We can’t update too much today (and I can’t upload any pictures because the internet here is spotty at best) We can upload all sorts of pictures because we’re camping for Day 3 and 4, and there’s so much fun stuff to see! We’re staying at the Wheels West Campground which we thought might be a bust because it’s in kind of an odd location. However, that odd location seems to be a favorite for a lot of local (whitetail, I believe) deer! We even saw a baby deer that a resident of the campground told us she had just 2 days ago! I think everyone is aware of my love of baby animals so to see a momma deer and her baby right off the bat made me very happy (here’s a video of them running away from us)! Sorry, I’m talking about day 4 things so lets get back to Day 3 things!
We started things off in Mitchell, SD where we met up with one of my great old friends, Jan who I went to high school with. She and her husband live in this part of the state so I was super excited that we could meet up, even if it was only for breakfast. It was great to catch up and I’m currently trying to convince her she needs a week or two in Maryland because it misses her greatly.
As for Day 3, it was definitely more travelling. I think we clocked in another solid 5-6 hours of driving time but luckily this time it was filled with 2 really awesome… ok one really awesome and one moderately awesome stop.
The first stop was the “Scenic Byway” loop of Badlands National Park. Which is amazing. It looked like mountains of wet sandcastles, if you can picture it. And if not, well you’re in luck. I in fact have, some pictures for you! As with most things the pictures don’t convey the beauty but let me tell you, there’s a lot of beauty there. Especially going in what this area would call “springtime”. Everything is blooming that can so it’s actually much more lush than normal. Some of the places we saw as we drove, I couldn’t help bursting out lyrics from the Circle of Life. They just looked like they could be prairie lands or something.
The BEST part of the badlands though, was seeing some goats and prairie dogs!! They were so stinkin’ cute!! I couldn’t even stand the little prairie dogs peeking out of their holes. omg.
The second part of Day 4 was hitting up “America’s #1 Tourist Destination (along Rt. 90, I assume)”. It’s one of those “must do” things according to folks who make the trek out here. Multiple people had actually told us to stop there. Turns out, it’s just a timey old fashion tourist trap strip mall. I mean, it’s kind of cool and a touch quaint, but I think Zack and I have made the decision that, while we like kitchy fun things (ie – worlds largest anything), this and the corn palace were just a touch too tourist-trap-like for us to really enjoy ourselves. If there was one picture to describe Wall Drug, it would probably be this:
The greatest thing about leaving Wall Drug though? Well, you start to see mountains within about 30 minutes, and that’s when you realize you really have driven just about across the country, which is an amazing feeling! We’re finally really here in the West. I’m so excited to start our first real full day of sightseeing around Rushmore, Custer, Needles and what people have called “The Wildlife Loop” – I don’t know what it is but it is most definitely right up my alley!