Over the past twelve days, I have ridden through some breathtakingly beautiful parts of our country, but could not capture many parts of it because I was riding at the time, with no opportunities to pull off and stop, no digital cams mounted on my helmet or bike, and no photographer riding pillion with me at the time. Every now and then I would stop somewhere and shoot whatever I could. Just know that there was much, much more that I was not able to capture. That was frustrating at times. You know this practically begs for a return trip with a full-on camera crew.
Speaking of frustration, one potentially frustrating thing about doing a long run like this on a fairly tight schedule is that you will pass right by—or worse yet, right through—other places that are vacation destinations in themselves, but you can’t stop and “do” those places, because there isn’t enough time. In the last few days, I’ve ridden past Yellowstone, past the Devil’s Tower, through the Black Hills without stopping in any of the usual places, and past the Badlands. Today, in my own small way, I tried to compensate for that by stopping at a couple of popular tourist attractions on our way east across South Dakota.
In the 1930’s some hick drug store on the edge of the Badlands of South Dakota began advertising free ice water to travelers on a nearby highway… and the rest is history.
Yes, we did Wall Drug. We love doing Wall Drug. In fact we ate breakfast there. Then my wife and my sister did some shopping while I photographed a vast assortment of oddities for my collection. The whole affair was very touristy, and so were we.
Three hours later, we were more than halfway across the state and visiting another classic American tourist attraction, the Mitchell Corn Palace. The Corn Palace is a different kind of touristy, though. Perhaps a greater sense of singular purpose (it’s all about the corn). There is also a lot less stuff for sale here than in Wall. But again, we love places like this and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.