Badlands Loop

Saturday, July 12, 2014, Bonnie, Rebecca and I headed for the South Dakota Badlands. No, we were not on the lam as outlaws seeking some hole in the wall from which we could hide from a pursuing posse. We were merely day visitors, along with perhaps hundreds of others who ventured into the federal park for an outing or as workers. However, we did spy some regular residents inside or just outside of the reserve – mountain goats and prairie dogs.

On the way to the Badlands, we paused at Wall, SD for the purpose of moseying through the famous Wall Drug complex.

It so happened that we arrived just in time for a small town parade – the smallest and most locally spun we’ve ever experienced – all of one block long! Wall Drug itself is one block long and two blocks deep – packed with tourist-trap merchandise, fine art, food, and various curious amusements for young and old. It is a destination all its own. Remarkably, though, we didn’t buy anything. Before leaving we did the once over of the Wounded Knee Museum gift store and Native America crafts as well as a nearby novelty and touristy shop.

Like yesterday, today, we made a giant circle in the process of following the scenic drive through the Badlands National Park. The topography over which and through which we traveled varied from Great Plains prairies to irregularly eroded, layered, jagged mountains. The mountains through which we traveled the past few days were completely different in every way from these; today’s mountains seem atypical to mountains generally.

Bonnie, Rebecca and I enjoyed a picnic lunch at a shaded park table. The nearly treeless landscape afforded us no respite from the abusive sunlight beating down upon us, although the temperature was moderate at 78 degrees. Nevertheless, repeatedly, we parked the car and strolled along walkways before getting back in the car and driving to the next viewpoint.

It was another good day on God’s marvelous earth. Moreover, I spent it with my two best friends – my wife of four+ decades and our oldest child.

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