Friday, January 21, 2011

South Dakota Billboard Treasures (East Coast Travels: Part 5)

Eventually, we made it to South Dakota, where wind gusts blew powdery, fog-like snow across the road, making visibility challenging half the time. In addition to gigantic, creepy dinosaur statues leering over the interstate in the snow, I-90 billboards in this charming state read:

World’s Only Corn Palace!
South Dakota: Home of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Abortion Stops a Beating Heart
Wall Drug: Singing Quartet! 172 Miles
Dick’s Autobody 24 Hour Toe [sic] Service
Wonderland Caves!
Wall Drug: Shootin’ Gallery! 130 Miles
Discover...Prehistoric Indian Village!
Las Vegas Style Slots!
Wall Drug: Black Hills Gold! 103 Miles
Cabela's. Exit Now.
After You Die You Will Meet God
Wall Drug: Garden Burger! 98 Miles
Vet's Whoa N Go
Alligators Reptile Garden
Wall Drug: Free Ice Water! 76 Miles
Murdo is the Place to Stop
Welcome to Plankinton (I misread it as “Plankton” at first)
Wall Drug: Boots, Buckles, and Belts! 55 Miles
Cabin Fever Motel RV Park
Happy Campers’ Campground
No Growl No Howl Prairie Dogs Ranch Store
Wall Drug: Donuts! 42 Miles
Petrified Gardens: Here Under the Bridge (with a downward pointing arrow)
McNasty Brothers Comedy and Music at the 1880 Town
Ed's Oasis
Wall Drug: Traveler's Chapel! 26 Miles
Sioux Motel
The Rusty Spur: Steak and Spirits
Don’t Forget, Your Sins Will Find You
Wall Drug: Homemade Pie! 10 Miles

Jesus Christ, what was this Wall Drug? They seemed to have EVERYTHING! I found myself...wanting...to go there...@_@

Did I mention that we had nothing but South Dakota radio stations to listen to?

On New Years day, we drove through Powderville, Montana. The town has one street. We stopped at a gas station/feed store. An old cowboy wearing a white Western shirt and a sweat stained white cowboy hat stood behind the cash register. On the opposite wall, there was a WWII memorial, which included a fascinating array of various artillery shells. At a table in front of the cash register, three old men and one VERY handsome young man with bad teeth and Carhart pants were playing cards. I asked them if there was anywhere to get a bite to eat in town. The old men just started laughing hysterically, taking me for a city slicker. (It seems my Silt, Colorado roots are no longer visible. Maybe I should start wearing Wranglers again.) The young man stood up to his full, beautiful, dark-haired height and said, “You can get pizza down at the bar.” I squinted a little so I wouldn't see the details of his teeth and thanked him with an adoring grin.

And the rest of the trip was roadtrip bleh.

1 comment:

  1. I've driven through South Dakota twice and both times it was creepy as hell. I tried to describe the eeriness of it in my first book and ended up cutting the whole section because it just sounded crazy.

    However, I think with your list of billboard signs you've managed to bring the feeling I was going for across beautifully!

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