Friday, July 17, 2009
sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug*
Our day started heading to perhaps the most toursty-trap part of our trip: Mt. Rushmore. Viewing this monument was never on my Bucket List, but when you're within 50 miles of it, and you have your kids with you, it seems the wise choice to just go see it already. And so we did. And it was what we expected it to be: an impressive carving of 4 unifying Presidents in the side of a mountain. $10 for parking, and we spent maybe 30 minutes there, which included buying 4 postcards and then addressing and mailing them from there. (Dr. Sis, I think I transposed your zip code when I had to do it from memory, so it may take awhile to get to the boys...) It's quite something, but it is not the sort of place you spend a whole day at, which is good when your real goal is to log some eastward miles.
Once we'd retraced our steps back up Rt 16 to I-90, I made WB stop at Wall Drug. Again, it was quite a tourist trap, although I wasn't expecting it to be as bad as it was. I just like the story of this family opening their drug store in Wall, SD, in 1931 and noticing no one was stopping on their way through, still in 1936. So Ma had an idea to put up signs and give away free water... and the rest, they say, is history. (Or herstory, if you're feeling like a femist tonight.) Anyhow, we bought 2 postcards for us that have Native American founding fathers superimposed above Rushmore. Boy recognized Sitting Bull's picture, which made me quite proud. We'll need to do more with chief Joseph, Geronimo, and Red Cloud. I should put together a Native American History course for school, but that's a tangent for another post. Those 2 postcards totalling .75 earned me a free "Where in the Heck is Wall Drug?" sticker, which is what I went in for in the first place. Ah, advertising...
Now it was time for some miles. Here's the thing about "Great Faces. Great Places." slogan of South Dakota: I'm not so thrilled with the places. If you really want me to come visit your state and be a tourist, put in a sit down resteraunt on I-90. I had to eat a dog from the roller for lunch. I have NEVER done that before, and trust me, I never plan to again. I was happy to leave SD and cross into MN again. All was great until we stopped in Worthington. Here's my advice about stopping in Worthington: don't do it. There's nothing to eat there, either. We found a Chinese buffet where we had to pay before we were seated, and then seat ourselves and get our own drinks and silverware. Seriously.
So all I could think about all day was how "America Runs on Dunkin." America does not run on Dunkin-- the East Coast of America does, but the Midwest definitely does not. I cannot wait until I can get my first medium hazelnut with cream and sugar, just how I like it...
Yes, sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes the bug. We're driving the evidence home with us now.
*Today's winners get the above pic. Which I'm sure you figured out on your own.