GAR: Day Nineteen – Rapid City SD to Council Bluffs IA (530mi)

Once again, thunderstorms struck overnight. Nothing as big as the storms in Gillette, but still enough to wake me up.

Today was a driving day, along with two stops planned. Our first was Wall Drug in Wall SD. I lived in Nebraska for over seven years, and after seeing the many signs for Wall Drug, I never made it up there. I intended to change that on this trip.

How do you describe Wall Drug? Well, it’s the size of a full city block in a town with a population of just under 1000, and houses just about anything the weary traveler could possibly want. You can get film, coffee mugs, postcards, jewelry, free ice water, coffee for a nickel…. well, you get the idea. This place is a smörgÃ¥sbord of kitschy stuff, and well worth the stop. We spent almost two hours between breakfast, browsing and panning for gems. Yep, you can do just about anything at Wall Drug.

Pointing the Jeep eastward, we headed to our next corny destination — the Corn Palace in Mitchell SD. Another place I’d heard about when I lived in the upper midwest, it was another classic destination I’d never visited. Basically, the exterior of this concert hall/basketball stadium is reworked every year using thousands of bushels of corn and grains. Impressive work! Inside was a cornucopia of Corn Palace related items for sale on the basketball floor. After picking up a few souvenirs and taking some photos, we got the Jeep pointed toward Sioux Falls SD.

We’d planned to only go as far as Sioux Falls, but I still had some steam in the engine, so we pushed on to Sioux City IA. And once we got there, I figured out that we could make an easier push to St. Louis tomorrow if we pushed on to Council Bluffs IA or Omaha NE. What we forgot about was that the College World Series was just wrapping up tonight, and that there were Olympic trials in Omaha. The nearest hotel we could find easily was well over 25 miles west of downtown Omaha, which wasn’t what we wanted to find! Somehow, Becky found a place in Council Bluffs, and was the only room they had — that seems to be a theme with us! We pulled in, checked in, and slept a sound sleep.