day 116
wall drug, south dakota

"We should wait for the buffalo to fall asleep, then tip them over." -k.
home...    map...    photos...    contact us...      visit our giftshop!
Land of Plenty:
State: South Dakota
Nickname: Rushmore State
Land Area: 75,896 sq. mi.
Summer Pop.: 738,500
Winter Pop.: Just Us
Highest Point: Harney Peak
Height: 7,242 ft.
Capital: Pierre
Largest City: Sioux Falls

Claim to Fame:
The largest number of cheesy tourist attractions per square mile than any other state. Also, the largest number of billboards advertising cheesy tourist attractions per square mile than any other state.

Deal of the Day
Closed Attractions in South Dakota:
Wall Drug Soda Fountain & Donut Factory
Wall Drug's Backyard
Wonderland Caves
Rushmore Caves
1880's Town
Petrified Gardens
Prairie Dog Farm
Pioneer Village
Did you know?
On a nice summer day, Wall Drug can get close to twenty thousand visitors. That's a lot of free ice water!

Go Back. South Dakota is Closed
Dec 20 - Originally, we thought it would take us around three months to do this trip. Based on that, it wasn't going to be that cold anywhere and we'd be travelling during the perfect middle season. Not high season, when we'd have to endure endless lines. And not off season. Definitely not off season.

Well, it's officially off season. In fact, it's so off, they've pretty much closed South Dakota.

How could this be so? It seems as though everyone who operates a tourist trap (and there are plenty) in South Dakota has boarded up their stores and headed south for the winter, where it would now be high season, I presume. The gas stations are closed, the campgrounds are closed, the visitors centers are closed, the places where they sell all of those sweatshirts that say "Harley Moms Love the Highway" are closed. Some highways would be closed if there was snow, but we've lucked out there.

Our trip down the lonely empty highway brought us to Wall Drug. It was physically open, if not enthusiastically.

If you haven't heard of Wall Drug, you've for sure seen the bumper stickers at some point in your lives. They've been brought to over 50 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Antartica, and (brrr) Canada.

In a nutshell, several years ago the Wall Drug shop was failing, so they had the bright idea to offer free water to the travellers passing on the highway. They put out a few signs advertising the Free Water and Coffee for 5 Cents, and before the signs were fully up, visitors were stopping by the dozens. Their business was saved! Since then, they've expanded to the entire block, filling their stores with every piece of souvenier junk you could imagine. In the summer, you can supposedly spend the entire day just admiring the kitchy stuff they've got lying around. But that's in the summer.

Our Wall Drug experience consisted of us running around.

"Let's go to the Soda Fountain, Yay!"

"Oh, it's closed. Blah."

"Let's go get fresh do-nuts at the Do-nut Factory! Yay!"

"Oh, it's closed. Bleh."

"Let's go to the famous Wall Drug Backyard! Yay!"

I'm sure you can guess what happened when we went to the backyard. Next time, we're starting this trip in May.

wonders of wall drug...

Papier Mache Rudolph. Classy.

I had one of these. Really.

The cowboy is a little too happy.

More photos! More!
more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Wall Drug, SD

Next Stop: Badlands

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Prairie Perfect

Daily Stats

Wall Drug:134
Giant Dinos:4
Avg. Height:60ft.
Avg. Coffee:12 cents
Avg. Water:Free

Sleeping Quarters
Badlands National Park

Site near the buffalo. We've got buffalo right around the corner from our tent, which is truly in the middle of nowhere. We've been told that we should hear the coyotes tonight.

Cost: Free!

Wall Drug
Town of Wall
K's Order:I Can't Believe It's Not Buffalo Burger
A's Order:Fries

Did we get hosed?
Kev ordered a Buffalo Burger, but we think he only got a lousy beef burger. If anyone else has had this same experience with Wall Drug, please let us know. We'll storm Wall Drug and demand Buffalo!
Badlands National Park
Kevin:Coffee Crisp
Aimee:Crackers & Peanut Butter

Your email address...

© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Double Decker Biscuit Heads.