on July 9, 2007
July 6 at Badlands National Parkwww.nps.gov/badlWe checked out of our cabin on Friday morning and started the drive home to Minneapolis. After about 80 miles, we left I-90 at Exit 110 (Wall, SD). We thought of visiting the world-famous Wall Drug, but didn’t have time for that and the Badlands, so we turned south onto the Badlands loop road. The loop road alone, would be only about an hour long, and to see the other-worldly scenery makes it well worth the added time. We were coming from the west; a driver coming from the east would leave I-90 at Exit 131.The entrance fee is $15/car and is good for a week.We stopped at the first overlook and discovered we had just passed Sage Creek Rim Road, which we had read about and were interested in. I asked someone who had just come from there, and they insisted, "You HAVE to go!" So we did and were glad. Along the gravel road, we saw a large herd of buffalo, more close-up than we’d seen at Custer. But even more interesting were the prairie dogs. None of us had seen them before, and there’s a whole "town," burrows stretching across the dry prairie. We walked among them, pretty close. They’re a noisy, chirping bunch!We didn’t go all the way to the end of the Sage Creek Rim Road, just far enough to see the buffalo and prairie dogs and wonderful scenery.There is NO shade for picnicking in the summer heat of the Badlands. We had already planned to stop at the Ben Reifel Visitors’ Center, almost all the way around the loop from where we began. At the visitor center there are tables with man-made shade of a sort. The Badlands video was very informative, including people history as well as geological/land history.
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