Family Trip to South Dakota, Wyoming

Title: Anderson Family South Dakota Trip 2000
Destination: South Dakota
Purpose: Family Vacation to go visit South Dakota/Wyoming
States: Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska
Duration: 10 days
Vehicle: 1994 Nissan Altima
Distance: 3,008 statute miles (round trip)

Photos: Badlands NP | Devil's Tower | Mt Rushmore | Crazy Horse | Jewel Cave | Wind Cave | Needles Highway | Custer St Pk | Hiking

Day 1 - Friday 08/18/2000
Day 1 was pretty much a travel day. We left Webster Groves, Missouri about 7:20am. We traveled West on Highway 40 to Wentzville where we picked up Interstate 70, part of the Eisenhower Interstate system. We traveled west though Columbia to a rest stop where we stopped and had breakfast (bagels). For lunch we stopped at a McDonalds. We drove west on I70 to Kansas City where we caught I north We had a hotel reservation in Sioux City IA but decided to cancel it since we were making good time - we pushed on to Sioux Falls SD. We drove 610 miles which would be our longest travel day of the trip. We stayed at a Best Western hotel in Sioux Falls and ate at a nearby Pizza Inn. We stopped at Walmart and bought a new 8mm tape for the camcorder and additional slide film.

Shortly after arriving in South Dakota we started seeing the "THINK - X marks the spot" signs and lots of them. Apparently South Dakota uses them to mark accident and/or fatality sites.

There are many roadside signs in South Dakota and a lot of them are on I90. I have never seen so many signs for a single business. I am talking about the Wall Drug signs that encourage you to stop and have some free ice water or nickel coffee. More on Wall Drug later.

Day 2 - Saturday 08/19/2000
Traveled about an hour west on I90 to Mitchell SD, home of the one and only Corn Palace. We visited the Corn Palace, took the tour, ate some popcorn, bought a few discounted items.

Next we walked across the street to the Enchanted World Doll Museum home to over 4,000 dolls set in approximately 400 different and unique scenes. These antique and modern dolls are exhibited in detailed dioramas depicting life in the early 1800s and 1900s, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and last, but not least, Star Trek. Girls enjoyed it, I found it to be a little overwelming.

Back on the road traveled another hour westbound to Chamberlain SD and had lunch at Casey's Cafe overlooking the Missouri River. Casey's claims to have the world's best cheeseburger, at least a New York writer thought so. The cheeseburgers were good but I prefer the one's served up at Carl's Drivin on Manchester Road in Brentwood MO. If you eat at Casey's be sure to try the pie.

Two and half hours later we left I90 at exit 131 (highway 240) and turned south towards Badlands National Park. We stopped at the prarie dog town just before you enter the park and kids fed the prarie dogs. Being late in the afternoon the dogs didn't seem to hungry. Within the Park, on the west side is Roberts Prarie Dog Town on Sage Creek Rim Road (5 miles of gravel). Admission to Badlands National Park is $10.00 for carload, good for a week.

It's very hard to describe this area. "I've been about the world a lot, and pretty much over our own country," wrote architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935, "but I was totally unprepared for that revelation called the Dakota Bad Lands.... What I saw gave me an indescribable sense of mysterious elsewhere - a distant architecture, ethereal..., an endless supernatural world more spiritual than earth but created out of it." Be sure to take the 41 mile scenic Badlands Loop Road and stop at the various scenic turnouts. We stopped and hiked the "Notch Trail" a moderatly strenous 2K trail that wanders through a drainage, then up a cable and wood ladder then to notch for a spectaclar view of the White River Valley. We stopped at various places along the Loop Road and took a bunch of pictures.

we left the park via the Pinnacle Entrance and drove the 8 or 9 miles to Wall SD. Wall is the home of the infamous Wall Drug store. Wall Drug Store got its start during the Depression years (1931) by offering free ice water and nickel coffee to thirsty travelers and by building its reputation on friendly service. And those Wall Drug road signs, they are everywhere.

Day 3 - Sunday 08/20/2000
Badlands, Wounded Knee.

Day 4 - Monday 08/21/2000

Day 5 - Tuesday 08/22/2000

Day 6 - Wednesday 08/23/2000

Day 7 - Thursday 08/24/2000

Day 8 - Friday 08/25/2000

Day 9 - Saturday 08/26/2000

Day 10 - Sunday 08/27/2000

Happy Trails.
Photos: Badlands NP | Devil's Tower | Mt Rushmore | Crazy Horse | Jewel Cave | Wind Cave | Needles Highway | Custer St Pk | Hiking

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