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Prairie Vacation: Day 5 & 6

Cold with drizzle today. Woke Kate up early then off to Wall Drug to fulfill her dream. It was smaller than I expected and not good in any way. It didn't even have the things we needed like warmer hiking socks or a warm hat.

Afterwards it was back to the park, back through all the overlooks and vistas, past small herds of deer and big horn sheep, and on a few hikes. Aside from one trail, the hikes in the park are short -- so short you probably walk further to your bus stop or from your parking spot to the mall entrance than you do on these trails. Most of them are boardwalks as well. Great for the wheelchair set. We went off trail for a while, hopping from crumbly rock to wet clay and had a lovely time.

After leaving the park we stopped by a ethically reprehensible, but still awfully cute, roadside attraction and fed "wild" prairie dogs unsalted peanuts sold as "Prairie Dog Chow" by the purveyors. When we had our fill of that it was on to Mitchell. While we hoped to go down to Alliance NE, the thunderstorm had thrown us off schedule. Instead of Carhenge, we'd see The Corn Palace. But first some grilled asparagus, steamed broccoli, and a baked potato at Ruby Tuesdays and a decent night's sleep at a Days Inn.

The Home Stretch: Woke up to another rainy day and made our way to The Corn Palace. Not as much corn as you'd expect. But hey maybe I'm just jaded being from Indiana and all. Also I was disturbed that Mitchell's proximity to Sturgis may have confused them as to the meaning of "Freedom Riders."

Now only 7 hours back to Kansas City. The weather cleared up around Sioux Falls, SD. And by the time we got to a rest area in Iowa to eat the rest of our supplies, things had heated up so much that we were using the AC in the car instead of the heat. Sioux City, Omaha, Kansas City and home. Open all the windows, mow the grass, eat at Waldo, watch last week's SNL, go to bed. FIN.

(click here to get the zoomable version)

Things that we missed: Devil's Tower National Monument. Wind Cave National Park. Carhenge. Nebraska's Sand Hills. Ingalls Homestead. Iowa's Loess Hills. When to go back?

As I said before, all my photos are here and Kate's photos are here.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 13th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
I would like to clarify that Wall Drug wasn't MY dream, it was Phil's orders. And, as I understand it, a road trip/pop culture responsibility to be met. My doughnut was delicious.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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