Rapid City

I wrote yesterday that I-29 from Fargo to Sioux Falls might be the least-used segment of the whole interstate system. I have changed my mind. It is I-90 from Sioux Falls to Rapid City. For much of the drive, I saw nobody in my review mirror.

Three hundred miles, and hundreds upon hundreds of billboards for the upcoming tourist attractions. Most of the signs are shabby and run down. First for the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD, then for Wall Drug--one per mile, at least--then for Rushmore Cave, Black Hills Cave, Bethlehem Cave, Crystal Cave--clearly these are competing caves, as they each were the biggest in some category--then for Reptile Gardens, and the Cosmos Spot. Everything but the caves was man-made.

Many billboards for Casey's Restaurant in Chamberlain, SD. So, I decided to stop. The restaurant was smaller than any one of its billboards, but the food was delicious. Pork roast with sauerkraut and carrots, with a great view of the Missouri River to boot.

I am staying at the Alex Johnson Hotel in downtown Rapid City. I have stayed here before. It is a beautiful old hotel, built in the 1920s, and recently refurbished. Comfortable, but with some character. I look forward to looking around for a funky little restaurant here downtown for supper.

It is raining in Rapid City. Much better than snow.