Up with the crack of lightening at 6:30 and off before the first drop of rain at 7:00 . . . heading for the Badlands. We got in front of the nasty rain front and stayed in front of it all day! We had been seeing Wall Drugs signs for the last 200 miles and we are still 300 miles away! Of course, they are known for their signs that announce “Wall Drugs . . . . 1,000 miles.” But, before Wall Drugs, we had to do the Badlands!
Wall Drugs was 8 short miles outside of the west Badland’s entrance, and the town (population 810) was similarly barren of tourist hordes. This led to a light trip through Wall Drugs, which is actually a conglomerate of many different stores patched together as an indoor shopping mall. It is known for the tradition of offering travelers a free, cold drink of water.
At Rapid City we again left Interstate 90 for the Grace Coolidge Campground in Custer State Park – also putting us right in the back door of Mt. Rushmore . We took a twilight tour on the Wild Life Loop, a drive we make every time we are in the area. Two miles from the campground we crossed paths with our first buffalo on the road, and got meet-and-greet worthy photos of him.
A bicyclist on the road had seen the frisky behavior of one of these big guys and he took advantage to use our big van to shield himself past the buffalo. We did see the buffalo kick up his heels and butt down his massive head at a car, so he was a guy with an attitude.
The wildlife tour had wonderful views, and lots of deer, buffalo, antelope, wild turkeys, rabbits, ground hogs, and those wonderful petting-zoo-worthy “wild” donkeys called the Roadside Bandits. I petted them as a child while on vacation with my parents, also with my own children on vacation with me, and most recently with my sister on a sister road-trip! I love these guys!
Tomorrow: more of Custer State Park in South Dakota . . . and those four men on the mountain!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2018 25' Airstream Serenity with Salsa interior and front twin beds., and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown