The Badlands and Back to Wall Drug!!
I finally hit my fourth and final national park is just eleven days…and it did not come without a painful hour-and-a-half drive either. The reason it was painful (for those that are curious) was that I had to drive on the worst gravel I had ever been on before. Then, I saw a sign that said “Leaving Badlands NP.” So naturally, I turned around like the intelligent individual I am and found a road that pointed in the direction of “Badlands Loop.” Well, this road was unpaved and muddy from all of the rain. I made it about 1.5 miles of having very little control over my vehicle. Now, a little bit aggravated, I turned around and got back onto the gravel-covered highway…..
All said and done, I did end up making it to the Badlands National Park in one piece. By the time I made it (around 3:00 PM), the weather was starting to clear up. I did not get to hike the Notch Trail because of the uncooperative weather, but I did get to drive around and hit the overlooks. After driving around for a bit and buying a more than necessary amount of souvenirs, I went back to Wall Drug where I got a great meal, 5 cent coffee, free iced water, and a couple small souvenirs from there as well!
The Badlands National Park
This place looks like Mars. It is almost difficult to comprehend. You drive into this park and it seems like someone dumped piles of wet sand in the middle of South Dakota. It really is unbelievable and I can only imagine what this place looks like at sunrise or sunset. Hopefully one day I get to find out. I’d like to come back to South Dakota…there is so much to see and do and the history that this state holds is incredible.
Back at Wall Drug
Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota is roughly 25 minutes from Badlands National Park, and it is on the way to Rapid City if that is the direction you are heading. It made sense to stop there to get dinner and shop around. Having more time to walk around, its easy to see why this place is so popular….There was a store with cowboy boots, western clothing, and cowboy hats. There were stores selling all sorts of different souvenirs and trinkets. Their cafe has a seating capacity of up to 500 people. There was a bookstore and a store selling all kinds of gems and stones……I am telling you all that Wall Drug is one of the coolest places in South Dakota! If you have a chance, GO.
I am probably going to stop there tomorrow morning as I make my way home for breakfast and another 5 cent coffee. This trip has been wild…in eleven days I have visited four national parks, driven through twelve states, done some first-class hiking, and hit up some famous attractions, such as Wall Drug. The experiences I have had on this trip have been incredible. I have thousands of photos to go through and edit as well as a ton of new material to write about. I am happy to share more with you all.
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