After a visit with our families in Colorado, my husband and I decided to make the drive back to MN a bit of an old-fashioned roadtrip, and chose to go up through some of Wyoming and then cut across through South Dakota. We planned to stop for the night in Rapid City, but found hotels completely booked, which surprised me as it was the week after Labor Day (Note: be sure to book a hotel in advance if you want to stay in RC 🙂 So we continued on and stayed in the small town of Wall, SD instead, 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 roadside attraction – Wall Drug (BTW – best donuts ever!!), we headed into the park. We were immediately treated to a sighting of a herd 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.
This area of the American Plains was named “mako sica” (tranlation “badlands”) by the Lakota becasue of its extreme temperature, lack of water and rugged terain. However, despite its moniker, we found ourselves stopping at several of the many overlooks to marvel at its stark beauty and reflect on its history and majesty.