Where the heck is Wall Drug??

Wall Travel Blog

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Breathtaking
After the episode of the night before, we were ready to get the heck out of Badlands National Park. 

Our first sign of wildlife was waiting to strike from the ground, impeding our path to the bathroom in the morning.  About a 5 or 6 foot long snake (I don't know snakes...but it didn't look friendly) lay curled up in the grasses, ready to attack the unsuspecting, sleepy-eyed camper.  Luckily, a Dutch couple pointed it out to us and made sure ("Ya, Ya, Ya, don't go there") we stayed away.  Our first sign of wildlife....definitely not our last in the badlands.

Unfortunately, we missed the turn to continue on through the park and head west, and instead headed south and out through another park entrance.  Realizing our mistakes, we turned around and attempted to get back into the park.
Unbelieveable
  Our bad fortunes came in the form of 3 words from the Park Ranger: "Where's your receipt?"  See, we arrived at the park so late in the day the night before, the entrance gate was unmanned, so we didn't have to pay the fee to get in the park.  This time, they caught us.  Being the moral people we were...we forked over the cash and went BACK into the park..... ugh.

Winding roads greeted us once again as we navigated down the right path this time and amongst all the outcroppings.  Miles and miles of 45 mph later, we were coming out of the badlands and back into grasslands.  But not before we stumbled upong a city of prairie dogs.  We only spotted them because there were about 4 cars parked on the side of the road doing the thing we were about to.
Made me think of that whack-a-mole game. I wanted to whack a prairie dog...
...take pictures and marvel in the world of the prairie dog.  For me, this was my first time seeing these little guys, so I was amazed.  They were quick, loud, and sneaky.  There'd be 5 scrambling around in front of you, then one pop out of a hole right under your feet, making you jump back.  I found the loudmouth of the crew and took a video of him sounding pissy at us.  He did that about 5 minutes longer than the video shows....but we got annoyed at his persistence and moved on to other areas.  By the end of the pit stop, we had seen our last signs of badlands wildlife.  I never thought they'd be prairie dogs!

Our first item on the agend.........wait.  I forgot we had no agenda!  We did that much, it's a wonder how it all worked out so well.
Made it to Wall
  But you don't know that yet...so I'll start from the top. 

Anyways....we drove to Wall, South Dakota, after half of our party recommended this world famous drugstore in Wall.  Apparently so world famous that they have a billboard for the place in Nairobi, Kenya!!!  (It's true, they did in fact have picture of a sign that said, 'Visit Wall Drug - Wall, South Dakota, U.S.A')  We had started seeing signs for this drug store when we were traveling north on the western side of Iowa, but we thought it was a local thing.  Or, half of us thought it was local.  The two who had been before couldn't say enough to describe this place.  Only that it was big.
Wall Drug!!!
  And that they had 5 cent coffee.  That alone had me sold.  Ever since college, I've been all about the coffee...whether it be with a friend, to help me stay awake, or to get me going in the morning.  I'm even more all about the FREE coffee.  This drug store sounded like a good idea to get us going in the morning. 

When we arrived, not only were there signs every 100 feet, but everything was referenced to the drugstore.  Wall, population 818.  A thriving community centered around a drugstore.  Or should I say amusement park?  After talking with one employee, they swore up and down that during peak hours they receive an average of 20,000 customers a day!  That's ridiculous!!!  Are you kidding me?!?  Then she told me that employees treat their job like working at an amusement park.
And the other side..
  Practically every employee lives out of town (which isn't that big to begin with, but still...) and they get tired of the tourism really quick.  We were there at the very beginning of the tourist season, so there weren't too many people.  But as you can see, the entire town revolves around the drugstore.  Huge parking lots, 5 cent coffee, free bumper stickers, 50 cent doughnuts (DELICIOUS!), and an unusual experience.  While there, I petted a jackalope, tossed a cow patty frisbee, educated myself about the Battle of Little Big Horn by viewing all of the soldiers/Native Americans' photographs in a 'Battle Gallery', and struck up some friendly conversation with locals that frequent the store daily.  This drugstore was truly unique. 

My next entry comes from....who knows?  We had no agenda, no plan.  We just went.  And west.  It was glorious.  Until our next stop...


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Breathtaking
Breathtaking
Unbelieveable
Unbelieveable
Made me think of that whack-a-mol…
Made it to Wall
Made it to Wall
Wall Drug!!!
Wall Drug!!!
And the other side..
And the other side..
The Badlands
The Badlands
Again...sooooooooo many tourists, …
Again...sooooooooo many tourists,…
Rabbit!
Rabbit!
A beautiful place
A beautiful place
Asics and badlands
Asics and badlands
Prairie dog country
Prairie dog country
cactus!
cactus!
Mind your own bizzznaaasss!
"Mind your own bizzznaaasss!"
Whack a prairie dog
Whack a prairie dog
Strange colored hills
Strange colored hills
Seems out of place...
Seems out of place...
Simply amazing....it goes on forev…
Simply amazing....it goes on fore…
Snow?  Hope we dont see any more …
Snow? Hope we don't see any more…
Think we mightve seen one this mo…
Think we might've seen one this m…
Daring...
Daring...
Even more daring...
Even more daring...
One of many
One of many
Were getting close!!!
We're getting close!!!
Is that HUGE sign necessary?  Its…
Is that HUGE sign necessary? It'…
The town of Wall
The town of Wall
Wall Drug...one of two covered wal…
Wall Drug...one of two covered wa…
The backyard of the drugstore
The 'backyard' of the drugstore
Wall
photo by: ejames01