Alaska 2008

Sioux Falls, SD to Rapid City, SD

341 Miles/546 Km

20 June 2008

Route Map

Destination Map

Route Information


Points of interest

Distance From





Sioux Falls, SD Sioux Falls KOA Home
Rapid City
43.608 N
96.707 W
I 90
SD 115
Mitchell, SD Home
Sioux Falls
Rapid City
43.692 N
98.007 W
SD I 90
Chamberlain, SD Home
Sioux Falls
Rapid City
43.793 N
99.341 W
SD I 90
Wall, SD Wall Drug Home
Sioux Falls
Rapid City
43.987 N
102.232 W
SD I 90
Rapid City Rapid City KOA Home
Sioux Falls
44.063 N
103.158 W
SD I 90
US 16
SD 44
Mount Rushmore National Monument
Badlands National Park
Black Hills National Forest
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Photographs and Commentary

We left Sioux Falls this morning under blue skies and the temperature was in the upper 60s. As we moved west clouds started building up and the temperature peaked at about 74 degrees. A sudden short lived rain shower dropped the temperature by 8 degrees in a matter of minutes. By the time we got into Rapid City dark clouds were all around us. We had just finished setting up the trailer and a thunderstorm hit the area. According to the local weather forecasts we are likely to have occasional thunderstorms for the duration of our stay. It won't stop us from seeing the area, but...

Leaving Sioux Falls I-90 runs relatively straight and level until it crosses the Missouri River at Chamberlain. Once across the river, the terrain becomes rolling hills. About 80 miles from Rapid City the hills make way to the sandstone bluffs of the badlands. Yesterday I complained about the monotony of the prairie and wished to be in the mountains. Well, the monotony broke sooner than I expected.

One of the towns we passed on the way to Rapid City is Wall, SD. I had read number of articles about Wall and particularly about Wall Drug. In the early 1930s, the owners of the drug store were struggling to make ends meet and decided to place signs on the highways offering free ice water to drivers going past Wall. They modeled the signs after the Burma Shave signs with corny poetry. The signs worked and the people coming in for water also bought ice cream and other items. The signs are still there, but I didn't see any poetry. I think the first sign we saw was hundreds of miles east in Wisconsin. Susie and I decided that since today was an easy run, we would stop in Wall and see Wall Drug. We pulled into town and it was pretty crowded... the signs are still drawing them in. We tried to find a parking spot in the lot reserved for RVs and trucks.The parking lot was unpaved and had no makings indicating parking spots. It was almost as though the RV parking area was an afterthought. RVs were parked in ways that blocked other so that getting out would be nearly impossible. I had no intention of being blocked so we headed back to the Interstate and continued on to Rapid City. On Sunday we will be going to Badlands National Park which is not far from Wall. We may try to get to Wall Drug again without a trailer in tow.

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