Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cold War, the Badlands and Wall Drug Store

On Wednesday we to the Minuteman National Historic Site. My dad was in the Air Force during the early days of the Cold War and I remember the bomb shelter in our basement in case there was a missile attack. The small Vistor Center was quite adequate.

We watched the 12 minute film and learned a little bit about the history. South Dakota no longer has any active Minuteman Missile sites due to the signing of the 1991 START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) with the Soviet Union.

The Soviets launched Sputnik in the late 1950's and the US began construction on the Missileman sites on 9/11 (interesting date) 1961. It only took the US two years to get the first network of missile sites operational.

From there we drove into the Badlands National Park. Wow - what a strange and beautiful place. Every turn through the scenic park produced an array of new vistas and overlooks.

We had a picnic lunch at the Visitor Center in the Badlands.

Then we continued our drive to a scenic overview along the way and met a couple from Tennesee. Jim and Marilyn are also RVing full time so we had a nice chat. Maybe we will be fortunate enough to see them in Texas later during the winter.

During a stop, we met Jim and ..... from Tennesse. That generated some good conversation. Very friendly people whom I hope we can see again in our travels as we both spend some time in Texas during some of the winter months.

Next (and last) stop for the day was Wall Drug Store in Wall, SD. It is right on I-90. I think we saw 221 bill board signs advertising Wall as we headed west on our drive from Sioux Falls last week. After our drive along the Spearfish Canyon scenic byway a few days ago, we saw another 47 more signs. We had to go see it.

Wall reminded me a little of Deadwood. It is a remade western town with one large tourist and sovenir shop. A very LARGE sovenir shop. That was no surprise and actually pretty well done. Not too cheezy.

The most interesting thing was the large amount of old (1880's) pictures and newpaper acticles on the back wall of Wall Store. If you go there you have to see it.

Good times in the Black Hills country. A fascinating state and providing plenty of material for the Roadrunner Chronicles. Until next time, thanks for checking us out. (If you haven't left a comment in a while -- please do so. We'd love to hear from you.)

1 comment:

  1. Randy, thanks for posting all the great pics. I remember the Badlands and Wall very well from out trip there in 2007. The scenery in the Badlands is absolutely breathtaking for sure. And, Wall Drugs is quite the place too - we just had to go after all those road signs - amazing. Nice job on the slideshow - looks great!