Saturday, June 21, 2008

More South Dakota

Writing on Sunday morning.
Arrived in the Badlands Friday. Pretty spectacular. The Badland buttes are striated rock formations in various angular shapes and forms inc. magnificent spires and towers. Others look like large sand castles.

Both of us were feeling tired from all the driving this week and thought we might just stay in the campground yesterday -- and we are both so glad that we didn't.
We took a morning hike, our initiation into being active again. I thought that the 4-mile loop, rated moderate, would be fine. I hadn't noticed that there was a shorter piece rated STRENUOUS that one must hike, actually climb up and for me, slide down, to get to and from the loop. And then there was the warning sign...Beware Rattlesnakes.

The hike was fun and a bit challenging. The moderate part was beautiful,flat and in open sun. And although there were many folks at the trailhead, we saw no one else for most of the trip, except for one young man. And just as my energy was beginning to flag, we saw the same guy coming around the other side. He had just run the loop! From Brooklyn (what's new?), he was on break from medical school. A few more folks were coming in as we were leaving. A little concerned for those walking in without water bottles (sort of like the people who start at the Grand Canyon trail in flip-flops). And no rattlesnakes.

Prairie dogs (sign...Caution: Prairie Dogs Have the Plague...??) and a few deer sighted from the van. Flora (lots of wildflowers), no fauna, on the trail.

And tourists that we are, we couldn't pass up those enticing Wall Drug signs. We wanted to drive the incredible road through the park which was on the route to Wall.
Obviously, like the Corn Palace, a hokey tourist attraction...with much to buy.
We only purchased comestibles...lunch and ice cream.
What I did like about both places is their history as ventures of early entrepreneurs.

We are staying here in a KOA campground (this will be the third night) with full-hookups and tomorrow onto Custer State Park, which will be more primitive with no hookups inc no electric (so we will run our frig on propane).

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