Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Randall Creek Recreation Area, South Dakota

Yesterday we drove nearly 300 miles from Keystone, SD, to Randall Creek Recreation Area on the Missouri River near blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Pickstown, SD. The drive was gorgeous.  Rolling green hills, cattle, farms.  Very pastoral.  When we turned south from I-90 on to State Route 47 it got even more so.  We could easily spend a lot of time in South Dakota.  But we're not  going to (this time anyway) because we're on a mission to get east.

Rolling hills, lots of grass and Black Angus cattle as seen along I-90 in South Dakota.
We started seeing signs for “Wall Drug” near Mt. Rushmore and my brother suggested we go there (although I think he was joking). But as the signs got more numerous we thought “What the heck.”  Wall Drug (in the town of Wall, SD) was purchased in 1931 by Ted and Dorothy Hustead.  It was in the middle of nowhere, people were broke and the Husteads had several bad years.  Then Mrs. Hustead came up with the idea of offering free ice water.  Mr. Hustead put up signs on a nearby busy highway and the plan worked. Today Wall Drug also gives free donuts to Vietnam Vets and here Jim partakes. 
Jim in the middle of Wall Drug, a cavernous store where you can almost get lost wandering from the restaurant to the art area to the jewelry gallery to the book shop, to the clothing area, to the you-name-it.
One of the Wall shops sells cowboy boots.  The brown, pink and light blue pair near the middle top of the photo had a price tag of $577.98. 

A views on SD-47 after we turned south off of I-90.
Our campsite at Randall Creek Recreation Area with the Missouri River in the background.  The campground is large and there is a lot of room between the campsites.  There are a lot of cottonwood trees and cottonwood "fluff" is all over the place.
Today Jim took his kayak out on the Missouri River.  We had an agreed-upon place where I was going to pick him up with the car -- but the shore looked so different from out in the water that Jim overshot it and had to paddle upstream quite a ways.  He did a great job.  
In addition to beautiful grasslands around the park, there's a lot of marijuana growing wild.  So we had to get a pic. 

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