Friday, September 7, 2012

Yellowstone Road Trip - Day 09

“I have the substance of things hoped for. I have the anticipation of things unseen.”  from the book “Peace Like a River” by Leif Enger

Alarm went off at 6:30a.m. and the two old buzzards were on the road again by 7:32, having broken their fast in their room.  Leaving North Platte, Nebraska they got on Hwy 30 for a short bit then spent most of their drive today headed north on Highway 83. Daily trivia: did you know that Highway 83 goes from Mexico to Canada? Did you care? Just remember, it might come in handy when you are on Jeopardy.

We now have a car fly swatter so Linda marked that off her Wall's shopping list. There was a plastic one hanging on top of the wall calendar in the our last motel room and it jumped off the wall and into Wilma faster than you could say “Happy Birthday, Linda!” She figured that was OK since it has the motel's name on it and we will be advertising to flies (flys?) in several states.

As we were approaching the Nebraska border into South Dakota we realized that we hadn't taken any photos in Nebraska other than of our dinner last night. It is the Corn Husker State but the corn we saw was corn that must have been crops that did too poorly to be harvested (lack of rain). There just weren't that many attractions along the road, scenic or otherwise, and we were too tired when we got to North Platte to go exploring around town, although what we saw of it was nice. Linda forgot to mention that when we pulled into our lodging yesterday the first guy she saw walking by had on a red t-shirt with black letters that said FEAR THE CORN. What was that all about?

Valentine, Nebraska (called Heart City) is about 20 miles before the South Dakota state line and just to the left of Valentine the time zone changes from Central to Mountain Time. Wilma got very confused and kept changing the time from 10 something to 11 something and back to 10 something, etc. John's cell phone got even more confused when he put it back on "automatic" and it took about a half-hour to catch up to reality. We stopped for a rest stop and driver change the Valentine McDonalds at 10:30. Linda drove us 80 miles north to Murdo, South Dakota and we got there at 10:40 (according to our mixed up Wilma's clock). Next we headed west on Interstate 90 and soon got back into the Central Time Zone for good (at least until we leave Idaho on the way back home). When you study the jaggedy back and forth vertical lines on the time zones in the atlas, it makes you wonder how they were devised. Some don't seem to make a lot of sense.

Back to our quote for today – about the anticipation of things unseen and things hoped for. We had heard about Wall's Drug before, so we were wondering when we would start seeing the signs. Sure enough, right after we got onto the interstate at Murdo there was a sign saying “Entering Wall Drug Country” and we were then 80 miles away from Wall, South Dakota. They probably start even further back on the interstate than 80 miles. Anyway, Linda jotted down what the signs said and it was sort of like a Burma Shave saga at some points with signs coming so close together. With hardly any repeats, she counted 32 signs in the 80 miles before getting to Wall's Drug. She tried to photo a few of them but it is hard at 80 miles an hour (75 speed limit plus 5 for good measure). Here's some samples, each was on a separate sign and included the words Wall's Drugs: Coffee 5 Cents, Homemade Breakfast Rolls, Doughnuts, Shooting Gallery, Free Ice Water, Cowboy Up, 25 Minutes to Wall's Drug, Badlands then Wall's Drug, Homemade Ice Cream, Don't Miss Out, Quality Black Hills Gold, Take a Break, Wall's Drug or Bust, Chuck Wagon Quartet, Have You Dug Wall Drug?, Cowboy Hats, Dinosaur, Traveler's Chapel, Wood Carvings, Homemade Lunch Specials and our favorite FREE Coffee and Donuts for Honeymooners.

We got to Wall, South Dakota before noon and our room (at America's Best Value Inn – not at Wall's Drug) was not ready so we found the City Park and shared a Subway foot-long turkey/ham sandwich for lunch. Linda saw an ad for Subways NEW Birthday Cookie so just had to have one. We then drove through town to get a look at Wall's Drug and the first thing we saw were parking signs and tour buses. Amazing! And the other side of the street from Wall's Drug is filled with the Chamber of Commerce and a  lot of touristy type businesses that probably would not be there except for the draw of Wall's Drug. Linda and John took a quick peek inside and returned to Wall's Drug later after checking into their room and unloading. Quite an amazing place! Here's some of the story: During the Depression in 1931, Ted Hustead, a young pharmacist, his wife Dorothy and son Billy bought a small drug store in Wall, a town of about 300 people. They moved into the back of the store. After a few years they realized they could not stay in business because people in western South Dakota were having hard times. In desperation, Dorothy suggested they advertise free ice water to attract the traveling public who seemed to by driving past in huge numbers. The idea saved the drug store, Because of the Husteads' tenacity, Wall Drug slowly grew to be the largest drug store in the world. Ted and Dorothy have passed onto that great pharmacy in the sky but Wall Drug is still family owned. And, you can still get free ice water. You can learn more about Wall Drug by clicking here.

There are 64 images in today's photo gallery which you can view by clicking here.

We also did a drive-by shooting of the Wall Drug store with our nifty little GoPro Hero2 camera suctioned onto the windsheild. That video is below.

The old buzzards did not make it around the whole place but they did pause mid-afternoon for some homemade ice cream. John had butter pecan and Linda had raspberry. Both flavors were yummy and really did taste homemade.

Dinner was next door to our motel at South Dakota Roadtrip Cafe and Fat Boy's BBQ (it's really the same place). It was very good. John had pulled pork and beef brisket, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes and gravy. Linda had a smoked buffalo sandwich, Fat Boy beans and a Fat Tire amber ale. The service was slow but old printers always study the menu carefully and can entertain themselves by finding typos. For example, at the Roadtrip Cafe you can order “potrions of coleslaw, waffle fries” etc. and “All smoked sandwiches swerved with your choice of one side."

All in all, it was a most enjoyable day and Buzzard Number One had a quite memorable birthday.  Buzzard Number Two bought her a couple of souvenirs and a birthday card at Wall's Drug. He gave her the sweet card at dinner and said “I was going to get you a funny one but you're getting really old and . . .” He's all heart! And always so concerned about Buzzard Number One's advancing age (she is a whole NINE months and five days older!). Says he's always preferred older women.

Happy trails!

P.S.Another sign you might see in today's photos is for Firehouse Brewery in Rapid City. There were 3 huge signs at different places along the interstate, each with an actual big red firetruck parked in front of the sign – very attention getting.

P.P.S. Fannie Mae is enjoying the buffalo and the while-tailed deer at our motel.

No comments:

Post a Comment