Friday, May 24, 2013

The Badlands, Wall and the Black Hills!

It was a busy day of driving and sightseeing today. We started out before 9 a.m. and drove to the Badlands. We got there and started in through the gate. We had been seeing a lot of rock outcroppings so one always gets a taste of what's to come, but nothing can compare to the actual landscape of the Badlands. The first vista was just past the gate and we stopped to take pictures. We let Tab and Deanna take the lead through the park then. Since this is our third time here, we let them choose when and where they wanted to stop and take pictures and we followed along. Most places I got some great shots. . . probably just like the ones I took last time, but I do have a better camera. And I have a panoramic setting on my camera, so I experimented with that. It's pretty cool.

There certainly was no shortage of photo ops! At one point just before the visitor's center, parking was a little tight, so we went on to the visitor's center and perused the museum and waited for our friends to catch up. While we were all there, we were surprised by some other fellow classmates of the "Fulltiming Class of 2005," a group of people who met on and formed an "alliance" with others who went fulltime the same year. Glen and Diane, "Rollin' Hubbs," were in the area and were actually camping at the Badlands Visitor Center Campground. We had a nice visit with them before we rolled on.

Never before when we were here did we ever see any animals, but we were not disappointed this time. We saw quite a few antelope and my zoom lens on the new camera captured their images. We also saw prairie dogs, but they are small and further from the road, so it is a little harder to see them. We also had "close encounters" with some bighorn sheep which were grazing right next to the road. One big guy walked across the road in front of us and nimbly climbed up the steep rock. Amazing. They were not afraid of us, but we were careful not to get too close. Some people weren't as smart, but I wouldn't want a big sheep to start butting me off the mountain. It was steep terrain and they can walk it gracefully, but it's not for humans!

We continued to be mesmerized by the beauty of nature in the Badlands. Even though the area is not useful for agriculture, it serves as great historical importance and a home to the bighorn sheep and a herd of bison, which we did not see.

We rolled on to Wall, South Dakota, and had lunch and visited the world famous Wall Drug Store. It is an interesting stop and Tab insisted on getting his picture taken on the jackalope, so we complied. Hah! We also partook of the free ice water. . . you can't go to Wall Drug and not get a drink of ice water, although it didn't seem to be very cold.

From Wall, we drove 67 miles to our camp in Hermosa, South Dakota, which is just south of Rapid City. It is a little further away than some other camps, but a lot of the camps in the park have limited services and we wanted to crash for a few days and get some laundry done, etc. We also are at a Passport America camp which is $18 for FHU. Most camps in the area are $50 a night. Since this is a holiday weekend, we thought perhaps most camps would require you rent for the weekend, so we wanted a cheaper place. We have been here before and enjoy this camp. The people running it are very nice and we will have a nice relaxing stay.

Till next time. . .



jocelyn said...

HAH! Is that Tab on the Jackelope?

I was going to request a picture with *someone* riding it.

Dale said...

But of course, colander girl!

Tab & Deanna said...

I tamed that sucker! It was bucking kids off left and right! Lol

Dale said...

Tab, are you off your meds again?