While working our way home through South Dakota, we had to stop at Wall Drug Store. I had never heard of it, but apparently there are signs all over the world promoting the place. It was started during the depression and the one thing that got people stopping were billboards promoting free ice water, which it still offers to this day.
I’m sure when the roads weren’t paved and the dusty roadsters came in they were quite happy to get free ice water back in the day. Personally, free shots of Tito’s Vodka would be a bigger draw.
That being said, there were plenty of other attractions to make this stop worthwhile.
Some billboards hawked their six-foot rabbit. (There happened to be more than one, but this one caught our eye first.)
They could put this on a billboard…”Ride our jackalope with a bigger ass than Amy Sherman’s!” So proud.
But nothing could top their newest addition. I actually waited 12 agonizing minutes to capture this amazing show. Walgreen’s and CVS need to up their game for sure.
T Rex (click on that, but lower your volume)
This guy made us hungry so we finished up with some homemade donuts. Note: They do offer a free donut to vets, but without frosting. I guess risking your life doesn’t quite qualify you for the only reason to eat a donut. Here, have a tiny cup of free ice-water to choke down your frostingless donut. The frosted ones are worth the money though.
Okay, so there is a whole subculture of Winnebago View and Navion owners. Brad belonged to the Skinnie Winnie forum long before we bought ours and it has proven to be invaluable. Anytime we see or pass another View, we have to call it out and try to get their attention with a wave. It’s rather cult-like. Usually the ones we pass are newer models, but right after parking at Mt. Rushmore, another 2006 View pulled in to park right next to us. What were the odds? The excitement was palpable. You. Have. No. Idea.
We spent the first half-hour talking about our Views and trading notes. Theirs was identical to ours except for being a different floor plan. (Ours in an H, theirs is a J for those who know what we’re talking about.) They currently live in Florida, but Steve had a Dixon, IL connection. After slobbering all over each other, we finally broke away to go see what we came there for. Rushmore would have to be pretty impressive to top this little love fest.
It happened to be September 11th when we were there and besides the American Flags being at half mast, there were yellow ribbons around Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia. Each state is represented in the columns leading up to the Monument.
Vicky and Steve made the whole experience tons of fun. We reluctantly said goodbye to our new best friends and headed east. OH, BUT THERE’s MORE!
It just so happens we ran into each other on the road again, despite leaving at different times and making different stops. This could possibly be the first View drag race in the history of drag racing. Totally safe. I’m sure we didn’t even break the 75 mph speed limit.
So Brad decided he was bored with our moose sighting and tossed the nearest thing he could get his hands on to get the moose to react.
In the end, the moose was just a little nonplussed, while I went commando on Brad’s ass.
This guy needed a bath, so I gently guided him over to the river because I’m anal like that.
No clouds. No Photoshop. No words.
This guy was so popular a ranger had to control traffic and make sure everybody stayed on the far side of the road. This was right outside of Yellowstone Park, which reminded Brad of a man he met the last time we were in this area.
The man and his family were enjoying Jenny Lake. His two-year-old was playing at the water’s edge. Unbeknownst to them, a black bear had been napping in the brush. He popped up, walked right next to the man’s little girl and continued on into the water. Heart attack with a happy ending. The man was still shaking when Brad talked to him. If I had scripted that chance meeting, the kid would have been eaten, somebody would have been slapped, and I’d have a best-selling book out called “CLAWS.”
This guy came right up to the street we were all stopped on to photograph him, stared everybody down implying, “You or me, people.” We all slowly backed away and he crossed the street like a boss.
It’s a Colorado rocky mountain high
I’ve seen it rain fire in the sky
Friends around the campfire and everybody’s high…
THIS is the vehicle I would have stolen while on the lam from prison. Nobody would suspect a killer to be driving an old woody Jeep. This beauty made it up to the top stop in Rocky Mountain National Park.
And I’ll bet if this guy had one, his clean water holding-tank wouldn’t have leaked out the pressure-release-hole because he filled it to the brim right before driving up here, and the altitude made the water expand so much it had to escape. Live and learn. Note to self: Do not drink soda while slowly weaving up a mountain road to 11,796 feet above sea level. I already leak enough without any added pressure.
This is the mural at ONE LOVE’S head shop in Loveland, where we found out the new Colorado marijuana laws do not take effect until the new year. The clerk told us some people were stupid enough to sell their homes and move to CO immediately. Color us premature, but rational. Anybody looking for a four-bedroom tudor-style home not too far from Chicago and all it has to offer? (Except that.)
- What are you lookin’ at?
Unfortunately these guys have to graze elsewhere because Estes Park flooded a couple of weeks after we stayed there. This campground was right next to a branch of the Thompson River. It’s unimaginable what the flooding has done to Colorado. We were so lucky to be there when we were. I hope this herd got their flashy butts to higher ground.
We knew we were in the Wild, Wild, West when we saw THIS sign driving through Wyoming. The next digital message warned drivers not to pick up any hitchhikers. We could have used that tip before we offered some lonely guy in an orange jumpsuit a ride and the use of our toilet. He said he just wanted to lay low for a while on our couch. I corrected him of course…”Actually, it’s ‘lie-low.’ Chickens lay eggs, people lie low.” He thanked me and said he should know better because he knows people lie all the time.
Seriously, for the next fifty miles Brad and I had our eyes peeled, hoping to see someone running through the sagebrush with choppers in hot pursuit. Personally, I would have tried to make it to a nearby housing division beyond all the open desert. At least you could get into a home and steal a gun. Everyone in Wyoming has a minimum of one gun. Per drawer. THEN you could hitch a ride for sure.