creeping right on up in my book.  No, we didn’t stay in a teepee, although they’re available for $50/night. The cabin was clean, homey and perfect after a long two days on the road.Frontier Cabins

After breakfast, it’s back in the car to see the natural beauty of South Dakota. There is plenty to see all within just an hour or so drive from Wall. We head East (or is it West, South?) from Wall for the Badlands. A few minutes later we’re greeted by this:

Beware Rattlesnakes

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Fantastic. They’re warning the rattlesnakes to Beware! This is my kind of place. The Badlands showcase some of the most eerily beautiful scenery I’ve experienced. My oldest is in heaven climbing all the rock formations. My youngest is bewaring the rattlesnakes and the crevices that could swallow him whole and pretty much anything else that may cause instantaneous death.

Badlands Jumper

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This area deserves much more time than what we are able to spend. The scorching heat combined with the king’s anti-outdoors sentiments make for a relatively quick stop. I really think I could spend an entire day,  if my skin wouldn’t melt off my bones. I’d love to dig around in those nooks and crannies and see what treasures Old West marauders may have stashed. There were marauders here, right?

So back in the car it is, with the A/C blasting and Custer State Park in our sights.

Categories: On The Road Again | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We’ve Got Plans!

Days of the Dead was good this past weekend. I love checking out the other conventions, but of course my heart will always belong to ScareFest. We’re the best, that’s why. Things have been hectic around the Kirkland Compound the last couple of weeks, but I have managed to find time work in some vacation planning.

We had it narrowed down to three-quarters of the country. Not bad… New OrleansThe deep south is just too damn hot this time of year, so NOLA is a no-go.

Niagara FallsNiagara Falls was a close second, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Eventually maybe, but not now. At least not until that giant baby starts wearing Little Swimmers.

So, from the get-go I’ve had my sights on South Dakota.

Mount Rushmore


Mount Rushmore

That’s better. From my weeks hours of research, I’ve learned all there is to know about visiting South Dakota. Or, at least all I need to know. The Black Hills, Badlands, Deadwood, Mount Rushmore. Scenery. Wildlife. Photo ops. Wild Bill. Calamity Jane. Gambling. Gold mining. There seems to be something for all of us here.

Thank God for the AAA Trip Tik. I freaking love this handy little tool. The annual membership is well worth using this to plan your road trips. You enter your start and end locations and, POOF!, the map appears with the route. The kicker? You can click on the route and drag it to a different road/via point/etc. Since it defaults to the Interstate (aka The Devil’s Way) I always help it out a little and pick the more scenic back roads (aka Path to Nirvana). Then, you can search along your route for lodging, attractions, gas or whatever you believe necessary. Okay, do you get that I love AAA?

When doing road trips, I like to make a big ol’ circle around the area. I don’t like coming back the same way. You can double your sightseeing pleasure with this tactic. Here’s the “agenda” and I use it very loosely:

Chicago Deep Dish> Wisconsin Cheese> Minnesota (because it sits between WI and North Dakota)> North Dakota (because you can’t see one Dakota without seeing the other)> South Dakota> Iowa for catch-up time with friends> Missouri (Smokin’ Guns BBQ and Lambert’s Throwed Rolls)> The Compound.

When you see it all down in writing, our travels really seem to revolve around food. So be it! Eat well, travel often!

Oh, and MDI’s feelings will be hurt if I forget to thank him for naming the blog. So, thank you Donnie.

Categories: The Plans | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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