Wall Drug Pt. 1
This is a story about Wall Drug in Wall South Dakota USA:
Road Trip Oasis
Beaver Dam Daily Citizen
By Mickey Kaiser
Wall S.D. is the pot of gold at the end of the concrete rainbow. When that 80ft. tall dinosaur cracks the horizon it’s a sign from the road valkyries that Valhalla is near. Soon sensory deprivation will be replaced with sensory overload. Soon there’ll be buffalo burgers. Soon the memory of perpetual flatland will be washed away by nickel cups of coffee brewed from waters of the Ogallala aquifer. For the road weary, Wall (and its most famous attraction Wall Drug) is a little taste of heaven, a balm for the traveler’s soul.
Traveling from Wisconsin, Wall is about a 13 hour interstate drive. It takes you across the bulk of the Great Plains. If you make Wall the first day of your road trip, you’re guaranteed mountains on the second day. Two ranges in fact. 15 Minutes west of Wall you’ll catch your first sight of the Black Hills (Paha Sapa in the Lakota language). They’re actually mountains, and sacred to at least two Plains Indian nations. By the end of an easy day’s drive the setting sun puts you in the shadow of the Big Horn Mountains. If you choose carefully, your path west can remain in sight of mountains all the way to Washington State.
That thought takes me back to the first day and how you get through it. Personally I dangle Wall and its drug store in front me like a carrot on a stick. There are only two outstanding sources of scenery on the first day. The first starts in Wisconsin with the Baraboo hills and stretches through the Mississippi valley and a few miles into southern Minnesota. After that you’re facing about six hours of dry flat land until you come to the Missouri River valley, near the middle of South Dakota. Stop at the overlook to stretch, you’re about half way through your first day heading west. Look out on the valley and contemplate the fact that this neighborhood was as far west as Lewis and Clark got in their first year.
Once you regain the interstate you face the fact that the scenery isn’t going to change much for the next few hours. When you’re within shouting distance of Wall, the Badlands rise in the southern horizon. Things are getting better.