Badlands National Park Plus Monuments

Badlands National Park Plus Monuments

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Spent all day getting to the KOA near our next location, and the weather was so bad that I upgraded us to a cabin so we could avoid the wind and rain.

We left the cabin and drove out to visit Devil’s Tower. We hiked the 1.25 mile trail around the base of the monument.

We quickly drove out to see Mt. Rushmore but it was socked in by fog and rain. At least the parking ticket we’d purchased was good until the end of the year.

On the recommendation of the clerk at the KOA, we had dinner at Wooley’s in Hot Springs. I had the prime rib.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Drove long, fairly smooth, dirt back roads to Badlands National Park. Lots of mud, fencing, fields and some cows, not much else. I was white-knuckling it when we hit the red clay mud on the reservation.

Badlands was impressive. We saw bison, prairie dogs, coyote, and Pronghorn. We also lucked out and saw some bighorn sheep.

At one point I put my respect (not going to call it fear) to the test and walked out on some thin fingers of the canyon walls for some photos. What I won’t do for a decent picture! We kept our eyes peeled for Burrowing Owls but didn’t see any.

After leaving the park, on Uncle Durrell’s recommendation, we went to Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota where we bought some chocolate-peanut butter fudge and looked around at all the oddments. They have everything! I’m sure some folks could spend a whole day there.

Since we’d gone well past the 15,000 mile mark the week before, it was time for an oil change. After that we got the truck washed of all the red mud, and then stopped to look for a nice art souvenir at a “trading” store that specialized in American Indian art. I just couldn’t find anything that spoke to me though, so we walked away empty-handed.

After we left the store we took another stab at seeing Mt Rushmore. As luck would have it, the fog and clouds had cleared and we were able to see the monument. We snapped a few photos and hurried off to see if we could see Crazy Horse Monument before it closed down. Again, we were in luck and saw it lit up for the night. We even got to see the laser show which was sort of neat in that it told the story of the monument and the man in the mountain.