After driving straight through Nebraska on our way to visit family in CO, my husband and I decided to make our trip back to MN a bit of an old-fashioned roadtrip. We drove through the sounthern tip of Wyoming and then cut across South Dakota. We spent the night in the small town of Wall where The Badlands Loop Road, a scenic drive of the Badlands National Park, begins.
In the morning, after a quick stop in town to visit the infamous-and very kitchy-roadside attraction, Wall Drug (BTW – best donuts ever!!), we headed into the park. We were immediately treated to a sighting of buffalo – A few so close to our car, I just rolled down my window to grab a quick shot before driving away to give them a wide berth to cross the road to meet up with the rest of the herd.
Because of its extreme temperatures, lack of water, and rugged terrain, this area of the American Plaines was named “mako sica” (translation “bad lands”) by the Lakota long before it was a National Park. However, despite its harsh moniker, we found ourselves stopping at several of the many overlooks, surprised by its unique, stark beauty, and to learn about and reflect on its fascinating history.
Learn more about the Badlands here.