Thursday, June 16, 2005

Journey, part 3: South Dakota tastes like Horehound

The cute guy at the AAA office in NJ had told us “You’re going to stop at Wall Drug, right? You have to stop at Wall Drug!” We didn’t know what Wall Drug was, but since the guy was cute he wouldn’t steer us wrong; and anyway the place had Drug in the name.

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Two seconds into South Dakota we started seeing the billboards for Wall Drug. Sharon tried to catch them all on her video camera, but there were too many. In my mind the landscape of South Dakota is all Billboards. So we exited the highway, lured by the promise of “Free Ice Water” with an 80-foot high dinosaur pointing the way.

We pulled into the Wall Drug complex – a western-themed chunk of Americana in the middle of nowhere. Every type of kitchy roadside tourist trap junk was sold here: “rattlesnake eggs” (jelly beans in a burlap bag); scorpions, snakes and spikers frozen forever in lucite; “invisible dog on a leash;” bobbleheads and jackalopes. We took turns having our picture taken groping a life-sized painted wooden Old West Hooker, ate ice cream cones, and bought a sticker for each state we had passed through. I bought a large supply of stick candy in my favorite stick candy flavor – Horehound. We all bought postcards and took our free Wall Drug bumper sticker. We drank our Free Ice Water and got back in the car.

We stopped at Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial We took pictures of each other and couples who stumbled out of their RVs in their Bermuda shorts and “I’d rather be fishin’” caps. It was a hot, dry day and we pondered what exactly people from Missouri really wanted us to show them.

That evening at our campsite (chosen for the well-advertised All You Can Eat pancake breakfast we would have the next morning) we applied the state stickers along the top of the trunk of my car – a visual of our journey thus far. We wrote “Alaska or Bust” in permanent Magic Marker underneath that and on the rear panel of the trunk, above the rear bumper, we wrote in huge letters “WANDERLUST.” We christened her Lustmobile. Finally, we decided that our mascot (a naked rainbow fuzzy-haired troll named “Chip” for his stripper-like butt) really needed some air. Almost as much as we needed a hood ornament. We crazy-glued Chip to the hood of the car, thinking it was probably a good thing we got through the Land of a Thousand Lakes first.


Blogger Trina said...

Wall Drug! I have a T-shirt from there advertising their "blood and liver pills". My aunt got it for me back when I was in pharmacy school and my last name was still Wall :)

2:05 PM, June 16, 2005  
Blogger Kate said...

Lustmobile! I love that. :-)

4:16 PM, June 16, 2005  
Blogger mireille said...

Missouri wanted you to show them you were GOOD girls. heh. Oh well.

9:03 PM, June 16, 2005  
Blogger katiedid said...

Wall Drug really can't be missed, though I can't quite put my finger on exactly why that is.

Did you see the coin-slot animatronic displays? The creepy piano playing gorilla always freaked me out when I was a kid.

2:46 PM, June 17, 2005  

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