We passed a largely uneventful day in the car getting from one side of South Dakota to the other. There was no point taking back roads and the high was was just as scenic. At times it felt a little claustrophobic under the open sky which was full of heavy clouds pressing down on us. The horizon was also a tad nauseating and I wished for some skyscrapers to block it out.
We arrived just outside of the badlands to stop for the night. We pinched hotel internet to see if we could find a room but we had the misfortune of traveling at the same time as Sturgis, which is a huge bike tour. All the prices went through the roof, and I’ve never seen so many motorcycles in one place before.
Despite being early to rise, it seems motorists are even earlier, and we were far from the first to leave the hotel in the morning. Thanks to a national park card, we slipped into the badlands for free in the early hours, and here is where we began to hit pockets of pretty bad weather.
The road was immaculately maintained.
The road was also very windy, to Chris’ delight, but we stopped several times to walk around, stretch our legs…
and just bask in the beauty of it all.
It would have been more than possible to spend a whole day just driving around and taking long hikes. It was at this point however, that we got news that we needed to get to Seattle a bit faster than we had planned.
So, as is tradition of anyone who has ever been to South Dakota, we popped into Wall Drug for water–and I kid you not 25 cent coffee–and were on our way again. (okay, we had donuts too…they were so worth it.)