Welcome abroad for the next leg of the journey through the great state of South Dakota. Last week we visited my hometown, Eureka, and indulged our imaginary taste buds on the sweet, custardy goodness of kuchen, the state dessert. So sit back and enjoy the ride as we travel to our next destination.
South Dakota may not be the largest state or the most exotic state or a state with a bursting population, but what we do have makes up for it all. We have jackalopes. Yup, I’m referring to the jackrabbit/antelope things that roam the prairies until their lives are cut short by avid jackalope hunters looking for the prize trophy to taxidermy and then place on their mantelpieces. In fact, if you want the epic experience with this odd looking creature, you can even sit on a giant one at Wall Drug.
Now for those of you who are not familiar with Wall Drug’s location, there should be a billboard close to you advertising how many miles separate you from this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Even though these creatures were discovered in Wyoming, they migrated to South Dakota, establishing themselves as local legends and joining the hall of fame of hoaxes. Even though jackalopes would be the coolest animal ever (except for meerkats), these creatures are nothing more than the figment of some men’s imaginations and will to make a buck. This just goes to show that South Dakotans love a good joke and aren’t above making fun of ourselves in the process.
And while you are at Wall Drug, visiting the giant jackalope, take some time to look around. Grab yourself some free ice water or a 5 cent coffee, pop in on the jackalope’s next door neighbor, the fully-animated T-Rex, and then bask in the glow of history, the stories of this state’s exciting and often overlooked past. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; well, Wall Drug is worth a million.
After our second installment of this epic voyage, I hope you understand a little why I love my home state. I hope you fall in love with it too and join me next week. I believe we’ll see some pretty famous faces!