Day 22 - Badlands National Park, SD
|Monday, May 24, 2021: Tom had cleaned our Weathertech floor liners the day before and they were sparkly clean ... for the moment.
|We packed up and were on the road by 7:30 AM.
|We got on I-90 and almost immediately started seeing signs for Wall Drug. Oh, yes, we are definitely going there. They have donuts.
|There's a pronghorn mixing with the local cattle.
|In Gillette, we made a little detour to see this Rock-Paper-Scissors sculpture. It's a little different than the one we have in our neighborhoodone we have in our neighborhood.
|Here's an oil rig.
|See that way off in the distance? It's Devil's Tower! No need to go there, though, because we did that four years ago.
|We passed Vore Buffalo Jump, where a pit of bison bones were discovered back in the 1970s when building I-90. (What? There was a time when I-90 didn't exist?)
|Welcome to South Dakota! This was our second time visiting South Dakota on this trip.
|We stopped by Sturgis to take a look.
|On Harley-Davidson Way, you can visit The Knuckle Saloon where Vanilla Ice will be performing soon.
|Currently, it was pretty deserted, but to be fair, it was 11 AM on a weekday. This was just one of many huge bars that look ready to handle a crowd one month a year.
|Lawyers had very specific advertisements here.
|The rest of the town was pretty quiet.
|Here's the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, ...
|... and a host of establishments offering clothing, t-shirts, tattoos, and aid to injured motorcyclists/legal services.
|There's a statue of "Smokin' Joe" Petrali who set a land speed record at Daytona Beach in 1937.
|Here's a venue that provides outdoor concerts.
|We passed Black Hills National Cemetery.
|Tom pointed out this sign and Debbie assumed we'd have to go there. But no - we have already been there!
|Lunch was Taco John's again. Don't judge.
|Here's a red airplane acting as a weathervane. We had seen a yellow one quite a bit further back.
|Here's another Wall Drug sign ... and it mentions DONUTS!!
|The Buffalo Gap National Grasslands Visitor Center was featured in the film, "Nomadland," ...
|... but we kept on driving, because we were here to visit ...
|... Wall Drug, obviously.
|The sign had been changed sometime before our previous visit, but we hadn't noticed that a third Hustead name had been added.
|We were wandering through the facility looking for the donuts when a worker approached us with a menu for the restaurant. We told her that we were just here for the donuts so she brought us to the donut counter. Tom wanted to get an entire bag of plain donuts, but calmer heads prevail and we walked out with ...
|... eight donuts, four chocolate-frosted and four plain. We each ate one, and refrigerated the rest.
|We also picked up a little birthday gift/souvenir for Debbie's aunt Carol, who we would see two days later.
|Here's the famous green Wall dinosaur, a beacon for travelers since the 1970s.
|We entered Buffalo Gap National Grassland, home of ...
|... lots and lots of prairie dog mounds.
|Off in the distance, we could see the ridge of the Badlands.
|We went to the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site but it was closed. We had been here five years ago and also hadn't made it past the entrance. Someday, we'll actually visit it.
|We passed this huge prairie dog sculpture on our way to ...
|... Badlands National Park.
|We had visited here five years ago, so we were just here to camp overnight.
|Well, we were also here to recreate this photo of Debbie's father's family from 1950.
|We found the spot but the foreground had changed a little bit. The road had been moved and a small butte had been removed. But the biggest change was that a large portion of the hill on the far right had collapsed. Look carefully at the two photos. They're cropped in the same spot horizontally, and one of the two peaks on the right is just missing. Erosion is happening all around us here at the Badlands.
|We passed the visitor center (and again, didn't stop because we had already visited it in 2016).
|The campground was just down the road from it.
|We went to go see our campsite, declared it to be perfect, ...
|... then headed to the dump and water fill.
|On our way back to our site, we got a photo of the other loop in the campground, which turns out to be the loop where they filmed "Nomadland."
|We enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon with beautiful views of the Badlands ...
|... strong breezes blowing through the rig, ...
|... and cool drinks.
|A girl and her rig. Debbie's favorite part of every day is looking at the latest view out of the window.
|Our campsite was on the outside of a ring with the restrooms in the center, ...
|... so it was an easy walk to the restroom and shower rooms.
|There was a vending machine outside the shower rooms but it wasn't working.
|Fortunately, we had two more cans of our build-your-own-six-pack from Yellowstone to enjoy.
|Dinner was freeze-dried chicken fettucini, another of the freeze-dried dinners we had picked up in Yellowstone. This one was a keeper.
|The scenery continued to change as the sun moved across the sky.
|We hadn't yet gotten a good photo of our new front window screens, so here they are. Using the Weathertech shades on the fixed window and the screens next to them makes the perfect combination for keeping sun and bugs out and breezes in.
|The moon had risen and was looking beautiful. This is the view from the back of our campsite.
|There goes the sun, ...
|... going, going, ...
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy