We left Nebraska and quickly were in South Dakota. Saw these small windmills all over the place and this one long horn cow.
First stop was here. I was approached by some Lakota Indians selling beautiful jewelry and dream catchers. Some had sage incorporated into them. I have mixed feelings about visiting places like this. Mostly very sad.
As I was talking with some of the locals, BJ showed up! He said he’d be going there. We do rove up to the grave site together. I’m glad he drove because the ruts in the road were very deep.
The cemetery fairly unkept which makes me sadder. There were a old and modern graves.
BJ and I said our fairwells again and Daisy and I headed north.
The terrain was definitely changing. The sand hills were eroding exposing the soil and rock beneath.
Badlands National Park
We stopped at the White River Visitor enter and I a suggestion for dispersed camping from the ranger
We drove 5 miles down a gravel rode up a hill and the view was spectacular!
This place is kind of public so I drove back down the road to where I saw a turnoff.
The sunset was awesome!
Even a gator to make me homesick (middle photo).
We survive the night without sleep walking off the cliff or getting blown off by the wind. Had some nice oatmeal and coffee and headed for the badlands.
We passed through Scenic, SD.
Well, not so much. I guess it must be the off season. We drove through here on the way.
We also made a stop at Country Cowboys for more coffee and to use the loo.
Ben Reifel Visitor Center Badlands National Park
We drove East on 44 to the visitor center.
Made sure I got the passport stamp and a sticker and then I wanted to drive to “loop”. There are many overlooks to stop at. This was the first which entailed a decent loop trail of its own.
Daisy walked… most of the way. Pretty sure it was waaaay too cold and wet for rattlesnakes to be out and about.
This was a short walk about fossils.
We happened to be there right when there was a ranger talk. He was great and clearly was knowledgeable and enjoyed his work.
Daisy was even mentioned in the talk.
This is the skull of the first dog ancestor.
These were all authentic fossil specimens. The others are reproductions.
There were many overlooks to stop at and take in the wonders of the Badlands.
I stopped and looked at this place to stay in the black hills but honestly it was creepy and I was sketched out. So we kept driving.
Custer State Park
By the time we got to the park through the windy, narrow steep mountain roads it was raining and cold and late. I used the phone to register standing in the rain freezing. I asked how much and then said it doesn’t matter I’m not going anywhere else at this point. It was $29.50!! So needless to say I just cleaned up and went to bed. It was in the 30’s that night so I planned to use the electric blanket. We were warm enough but I don’t think the blanket worked at all. It did have a ton of static electricity though I could SEE the sparks fly when I ran my hand over it in the dark!
I heard the rain continue to fall and bigger things hitting the top of the van too. I thought it was pinecones or branches. Until daylight and I looked out the window.
Holy cow SNOW!!!
We quickly ate some cereal and headed to Mount Rushmore.
We saw these guys on the way.
it snowed the whole way to Rushmore.