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Dale & Debbie Part 29 - South Dakota

Dale & Debbie Part 29 - South Dakota

2nd Dec 2022

South Dakota

Next we headed to another couple of friend’s picturesque farm in Indiana. They had graciously given us an open invitation, and we finally made it work. They had a perfect secluded spot for us to park with water and 50 AMP service! Everything was so well manicured; we enjoyed walking around and exploring. Best of all was their company, good food and relaxing on their porch! 


Driving across Iowa

 Some farm structures are not as well kept as others are.


Nearing the badlands.

The remaining photos were all taken in Badlands NP from overlooks, while driving, or hiking.


I’ll take you on one of our hikes in the park. Dale chose this trail that I knew nothing about so when we arrived I was trying to figure out where the trailhead was when he took a picture. I found it, started up, but didn’t hear him behind me so I turned to see where he was, and he was taking more pictures. Of course, he took another with me in it.

This was the slickest part of the trail. Guess what I was doing in the photo to the right? Yep, waiting on Dale to take more pictures! I don’t mind because it also gives me a break plus we get lots of photos.

Almost there…I was anxious to see what was on the other side. It really wasn’t hard to get over that pass. A young person could have run up it in a few minutes; It took us 15 - 20. 

Another photo at the top of Saddle Pass and then a photo of what we first saw on the other side.

This is where we began a very scenic 5 mile hike on grassy prairie lands with sweeping views of dramatic badlands formations in almost every direction. We wouldn’t have had to climb that pass in order to do this hike. There are 3 other places to get on the trail. Dale likes to intentionally make things difficult sometimes!

In 2015 we were staying in Rapid City, SD and drove to Badlands NP for a long day. That day/evening we saw many bighorn sheep, mountain goats, bison, pronghorn and prairie dogs. This time all we saw were the last two. At least, we have all of the animal photos from our last visit. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time except for the prairie dogs. They are everywhere and fun to watch and listen to.

I forgot that Dale saw the backside of some sheep one day when he went hiking without me. One showed her face.
I’ve mentioned many times how it doesn’t take much for Dale to recharge; he could hike every day. Although I don’t like him to hike alone, sometimes I have to let him go so I can recharge. Whenever this happens he always tells me exactly where he’s going so if he’s not back in a timely manner, I know where to look.


Here’s a description of the world famous Wall Drug. The original owner and his wife were Nebraska natives. They chose this small community of 300 citizens in 1931 to make their living because it had a Catholic church. When they barely saw any traffic they began advertising free ice water for weary interstate travelers driving to and
from Mt. Rushmore. This was a success and their signs and billboards began popping up all around the United States and other countries. An advertisement in the
London Underground said Wall Drug was only 5160 miles away, and if they wrote, the owner would send them information on the store and the state. They began receiving 12-20 inquiries each day. The rest is history.

 

Today Wall Drug occupies a 76,000 sq. foot building that seems to sell everything under the sun. There is a restaurant that seats 560 people, they make homemade donuts and pies, and still offer free ice water and coffee for 5 cents. They used to be known for making their meals from scratch. Now it seems as though most of the food is frozen. We ate dinner there in 2015 and did not care for it; we didn’t give it another try this time as the reviews were not good. Although people seem to love the donuts and pies.
They receive an estimated 2 million visitors each year ~ up to 20,000 per day during the peak tourist season. That’s amazing for a place in the middle of nowhere! As a matter of fact, Wall was once known as the “geographical center of nowhere.” Today it’s referred to as the Window to the West or the Gateway to the Badlands. I should also mention all of the billboards along I90 advertising this granddaddy of tourist traps. You cannot miss it! Wall Drug says they have 300 paid billboards and many others that aren’t official.

FYI…Wall Drug is still owned by the same family.

We like these wood supports along the strip malls on Main St. There’s a mall on both sides of the street with parking in the center. Yes, there are other shops besides Wall Drug (although I don’t know how they stay in business). And then there are the hitching posts in case you decide to ride your horse into town! Btw…today the population of Wall has almost tripled since 1931, and rises greatly during the summertime when young people come from around the world to work.


There’s a little more to Wall than shops! It was originally a railroad town and was named for the “natural wall” in rock formations.

Hay bales in the Wall area. I like the contrast in these photos.

Next Stop, Nebraska!