I love driving. So when Tyler at the Hertz counter offered us a Dodge Challenger or a Toyota Camry for our South Dakota adventure, picking the muscle car was the pretty obvious choice.
We’re only two days in and already I’m happy we chose the Challenger. Driving the Needles Highway and the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop Road, we opened the windows and the sunroof as the sun sank lower in the sky. We negotiated tight forest switchbacks and narrow tunnels, and cruised gently winding prairie roads, marveling at the constantly changing scenery.
We woke up on day two with no solid plans for what to see and do, but a pretty nice list of recommendations from friends who knew we were headed this way. A couple of South Dakota natives suggested several drives, watering holes and sites they considered “must see” spots. Adding the Friday drive to the bucket-list stop at Mt. Rushmore was a no brainer.
We took the backroads to the eastern entrance to the Badlands National Park at Interior, SD and headed west to Wall on the Badlands Loop Road. RVs, travel trailers, and SUVs were among the others exploring this majestic part of the country … we even followed a Caravan that had come from France!
We stopped for lunch at the famous Wall Drug, then headed back to Rapid City for a lazy evening in our hotel. Joining I-90 with its 80 mph speed limit, I floored the go pedal and was quickly in ticket range. I backed off to a more reasonable speed and marveled at what was happening. There’s something uniquely American about racing down an open highway in a performance car with nothing but a wide expanse of land and sky in front of you!
There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Grab the keys to a fun car, someone you love (and perhaps a cute puppy) and hit the open road!
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