The story of Wall Drug is something of an American legend. This family owned a drug store in the small town of Wall SD and it was not doing well. There was a lot of passing traffic but they did not stop. There was no reason too, and no compelling attraction. One hot summer's day the owner decided to offer free iced water to any one who stopped and put up signs to advertise this. They have not looked back and today Wall Drug, now off the main interstate 90 is a destination in its own right. As for advertising, no one traveling on the I90 can possibly miss Wall Drug SD - there are billboards every where along the route for perhaps thirty miles!
Today was Tuesday and there were plenty of people visiting and we had to park the bikes at the fringe, but it was entirely manageable and we never felt crowded. It could well be different on weekends.
Although a tourist trap, it actually has considerable charm, and they still offer free ice water and 5c coffee refills. Free bumper stickers (you have a choice of three) and free , highly colorful shopping bags. We enjoyed our short time there.
Wall is at one end of the 240 Badlands Loop Road. This is well signposted and we were soon at the entrance to the Badlands National Park. (We are now officially ahead!) Almost immediately one is presented with the most stunning views of eroded landscapes. What is so interesting is that these eroded features lead down to green grasslands below. It reminded us a little of Bryce, but this is not Canyon Country. The stone is different, as are the colors and the geography.
The road has been thoughtfully routed for the tourist, displaying the area conveniently and to best advantage, with many well located turnouts and viewing areas. There is also a fair amount of wild life and we saw mountain goats, deer and prairie dogs.
We were approached by a number of other bikers and other folk who were interested in our travels and it was pleasant chatting to them.
The loop took us back to the I90 and against an easterly breeze we made steady progress until deciding to stop for the night in Murdo SD. John and Anne visited the local car museum and were most impressed with the display.
Tomorrow there is nothing planned in terms of sightseeing, because if there is anything to see, we are unaware of it. So we may simply lay down rubber and get some miles behind us.