17. Jul, 2016

16.07.16 Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Up early again, although with a bit more reluctance today, as we were worn out from yesterday’s fun.

We were wanting to visit Badlands National Park, and Wally the guy at the motel had been so helpful with directions yesterday, so Paul asked him about the route.  He told us that the route we wanted to take was actually through an Indian Reservation, and that it was definitely not a good idea to go that way.  He described it as another country, and told us that the ordinary state troopers or sheriffs have no jurisdiction there, and that if you get into trouble, and require the police, it has to be the FBI that go. Also, no recovery people will enter the area if you break down, so we decided very quickly to give that a miss.

This meant a 2 hour trip up to the entrance of Badlands Park at Wall, which we took, along the Interstate.  As you know, we normally avoid the Interstates, and take the two lane scenic roads, but needs must.

The park lived up to all expectations we had of it, so many people along the way had mentioned it to us as a must see, and it certainly was. The sheer magnitude and years of geology there was breath taking.

There were more Prairie Dog Towns to visit, deer, and bison and plenty of views or overlooks to stop at on the looping road which ran through the park.

However, as it was Saturday, it was pretty busy, and at one point we found ourselves turning to each other and saying that we were people-weary today. We decided it will be nice come the end of tomorrow when we are back to just the two of us pleasing ourselves at our pace, not going too slowly because people are taking photos out of the window, or being overtaken because it’s so busy and everyone is in a hurry. Of course this is what to expect at a place where tourists visit, and we weren’t complaining, just perhaps preferring the solitude and freedom of making it up as we go along.

When we arrived back at the motel, there was a magnificent, but brief thunderstorm, which I am glad has now passed as I’m happy to say some of the washing I’ve just done is flapping itself dry on the washing line we’ve attached to the bike.