South Dakota is cool.

Crissy drove 200 miles to Pierre on Saturday morning to help us out with rides. While we were all pretty excited about the craft fair going on in the hotel, but we pried ourselves away and hit the road. She gave us two options for the day: Go east to Sioux Falls, or go west back to Rapid City and check out Mt. Rushmore. Easy question. No American road trip would be complete without a trip to Mt. Rushmore, so we headed west.

Crissy is a radio DJ at HOT 93.1 in Rapid City, SD. She put her kids, husband and concert plans on hold to hang out with us on Saturday. Her radio DJ personality comes through right away. The clever, quick wit morning DJs possess was obvious when the first sentence she said to us was “craft fair! Sweet”.

On the drive back to Rapid City we stopped in at the famous Wall Drug for some famous free ice water. Wall Drug is one of those tourist traps, which stays alive because of the hundreds of billboards littered throughout the surrounding highways. After seeing the tacky ads for hours it would be almost criminal to pass by without having a look around. We did have a look around and even spent some money. Freddy got a new belt buckle, while Sammy got a new hat.

Crissy took us by her radio station to have a look around and meet her husband Adrian. Like many radio DJs he does not go by Adrian on the air, rather working for two stations under two different ‘on air names’. Those clever DJs, I always thought radio just attracted the cool named people, but it’s all a front.

Later Crissy and her Pontiac took us into the Black Hills to see Mt. Rushmore. It’s definitely one of those attractions you need to see to understand. But hopefully these sweet photos will do some justice.

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After Mt. Rushmore Crissy elevated her status to a true "Drive-A-Saurus-Rex". She offered to drive us all they way to Mitchell, about 300 miles away. We arranged a ride to come meet us a little bit closer in Chamberlain, but it’s still a long way. Crissy’s distance for they day ended up being over 860 miles. That’s good for top-three in the long distance ride category. Thank you for being such a road warrior Crissy, we appreciate it.

Brad came to meet us at Al’s Oasis in Chamberlain. Al’s Oasis is yet another South Dakota highway tourist trap; full of tacky and useless merchandise, like this. As nice as South Dakota is, it seems like their economy is reliant on tourist traps like Al’s Oasis, Wall Drug, drive through zoos, forests full of all the American president’s statues, the ‘original’ General Lee and some mountain with guys heads on it. I guess that’s just another reason why South Dakota is cool.

After Crissy passed us off to Brad we headed to Sioux Falls. Along the way Brad took us to the Puk U bar for a drink and the most spectacular tourist attraction of all...

St. Paul, MN

First off, someone set up a Wikipedia entry for us here. Right now it's a little thin, so please have at it and add some content.

We slept at Brad’s place Saturday night and he offered to take us into St. Paul Sunday morning. But, Jason, also from Sioux Falls also wanted to take us into St. Paul. Luckily Brad had already handled the situation by calling Jason and combining their efforts to get us there together. To make it even easier, they live only a couple block away from each other, but never knew it. The four of us piled into Jason’s Jetta and headed east to Minnesota.

Before leaving town we checked out the falls of Sioux Falls. The area was recently restored and made into a really nice park. Don't believe us? Have a look.
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Jason served in the Navy and has some crazy stories about working on the submarines, like staying submerged for 72 days, running into whales and a hatred for dolphins. Brad is on a quest to prove to us that South Dakota is cool, and it’s working. You can read about it all here.

We consider ourselves professionals, but not yet experts in the hitchhiking field. The expert title comes with years of practice, concentration and diligence. It was our good fortune we met a true expert in St. Paul. Roger Johnson is “The world’s first self proclaimed welcome sign photography expert”. Roger, a St. Paul local, agreed to meet us at the capitol building with his twin brother Rodney and Haley Chamberlain. Never heard of her? Well you better check this out. The three of them are planning a 50 states in 50 days trip for the spring and have been following our progress. You can follow their progress here.

They are filming weekly updates leading up to their big trip and invited us to join along this week. The video is posted below. But wait, keep reading and watch it after.

The capitol events continued with Nick’s Great Dane, Tango. Nick, a St. Paul local hooked us up with train tickets from Montana to North Dakota through his travel agency Leisure Travel. Then we got to hang out with Paul from the local TV station WCCO.

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better out came the Minnesota tradition of the capitol building stairs three-legged race. Scotty and Fiddy were in tough competition against Roger and Haley, two seasoned veterans. The wind was gusting from the east, the stairs were freshly polished and the crowd anxiously awaited the starting gun.



Some say it was the weather, while others say we were road weary, but frankly we were just out of our league.

The Photoshop Challenge!

UPDATE!
Digg!


Are you good at Photoshop? Or any other Photoshop type programs? Or bad at them and want something to do?

Well here’s your chance. We want you to take any of our photos and do something cool with them. Make a collage, put yourself in them, change it into ascii art or anything else. Potential good themes may be hitchhiking, USA, road trips, jump shots, awesome people or people doing the Paul Mancell. Or better yet come up with a totally random theme and send it in to us. We’ll post all the entires, but the three best get limited edition customized Hitch 50 shirts.

Winners are announced on December 1st, so what are you waiting for? Get all of our photos here, download them and get photoshoppin’ Download our logo here.


Scotty and Fiddy

PS. Bill in Washington, DC is off to a big head start.

Day33XXXX

Here are some more submissions:

hitch50_contest

usa948


Hitch50

moshgirl


SEE ALL SUBMISSIONS HERE