South Dakota
August, 2000

Heading east, we stayed at the Badlands National Park.  Very interesting and unusual rock formations, but after visiting so many National Parks and geology museums in the west, we are finding pioneer and indian history a little more interesting.
The Badlands are just an hour from Sturgis, and here too, we saw plenty of Bikers, (it was still Rally Week).
Just north of the Badlands, along interstate I-90, is the town of Wall and the infamous Wall Drug, (you know; "Where the Hell Is Wall Drug?" bumper sticker).  So, for all of you that haven't been to Wall Drug, this is what the attraction is:

Here you can see a T-Rex, (that growls and claws at you once every 15 minutes), drive a wagon across the prairie, ride a jack-a-lope or a bucking bronco.  Around every corner is another room with another adventure or collection.


Next we stopped in Mitchell, South Dakota, home of the "Corn Palace".   Every year since 1892 the entire outside of the "Palace" has been decorated using corn on the cob, corn stalks, corn tassels, corn husks and anything else made of corn.  Every year it is redecorated using a different theme, (and new corn).

(After Wall Drug and the Corn Palace, we've realized that this is the land of the ultimate effort to suck tourists into town).

Another stop just across the freeway was a new Cabela's sporting goods store.  If you are into hunting or fishing you've probably seen their catalog.  This must be the largest sporting goods store in the country.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota was our next stop.  We came to visit Doug, an old friend from Boeing.  Doug saw our truck, but somehow must have mistaken Yogi for Ed.

Actually, we were staying at a Yogi Bear Campground.  There are several on the eastern side of the country and one in Spokane, Washington.

Here's a picture of Yogi, Doug and Doug's wife, Kathy.  Doug quit Boeing to move back to his hometown.  Now he's working as a contractor for the USGS EROS data center.  These are the guys that produce and collect all of the satellite photos of the earth.  We met Doug at work and received a personal guided tour of the facility.

We sat around and had a few beers the first evening we got together. Saturday evening I went golfing with Doug and his two brothers.  Now, this was the first time I've ever golfed, so this was yet another new adventure.  (If I had known there was such a thing as a "beer cart" I might have gone sooner).

Being my first time, you can imagine how some of my shots were.  However, Doug's brother was nice enough to make a few of my shots look pretty good.

OK, I guess we must really be real full-time RVers now

Any real full-time RVer should recognize this place.  Wal-Mart is known for their hospitality to RVers.   We've heard that in Alaska there can be 150 RVs or more parked in the Wal-Mart lot. 

The hard core boondocker RVer's, (RVers that won't pay to park their RV anywhere), are always buzzing about which Wal-Mart will let you stay and which ones won't).


In some cities and even states, an RV park owners association will try to ban overnight parking at Wal-Marts. Sometimes they get the local health department in on it's claim that overnight RV parking is unsanitary.  The three or four big RV clubs representing 200,000 or more RVers will use e-mail and a letter writing campaign to start a boycott.   This usually turns around the decision.

Lots of RVers join the Elks Club so that they can park overnight in the Elks parking lot.  The very small town of Casa Granda, Arizona was considering a similar ban.  When their City Council learned how many RVer's might boycott their town, (eating in restaurants, filling their big rigs with gas and diesel and shopping in their stores), they quickly dropped the idea of a ban.  Just think of what a bunch of retired lawyers,who grew up in the sixties,with nothing better to do can accomplish.

We've only stayed at a Wal-Mart overnight two times in two years, (because it's been late at night when we've pulled into town and the RV park offices are closed).  But if we're anything like other RV'ers, they must love us -- we end up spending lots of money there.
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