We got to the Badlands too late to visit for the day, so we spent the night in Wall, South Dakota. We checked out the town before we settled in because, apparently, small towns must now fit some criteria for us to actually spend the night. One bar/restaurant was mostly empty and the bartender didn’t seem very enthused about us possibly spending time there. There was another place a few storefronts away that seemed to have younger people in it, so Wall, it was.
Our hotel, Best Western Plains had a pool and hot tub. I am always excited when hotels have these amenities, but rarely use them. A few years ago, in Red Lodge, Montana, I
was shrieking with excitement about a hot tub in my room. However, by the time I ate and returned to it, I was completely exhausted. Didn’t care. Filled the tub with water and forced myself to sit in it for a while like I was punishing myself. Sara and I really thought we’d eat and come back and enjoy the water, but we never got to enjoy the water.
We went to eat and hang at the restaurant with the younger people in it. As we chowed down, 2 locals kept sitting and talking to us. They were nice enough, so we obliged. I swear one of the guys was missing his front teeth. The other guy was really drunk and told Sara about how he used to be an alcoholic but wasn’t anymore. They wanted us to play pool. In our heads, we are pool sharks, but in reality we suck. Luckily for us, they were drunk and didn’t seem to notice much. One of them started rubbing himself on my leg, so Sara and I took that as our cue to ditch them.
So that happened.
The next day, we got up nice and early to see the Badlands. Va Va Voom! That is some seriously stunning scenery. It used to be a salt water sea. As the water disappeared… the Badlands began.
There is a loop (Highway 240 Loop) that takes about an hour to drive, with plenty of places to pull over to enjoy the sites. There are hikes, too, but we opted out since we had a bit of a deadline to make. Hiking is a must do for the next trip here.
We saw Bighorn Sheep!!
But, we didn’t see bison, porcupines, bobcats, or Prairie Dogs.
I had always wanted to see the Badlands. Just the name alone is cool. Seeing it while on a road trip made it even better.
But.. wait.. there is more!
As you drive towards the Badlands, you will pass like 800 million signs for Wall Drug. It sounded like Disneyland! Except.. a Disneyland that I would like! Lookie!
We went inside Wall Drug and all of it’s glory.
There are attractions that were closed by the time we got there. The Badlands Loop ends an hour East, so we were not able to return to Wall Drug to enjoy them.
On our way towards our next destination, we finally ran into some bison at Al’s Oasis. Yipee