When you consider America’s most iconic landscapes, the names Mount Rushmore and Badlands are certain to be among them. Yet when you disclose that you’re taking a trip to South Dakota, many of your geographically-challenged friends give you a puzzled looks. In spite of its many treasures, South Dakota maintains a humble simplicity (with one exception being a small town called Wall). From hikes, to monuments, to roadside oddities… South Dakota has everything that makes a great road trip!
After a long drive into Rapid City there was one important order of business that needed to be taken care of… BEER! So, I rounded up my local pal Dan, and in great haste made it to Downtown Rapid City. We settled on a cavernous Main Street pub (with an equally gigantic patio) called Thirsty’s (819 W Main St.). There was no question that I would try the Dakota Buffalo Burger, which was made with locally raised buffalo. I also wanted to try a local beer, however I was disappointed to find there wasn’t any local microbrew selections on the menu. Despite this hurdle, Thirsty’s does offer a wide selection of regional brews, so I settled for the Colorado-based Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale. The food was great, and the atmosphere at Thirsty’s was festive. During our meal, the patio became swarmed with men all wearing red dresses. This was a sight that I became very used to during my years in San Francisco, but not what I expected in Rapid City. We learned the group was a local running club, and there was speculation that the event may have been for charity. Nevertheless, the show sparked great debate on who-wore-it-best.