This is long overdue, but I still thought it worthwhile to post the summary of our experiences in South Dakota that I wrote from the road last week when we had no service.
We stopped in Sioux Falls, SD for lunch (it’s got an adorable downtown) and then met our cheesy roadside attraction quota at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. What’s a road trip without a cheesy roadside attraction? We had been under the false impression that the whole palace was made of corn, which it of course was not (um, duh). It was simultaneously amazing and underwhelming in the way that most roadside attractions are. From there we continued west on I-90 to Badlands National Park. There were so many juicy bugs between Mitchell and Badlands that we had to stop almost hourly to clean our windshield. We camped at Badlands, and it rivaled Zion National Park as the most beautiful campsite we’ve ever stayed at. There was a full moon, which rose enormously over the landscape, and we listened to wolves howling as we settled into our tent for the night. Oh! And Brian got a cheesesteak in the scariest bar ever in Interior, SD (pop. 67!). The bar also functioned as the gas station and town center, which I guess is how it goes when your town only has 67 residents.
We got up early to see the sunrise in Badlands and then took the scenic route out of the park (translation: drove for more than an hour on unpaved roads). Badlands is amazingly beautiful, if you are ever within a few hours of there should definitely take the time to visit the park. In addition to the incredible vistas, we saw prairie dogs and bison up close and personal. We have a pic (which will be up on Flickr when we get the computer set up and can download all our pics from our “real” camera) of a bison scratching himself on a National Park display kiosk! The rest of the day was spent tooling through Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park. And of course we did see Mount Rushmore, but after the splendor of Badlands we were kind of unimpressed!