Friday, October 28, 2011

Wall Drug & Minuteman Missile (AKA Crazy Cows) 10.28.11

Welcome to South Dakota!

What visit to Rapid City is complete without stopping at Wall Drug, the crazy tourist trap, restaurant, free ice water (not needed today!), 5 cent coffee, and souvenir extravaganza place. We had seen the million or so signs advertising it and had to stop and see what the big deal was.

Welcome to Wall Drug!

From the outside it looked like an everyday small town shop. But inside was a maze of shops, incredible historical photos, an outdoor courtyard complete with a 9’ jackelope, and even a travelers chapel. Again, we were one of maybe 12 people inside and had our run of the place. There was every souvenir imaginable to the junky crap to beautiful art, to saddles, to walls and walls of cowboy boots, camping items, western wear, you name it, it was probably here!

We couldn’t help ourselves and took advantage of a Jackelope ride…

Michael and Rene on the Jackelope!

We left in a state of consumer overload (and lighter in the wallet) so we stopped for a quick geocache before heading to the Minuteman Missile National Historic site. The first stop was at the Visitor Information center where Delta-01 Launch Control Facility and met a wonderful NPS ranger who showed us a short video and answered any questions we had. They had control center tours but the last one had already left. Oh well.

Our next stop was a few miles down the road where one of the actual Minuteman Missile silos (Delta-09) is preserved. It was amazing that it looked like nothing – a concrete slab in the middle of ground with some posts & poles sticking up behind a fence. But to the imagination, it is the end. We looked down into the silo to see a replica of a Minuteman Missile, it was all very impressive! And to imagine that there were 450 of these sites scattered throughout the North Central states. Pretty cool. Though I wouldn’t want to be a missileer! The hours of boredom, the moments of stress, and the isolation….

The Minuteman Missile Silo

Now the most crazy thing about going to the missile silo site was that once off the freeway, we had to drive on a dirt road with cows on both sides. I am positive that these cows are (said in a whisper) spy cows. I’ve driven past my fair share of cows and I’m serious when I tell you that they were just plain creepy. Their eyes followed our every move. Every. Single. One of them!! I’m thinking that their eyes were recording devices and was transmitting the information back to mission control or who knows? Possibly to Moscow!! Either that or they had some kind of mad-cow disease by being so close to the missile. There were even a couple right in the middle of the road that waited until the very last minute to move and when they did, they kept their eyes on us the whole time. Ugh, it still gives me the creeps…. :-)

A Storm’s a coming – with crazy eye cows watching for it!

More to follow….if we make it out of here alive…..


Blogger IslandGirlMick said...

Spy cows? HAHAHAHA

November 21, 2011 at 2:59 PM  

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