Wall Drug is heaven on earth, or a tourist trap

Trip Start Sep 08, ????
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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We woke up and drove all day from Chicago to Wall, SD.  It was a LOONNG drive. I promise I will not bore you guys with how long and boring some of these drives are. The only thing of interest that we did was stop at a place for dinner called Grandma Max's. It was one of those trucker stop places where everything is served with a side of lard.  It had to be done.  Not one person in that place had all their teeth.  
We stayed in a place called Wall, SD I woke up and took a walk around and fell in love.  It's such simple living out here that I thought about stayed and getting a job at the post office.  Then I realized I would have lasted less than a week and hopped back in the car.
Starting 355 miles out, there are signs for this place, Wall Drug.  It's basically a pharmacy that's turned itself into a tourist trap.  They have 5 cent coffee and lots of photo ops so that's where we started. From Wall, we drove about 25 miles to Badlands National Park.   There's a road the winds right through all this beautiful landscape.   

From Badlands NP we drove about 100 miles to Mount Rushmore   We weren't planning on going to the badlands, nor were we expecting to stay that long and we ended up leaving Mt Rushmore at sundown and still had about an 8 hour drive ahead of us.  We planned to drive about 3 hours outside of Yellowstone park and stay at a place called Greybull, Wyoming, but when we got there everything but a gas station was closed.  The nice women in the gas station told us that most everything was full and most motel owners won't answer their after hours calls this late at night (about 1 am)  The only other town outside of Yellowstone was Cody (about an hour from the park) and they were pretty certain that all the hotels were full there as well.  We made the decision to drive all the way to the park that night, sleep in the car for a few hours and then enter the park when it opened.  I haven't pulled an all nighter probably since college and I don't recommend it!  We drove up and around a mountain and saw a million deer along and crossing the road.  It was one of the most stressful driving experiences I've ever had, but we made it through just fine.  Then as we were getting close to Yellowstone, we were driving into a tunnel and saw a dog-like thing ahead of us.  This wolf ran right up to the car and I swear he wanted to jump on top of my hood!  I started driving away and he chased us through the tunnel until he couldn't keep up anymore.  It was cool to see a wolf so close up, little did we know we'd see a million more animals up close the next day.  I'll continue more on the next entry.
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