s/y Nine of Cups
Roadside Americana - South Dakota
June 2012
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Don't forget to check out:
National Parks & Monuments

American Odyssey...Part I
(Las Vegas to Denver)

American Odyssey...Part II
(Denver to Boston)

Birds of North America

Wildflowers of North America
As soon as we entered South
Dakota, there was something to
see. With the acquisition of
Hawaii and Alaska, the
geographical center of the USA
became Belle Fourche, SD
(sorry... this is pronounced Bell
Foosh by the locals) and there's
a marker to prove it. EXCEPT
the real center is in a field
several miles out of town and
the town didn't want to
inconvenience tourists, so the
marker is conveniently located in
town. Hmm... we figured the
center should actually be the
center...even if inconvenient.
Moving it from the center makes
it off-center, but evidently folks
in Belle Fourche don't agree
with us.
I90 is the longest highway in the US, stretching
from Boston to Seattle.
1880 town along I90 came into being when
a western movie was filmed nearby and the
set was left behind. It's grown considerably
with authentic buildings and contents lining
the main street. Kids get a free sheriff's
badge, but David refused to let me go in.
This is our favorite along I90...Skeleton Man Walking Skeleton T-Rex
A patriotic buffalo is one of several
decorated bison adorning the streets and
sidewalks in Custer, SD.
A 60' tall, 25 ton sculpture of a bull's head is one of
several junk art creations by Wayne Porter which
adorn the I90 corridor through South Dakota.
World's largest prairie dog in Cactus
Flat, SD is 12' tall and concrete.
There's an actual dogtown situated
behind him and the Badlands Trading
Post next door offers lots of prairie
dog souvenirs.
This little guy is a rare white prairie
dog and is only located in this part
of the world. In 1966, some local
Sioux were trying to get rid of
some "dogs" and noticed some
white ones. They relocated them
to Prairie Homestead and the
Trading Post dogtown and now
most of the dogs here are white.
We passed up the chance to try rhubarb
wine at the Red Ass Winery. We'll
probably kick ourselves later.
Pringle, SD ...elk capital? We thought they
made potato crisps.
This is definitely
grain-growing country.
They tout over 250, rare, classic vehicles at
the Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo, SD as
well as old nickelodeons and band organs.
We found this guy in the Auto Show
parking lot...no explanation, but why
would you even need one?
South Dakota is rich in national parks and
monuments. Be sure to visit them with us:
South Dakota's state insect is the honey
bee (state insect??). Some interesting
facts about honey:
  • Honey is the only food that does
    not spoil. Honey found in
    Egyptian pharaoahs' tombs is still
  • To make a quart of honey, bees
    collect nectar from more than
    two million individual flowers.
  • From experience, we can tell
    you that wine made from honey,
    aka mead, can give you quite a
Ever seen the old movie "Big" with
Tom Hanks? Zoltar tells the young
boy's fortune and grants his wish
to become big with interesting
results. Knowing this in advance,
we stayed away from the Zoltar
we saw in Deadwood  although
his eyes seemed to follow our
every move. Eerie!
Wall Drug in Wall, SD is a can't miss
stop along I90. From goldpanning, to
T-Rex to tent spikes to monkeys
playing pianos, this eclectic, eccentric
place appeals to something in
everyone. For more on Wall Drug
and all of its many wonders, go to

American Odyssey II -
Denver to
Al's Oasis in Murdo, also on
I90, is a wanna be Wall Drug.
They've copied the roadside
signage idea and have tried to
emulate Wall, but it's nowhere
close to the real thing. They do
have a well-stocked
supermarket there which differs
from Wall, but not much else.
Mitchell's Corn Palace was a
one of a kind place. See more  
American Odyssey II -
Denver to Boston
From South Dakota, we head to
Minnesota where quirky things like
green giants, twine and spiced ham
abound. Are you coming along???