Jaime and I are big fans of the weird, the quirky and the kitschy. Hence, we were always on the lookout for some oddball stuff as we cruised across country. Here are a few of the things we encountered along the way:
1. Dinosaur Park – Rapid City, South Dakota – Who doesn’t love a collection of huge green concrete dinosaurs that you can climb on? This free park is high up in the hills so it has a great view of Rapid City below. Dinosaur Park was built in 1936 during the Great Depression as a WPA project and has 5 concrete dinosaurs. My fave was Brontosaurus.
2. Storybook Island – Rapid City, South Dakota – I mentioned in one of my previous posts that Rapid City is a jackpot if you are into roadside attractions. Since we only had an hour or two in Rapid City, we had to choose only a few things that we could do rather quickly, one of them being Storybook Island. Storybook Island bills itself as “an admission free family fun park Where Magic Happens”. It was built in the 1950s and has a lot of really cool old statues in the theme of nursery rhymes and children’s stories. Think Humpty Dumpty, Snow White, the Cat in the Hat, etc. Full disclosure, this is meant to be a children’s park so needless to say Jaime and I were the only two adults that were there without children. We probably looked a little creepy taking pictures of ourselves with the statues but oh well – we had a blast!
3. Wall Drug – Wall, South Dakota – Since we were tooling across South Dakota, we had to make the pilgrimage to the quintessential American roadside attraction – Wall Drug. It’s touted as one of the best roadside attractions in America but I was pretty underwhelmed after what we saw in Rapid City. It is no longer a drug store but a 76,000 square foot tourist trap complete with an old soda fountain, restaurant and gift shop. I was, however, able to score a pretty cool pic of me sitting on the giant jackalope.
4. The Corn Palace – Mitchell, South Dakota – We stopped off here after a recommendation from one of our subscribers (thanks Liz!). The Corn Palace is an interesting structure that has an exterior facade made partially of corn and other crops. Every year they change out the murals on the exterior with a new theme. When we drove through they were undergoing a renovation so our picture of this place doesn’t really do it justice.
5. Antler Arches of Jackson – Jackson, Wyoming – Large elk antler arches curve over each of the four entrances to the downtown square in Jackson, Wyoming. Apparently they have been there since the 1960s. The town invests in regular upkeep to ensure the arches always look nice. They were indeed pretty spectacular.
6. Spud Drive in Giant Potato – Driggs, Idaho – I already posted a picture of this beauty in a previous post but it is so awesome that it warrants a double post. This giant potato really catches your eye as you drive down Highway 33 near Driggs, Idaho. It is the figurehead for the Driggs Drive In. If we’d had more time to spend in Driggs, we certainly would’ve made it to the screening of Mall Cop 2 that evening.