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August 5th 2022

Stayed at Badlands Interior Motel & Campground Inc.

As check in time here was not till 1pm, we left Angostura at 10. We stopped and emptied tanks and Linda filled her rig with fuel, getting us on the road about 10:45. Went north to Rapid City, then across to Interior SD. Hwy 44 from Rapid City gets fairly rough with frost heaves and such about 20 miles east of Rapid City. Due to this we traveled a large portion of the drive east 45mph or slower depending on the conditions. Got to see the west side of the badlands as we drive in, as well as a couple of large buffalo herds.

Today was extremely warm, with a high temp of 109 degrees. Needless to say, the poor ac unit on the trailer didn't stand much of a chance against that kind of heat. A round 3 PM we decided we were hungry, so we went to the Local bar and grill just down the street and going to hamburger in a couple of beers and attempted to do our best at cooling off. After lunch, we came back to the trailer removed as much clothing as possible, and attempted to watch a little bit of TV and stay as cool as possible. The landscape here in the badlands is really quite unique. Looking forward to traveling throughout the Badlands National Park and seeing this stuff up close. About 915 it started clouding up and rained throughout the night.

August 6th 2022

Woke up this morning at 5:45 AM to the AC being frozen up, so I am attempting to get it to thaw out and moving a bit of air. The outdoor temp is sitting at 65°, which is a wonderful change from the high temperatures that we had yesterday.

Took Chloe for her morning constitutional walk and got a few pictures of the surrounding area with the soft lighting. Looking forward to the drive that I have put in place for us to do today.

Ben Reifel Visitor Center

Pulled in at 9am when they opened the doors for the day. Grabbed some photos on our way there of the Badlands. Got our stickers for the park and Cindy n Linda got their books stamped for the park. Checked out the visitor center and took pics of the items that were of interest to me.

Visit the Fossil Preparation Lab

The lab is part of the building of the Park Visitor Center. We got to watch 3 different folks that were working on different fossils as they removed the stone surrounding the fossils in front of them. Got a few pics plus got to visit with the folks working in the lab.

Badlands Loop Road

Upon leaving the visitor center we did the loop road, not sure why they call it that as it doesn't loop anything. We stopped at the different vista pullouts and took pics and enjoyed. The park was extremely busy, with well over 50% of the vehicles being motorcycles. Guess that may have something to do with Sturgis being in full motion. The landscape of the park is a gorgeous up thrust of different colored layered materials which are exquisite to the eye. And the shapes are very unique.

For centuries, humans have viewed South Dakotas celebrated Badlands with a mix of dread and fascination. The Lakota knew the place as mako sica. Early French trappers called the area les mauvaises terres a traverser. Both mean "bad lands". Conservation writer Freeman Tilden described the region as "peaks and valleys of delicately banded colors-colors that shift in the sunshine, ..... and a thousand tints that color charts don't show. In the early morning and evening, when shadows are cast upon the infinite peaks or on a bright moonlit night when the whole region seems a part of another world, the Badlands will be an experience not easily forgotten." The peaks, gullies, buttes and wide prairies of the badlands can be challenging to cross, yet they have long attracted the interest and praise of travelers.

The badlands are a place of extremes. Your travels here may produce conflicting responses. You may visit in summer and curse the heat and the violent lightning storms, yet be echoed by the wildlife and wildflowers. You may come in winter, chilled by the cold and winds that roar unhindered out of the north, and still marvel at the exquisite beauty of the moonlight glistening on the snow dusted buttes. Whatever your feelings about the badlands, you will not come away unaffected.

Nomad View

At the end of the loop, which isn't a loop, we exited the park and headed in toward Wall SD. As we were heading into Wall, I realized that Nomad View was on our right, so we drove in to see what all the excitement is about. It is a nice area for boondocking, but disappointing as it is not really as big a part of the badlands as peoples videos make it look like. Would have been a neat place to boondock just to have done it, but quite glad we got ourselves into the park that we are at. Definitely does not live up to its billing.

Wall Drug

We rolled into Wall SD after leaving the Nomad View and went to Wall Drug. It definitely lives up to its billing. Lots of curious shopping to do, plus food to eat. We had lunch, but didn't take advantage of the free ice water or the $.05 coffee. Picked up a few stickers as well as a couple of gifts for Austin and the twins for their birthdays.

As we were leaving, there was a Grand Design repair truck just pulling up, so we went over and chatted with them plus got a pic. Did find out that the new ac relocation kit that we got should help to stop the ac from freezing up, so need to get that installed. Also, the gal works for Lippert and said that they have a suspension retrofit that rivals the Moreryde wet bolt system, so will look into that and compare. Also found out that they have a Lippert Scout app that will need to get.

It was in December of 1931 that Dorothy and Ted Hustead bought the only drugstore in a little town called Wall, on the edge of the South Dakota Badlands. By the summer of 1936, the business had not grown much. They had given the business five years trial time, but they were still seeing a lot of cars going by without stopping. Then on a hot July Sunday, Dorothy came up with a startling idea. Realizing that all the cars going by on Route 16A through the hot, dusty prairie would have thirsty folks inside, she proposed that they put up signs on the highway telling people to come in for free ice water. The rest, as they say, is history!

FREE ICE WATER! This simple but innovative idea has brought the Husteads a long way. They have disco if you offer people something they need and serve up good humor, great service and good deals.

Sage Creek Rd Rim Drive

After leaving Wall Drug, we headed down Sage Creek Rd. All dirt, but finished the loop that the previous route had promised. We were able to not only see more of the Badlands, but also buffalo and prairie dog towns. Got pics and enjoyed the drive. Got back to the rigs about 5pm, having knocked out a large portion of the things we want to see while here. It was a nice cool day today with the high only being 82. Clouded up in the evening, so should be able to open windows tonight without having to run the ac.

August 7th 2022

Woke up this morning to rain and cool temp. We had decided to take a down day today, so the cool temps and rain were a welcome change. Cindy took care of laundry here at the park in Interior. A strange setup with 4 washers but only 2 dryers, so needless to say it took a bit of time to get things finished. I spent the afternoon working on getting photos on the laptop from the phone and the GoPro. Then started going through them with the Movavi photo editor and renaming. Watched some tube to finish out the day and off to bed.

August 8th 2022

Started the morning out, downloading my albums from Google to the laptop so that I can begin putting together videos of the latest travels. Got Chloe out for her walk and then off to check out the Minuteman National Park. We checked on it yesterday via their website, which said that they open at 8am. Showed up at 8:15, and they were closed. Cindy went online, and the website now says they are closed on Monday and Tuesday. So we will try and catch it on our way to our next destination on Wednesday.

South Dakota Air and Space Museum

Drove back into Grand Rapid for this museum that we had missed while we were there earlier this month. It's located at the Eglin Air Force base. There is a very neat outdoor display of planes from the past as well as a Titan missile and a couple of other missiles, Mim3 Nike Ajax, and a Minuteman 2. The planes were amazing as they stretched back to the late 40's and have history of what purpose they served on the story boards in front of each plane. Unfortunately, the indoor portion of the museum was closed for maintenance, so we were not able to check that part out. After finishing at the museum, since we were in town, went shopping for food at Walmart as Interior doesn't have much of a grocery store. Fueled up the truck and headed back to the rigs.

Prairie Homestead

On our way back ran into this little stop on the way so swing in to see what it might be about. Just an old broke down homestead that is on the historical record that they have created a state park out of. The neat part about this one is that they have white prairie dogs that are not found anywhere else. In getting pics they are very friendly and came up to us, but we didn't feed them, just took photos.

Badlands Drive

To get both ways on our journey, we had to travel through the park again, so I did a time lapse video going both ways for a few more photos of this unique park. Worked on photos the rest of the afternoon and caught my journal up.

Had 3 folks come into camp across from us, and when they went to setup their tent, they were using their shoes to try and drive in the tent stakes. I grabbed a hammer out of the truck and took over to them. A few short minutes and they came over to inquire if we might have an extra tent. Seems that a tent designed for 2 people won't let 3 people fit. We got out Cindy's bug tent and helped them set it up and a tarp for a ground cloth. They were very sweet folks from Italy, it turned out that were here in the states for a month-long vacation. His name was Alex, and he played and sang a few Italian songs for us, and we had a wonderful evening with them. Alex's girlfriend was very kind and gave us a special bottle opener as a thank you for helping them out.

August 9th 2022

After Alex and his traveling companions left, we went over and took the big tent down and got it ready to reload for tomorrow's travels. I worked on pictures, organizing them in order of how our travels have gone by date. Also created video and web page for our time in Yuma this last March. Got all of that uploaded and computer put away so that is ready for travel tomorrow. Cindy has started getting inside of the trailer ready for tomorrow's travel day. I got chairs etc. loaded into the truck for travel, but will need to dump tanks in the morning before hooking up in the morning.

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