Friday, October 15, 2010

Surprises along the way 10.1.10

Our peace in SD was short lived.  After two days of rest we hit the road heading east again our goal being Badlands National Park.   Getting our usual late start we headed back up north towards Rapid City to get on the interstate.  We wanted to take the more scenic route through the Indian reservation but were advised against it since the roads were pretty bad and we were likely to get stuck.

As we were driving down the highway we spotted signs for the FREE South Dakota Air and Space Museum.  First of all, there's little chance that we'd drive by an air and space museum and not stop.  But a free one?  Well, there just wasn't any question!  We are trying to do all this on a budget after all, so if it's free AND of high interest (at least for some of us...) we're there!


First, we visited outside -





And missiles, oh my!


Then, there's this monstrosity - A B-1B bomber.  I'm told.


Under the belly of the beast!


Then, we realized that there was an inside to this place too!

We had our introduction to the Cold War with the Minuteman Missile display.  They'll be more Minuteman tomorrow....


This is the design.  The missile in one location and the 'operating room' next door, both deep underground of course.


This is what it looked like deep down under -


There were general military displays and quite a bit about the Cold War, the arms race and of course the fall of the Berlin Wall.  I really wasn't planning on getting into all this quite yet 'school' wise, but here it was and we took full advantage of it.

Of course, one cannot have an air and space museum without a flight simulator!


And the cockpit of the B-1B bomber.

Not sure what that look on Inventor's face is all about.....


Movin' on down the road, we kept seeing signs for Wall Drug!  What is that you say?  Well, it's billed as the largest drugstore in the world but it's really just the largest tourist trap in the world.  Ads and billboards appear every 100 feet, literally, advertising one thing or another about the place.  Its got clothes, gifts, furniture, books, restaurants, crap, and more crap.  Oh yeah, and you can find some drug store merchandise in there too.  It's basically one store leading in to another store leading into another, but all under one roof and all owned by the same people.  We had already heard about the place but had little interest in stopping. However, after seeing all those ads everywhere we figured we had to stop to at least see what it's all about.

Well, our first encounter was this -

Keep forgetting to use the gosh darn flash!


Whirlwind decided he wanted, uh hem, to sit on her lap....Yes, therapy will follow suit, not to worry.

Then there was Inventor who tried to take the cigarette out of this dude's mouth -


This dude kind of looks like Whirlwind, especially with the missing tooth and all!  Don't ya think??


There were 'wagon rides' -


Scary bunny rides -


Coach rides -

And child eating dinosaurs -

There was a not very accurate though exciting nonetheless, Mount Rushmore -


And then there was this -


We thought it summed up the place pretty well.

Like I said, a bunch of crap with some very random miscellaneous stuff thrown in for good measure!

Thankfully, after that strange yet amuzing pit stop, we made it to our destination and settled in in the oh so quiet desert, just as the sun was setting.....



  1. speaking of the Cold War and the Berlin Wall - we have a piece of said wall in our living room. Grampa was in Berlin a few months after the fall and brought back a souvenir. and a thought- maybe they try to sell so much because the whole place is free. everyone has to make a living..... :-)

  2. Yes, and they do make a bloody fortune on it! It's designed this way to reel you's all business....which is fine of course, as long as it's recognized as such. It's a souvenir shop, just on a ginormous and multi dimensional scale!