Third Day: Leaving the Badlands (Kind of)

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series South Dakota Trip 2013


Ok, so today we left our motel behind and with it, the Badlands. We wouldn’t be leaving the Badlands for awhile though, as we had a lot to drive through. There were many, many beautiful scenic overlooks today. After eating breakfast and getting ready, we left at around 10:30. We were driving, surrounded by the spires and pinnacles until at least 2:00, stopping to look at scenic overlooks of course. One such special spot was an area of colored rock. The colors stand in contrast to the rest of the formations you see, and they are only in this small area. Definitely a cool place to pull off and look around.DSCN0818
1.We stopped at so many overlooks that I am not sure which ones are which anymore, so here are some other photos from the overlooks and scenic areas. At one of them, we were excited to see a family of Bighorn Sheep. They were down on the cliffs below us. We saw, if I remember right, about 12-15 of them just lounging around. We saw two in the Badlands yesterday, but we were hoping to be able to see a collection of them like this. Don’t have any pictures of this, sorry! We were mainly straining to see them, using a monocular.DSCN0819
3.After stopping at the overlooks, we took a road to get to Wall Drug that would lead us through prairie and ranch land. Before we reached the ranches though, we saw multiple Pronghorn, Buffalo and prairie dogs. In fact, we even have a picture with all three of them in one shot.DSCN0831
4.The buffalo were still shedding their winter coats at this time in the year. We kept seeing them rolling on the ground and rubbing on things, trying to get rid of the fur scraps that were still attached. The next event of interest was our stop at Wall Drug. The history of how it grew is strange. It was a fun place, very touristy but a fun stop, with lots of shops. There was a cool arcade area, and even a restaurant with a great buffalo burger.After spending some time exploring Wall Drug, it was time to get going to our next destination, which was Hot Springs. Hot Springs is located in the southern part of the Black Hills, so this was a pretty long drive from Wall. On the way though, we decided to stop in Buffalo Gap. My grandparents had been there before. It is a really small town, with a population of just 126 people. While we drove around the streets, we saw two people. There were some historic buildings around, which looked right out of a Western town, and several abandoned ones with their windows shattered out.DSCN0848
5.It was pretty cool to look around in, and I would recommend checking it out in Google Street View if it sounds interesting.

We got to Hot Springs later that night, and settled in. We have a lot of cool destinations around the Black Hills tomorrow, and Hot Springs is going to be fun.

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