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The Badlands and Wall Drug

July 14, 2012

Today (July 13), we rode through Badlands National Park. The early morning light on the rocky formations softened their starkness somewhat.

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As we rode deeper into the Badlands, I think the heat got to some of the riders! Here is Ineke from Holland standing out at the end of a rock outcropping.

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As we rode on, we saw these cute little prairie dogs. Signs along the rode said they carry plague but they were fun to watch scampering about and calling to each other.  They seemed to be having such a good time. I guess they hadn’t read the signs!

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At about mid-ride today, we came to Wall, South Dakota, named, of course, after my dear Hampden Malarkey Wall. Here I am in front of one of the multitude of signs announcing that one should not, under any circumstances, pass by Wall Drug without stopping.

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So Carol Rutter from California and I stopped in. The place was packed! We got some of their trademark free ice water (a LOT of it, in fact, as it was over 100 degrees out). We also each bought a lip balm. (A person who must carry all of her purchases in a small bike bag is not an ideal Wall Drug customer!).

We finished up the ride with a stretch of about 20 miles on a newly “chip sealed” road. That’s gravel placed over gooey tar in the hopes that the weight of the cars traveling on it will pack the gravel into the tar. Well, the rocks were flying! Cycle America had two windshields and one side window broken on its support vans and 4 of the cyclists had derailleurs broken. Fortunately, no one was injured.

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From → Ride Posts

10 Comments
  1. Roberta Moore permalink

    I remember going through there and of course we stopped! Somehow we felt it was unamerican if we didn’t. My kids got a kick out of it; I couldn’t help wondering how many people in the usa had Wall Drug stuff still hanging around! The gravel sounds awful; when we lived in the south they did that and the tar got on your car and kicked up all over everything. I hope it didn’t get all over your clothes and shoes. Continue to be careful, you are on the adventure of a lifetime…. oh I forgot, you and the wild Malarkey went to the Amazon. Well it beats my paddling up the Tualatin River with Al yesterday!

    • caroleatherton@aol.com permalink

      Paddling up the Tualatin sounds pretty good! It was soooo hot here today!

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  2. Martha Lacey permalink

    Love South Dakota, especially around Custer. Some day we’ll have to tell the story of Em, trying to join me at Custer in the fall of 96. I’d driven out to Mt. Rush-more, just because I wanted to see it. Em flew to Rapid City and then had to find a way to get to Custer. Just told him there was one way that he hadn’t investigated, biking.

    Glad you stopped at Wall Drugs. It’s good for a laugh.

    • caroleatherton@aol.com permalink

      Sorry, but due to limited space in my bike basket, I was unable to get the coveted “I’ve Been to Wall Drug” tee shirts with matching baseball caps for you and Em. See you in two weeks!

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  3. Mary Kroening permalink

    We’ve always stopped at Wall Drugs too! As someone else commented, it’s the thing to do! last time there I bought a rain stick. Maybe I should use it to bring more rain to the Midwest. Did you have a chance to see the Crazy Horse monument? If not, stop and see it on a future trip through the area. It’s amazing. Hope the bike clips are working better now. Falling off sideways is probably not the best (or most graceful!) way of de-biking! Take care. mj

    • caroleatherton@aol.com permalink

      I was disappointed that I did not get to see Crazy Horse. Some of the riders did. You know, the ones who breathe fire and ride each day as if it were the conclusion of the Tour de France. There are some outstanding riders on this trip. I loved that area so much that I will be back someday and explore it some more.

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  4. Martha Lacey permalink

    Call me (us) when you want to go back. John, Margaret’s late husband is sort of buried in Custer. She’d be open to a return trip too.

    Nel just called. We are in a quandary. What do you want to do while you and the Wall man are here? I think this may have been the same time you were here last time, but Wynne has auditions that week, so we will have Cooper and Pearl. Does that change anything? We could do the Museum with them, but what else do you want to do?

    • caroleatherton@aol.com permalink

      Thought John was somewhere in the Black Hills. We are easy as far as what to do when we get there. We entertain ourselves well. I would like to see everyone somewhere. Don’t care where. I picked your house as the end of the ride because it’s the closest!

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  5. The Sabin's permalink

    Glad you’re still biking along. I bet you’re glad you’re near the end. The pictures and stories are so great! You’re a little behind, however! it’s july 16th and i need my gc fix in the am while i’m drinking my coffee 🙂

  6. Martha Lacey permalink

    Nope, John is on a hill in Custer State Park. Certain that that is illegal, but that’s what he wanted.

    Is Malarkey driving ahead of you? Will he arrive here on Sunday also, or earlier? I think I’ll call Nel and see if everyone wants to come here Tuesday afternoon/evening. That’ll give you a day to rest.
    Otherwise, I’ll leave the planning open.

    How are you handling the heat? The heat and drought this summer are starting to take a toll on people. Make certain that you drink lots of water. If you’re through S. Dak. you must be starting to run into the 100 degree heat.

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