2017-07-27 South Dakota: Wall and the Badlands

Exiting the East side of the Black Hills, we headed for a private campground in Wall, and pulled in after closing. Nice clean Showers, and just a block from downtown Wall.

Wall, South Dakota Started as drug store, and when tourists started visiting because of its convenient location between the black hills and the Badlands, the owners started buying up adjacent stores in the somewhat vacant town. It became a bigger and bigger tourist trap, and today shops spread up and down both sides of the street filled with all sorts of “gotta haves”.

We took the drive through the Badlands in South Dakota.

Yet another area that made you think you could have been on another planet..

And yet another area that kept making me think about how I would NOT want to be out here with out the security of my vehicle, food, and water..

In the parking lot on the way out of the park, we met yet another Travato owner.

Then we made the long trek across South Dakota (not worthy of pictures)

I napped towards the end of the day, while Jennifer drove and Aly co-piloted. When I awoke, we were parking to go “out to dinner”.

In this case, out to dinner really was “out” side.

A restaurant so classy, they even had their own pig.

Little did I know, the pig roams around the restaurant while your eating.. (along with 100+ pound rottweiler dog). ┬áNot only that, but turns out the Gyros I ordered were the pigs favorite, so all through dinner he was rubbing up against my legs. Luckily, we sat at a high table… (well OK, a high wooden wire spool).

From there we headed on to Sioux Falls. We had tried several times, unsuccessfully, to find a stable to take Aly horseback riding, and she was pouting about it, and wanting to head straight home, so we figured we’d try out a kid friendly campground..

Yikes… though she had a good time (and they did have nice clean showers and facilities), the place was mobbed (with KIDS of all things). We swam in the pool, she met some friends and rode bikes around the “campground”. Appeared to me to be more of a “parking lot with trees”, but it was a fun experience just the same.

In the morning we headed South to Kansas City, and stopped at Jennifers Uncle Kenneths. As the scenery once became green and lush, it felt good to get back in the midwest. We ended the trip as we had begun, with some good fresh garden food, and family hospitality.

I Love you honey.

2017-07-26 South Dakota: Black Hills; Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore, The Needles

96+Meant to make a quick stop in Deadwood, but ended up spending half the day around there…. Tourists…

We were considering skipping Mount Rushmore since both Jennifer and I had seen it on previous travels, but ran up there for a “quick look” anyway. If you’re in the area, you shouldn’t miss it.

The skies started turning dark and ominous, and there were reports of a bad storm coming. We headed back to the Travato and found a cousin parked beside us…

It was Gayle again!

We had a quick chat in the rain, and then went our separate ways..

Decided last minute, we would take a run through the needles, as Jennifer had skipped it the last time she came through.

The rian cleared, and as the sun set the skies and otherworldly rock formations took on beautiful colors..

As evening was quickly approaching, and the storm had come and gone, the threat of bad weather had cleared most everyone out and left the road clear for us.

In addition, the “highway” had just recently been paved and was smooth as silk.

Our Travato is just about the maximum size vehicle that can fit through these tunnels – both width and height wise. We even folded in the mirrors so as not to loose them..

The needles, for me, turned out to be one of the “highlight” roads of the entire trip.