Sunday, August 4, 2013

Badlands National Park and a couple Tourist Traps


We left Rapid City on Tuesday and drove the short distance to Wall, South Dakota.  After getting the RV set up in Sleepy Hollow Campground and a quick lunch, we headed out for a drive through the Badlands.

We stopped at the Big Badlands overlook for our first look at the unusual formations that just seem to rise out of nowhere.













My Grandma was here back in 1957, and it’s hard to find the differences in the landscape, although we learned that the rocks are shrinking in height about 1 inch per year.











We stopped at the Visitor Center to watch the video about the park, and then headed out on the Loop Road through the park.

They look like sand castles

These rock formations remind me of the sand castles we used to build on the beach!


There were a few areas where you could walk and climb on the rocks, but it was pretty hot and we weren’t feeling very energetic.


OK, we won't be wandering aimlessly!

Besides, with these signs at every stop, we weren’t too anxious to go wandering around on the rocks!








It’s hard to believe that this area had been settled at one time . . . but not difficult to see that it would have been a very harsh place to live!












The landscape is amazing and beautiful . . . but not very inviting!


Where do we go from here??!!


As we continued west on the Loop road, the colors in the landscape became more varied and prominent . . . especially the reds and yellows!














We could see some storm clouds moving in, and rain falling in the distance!


Storm moving in

We headed back into Wall, though, and the rain stayed south and never reached us . . .


After dinner back at the RV, we walked over to Wall Drug to see what all the hoopla was about.

We found Wall Drug!

We walked through all the shops, which mostly had all the same touristy stuff, and had some ice cream for dessert.

Tom found a friend!We saw the T-Rex in the “Backyard”, and Tom found a friend, too! 



I even got the boys to agree to pose on the Jack-a-lope!!





We had our fill of the tourist trap, so we headed back to the RV for the night.  We were going to get their homemade donuts for breakfast, but at $18/dozen we decided to pass on those!!

On Wednesday, we continued east on I-90 and stopped in Mitchell to visit the “one & only” Corn Palace.

Day 212_Mitchell Corn Palace

The 2013 murals are still in place, although they have already removed all the borders and are starting to replace them with new grain.

Working on the new artwork

These guys were working on the new borders around the murals.


the 2013 theme was Celebrations, and the murals depicted holiday celebrations (Halloween, Christmas, 4th of July),

4th of July

as well as sporting events.

Corn Murals

We went inside to watch the video on the history of the Corn Palace, and took the 5 minute tour.  The building has a “korn”session stand and gift shop, where we picked up a couple packs of Corn Palace microwave popcorn (haven’t tried them yet!). 

There are corn murals inside also, depicting the history of South Dakota,

Mt. Rushmore in corn

and since these are protected from the elements, they only get changed about once per decade, rather than annually.

It’s really quite a’maze’ing how they create these murals from corn . . . like a giant paint by number!

We took a few “corny” pictures,

Tom and I acting corny!




and then, since it was still fairly early, we decided to continue east and put a few more miles behind us before we stopped for the night. 

We made it to Sioux Falls, and spent the night in the Sam’s Club parking lot . . . much quieter than Walmart!


  1. You are pretty close to Minnesota- which direction are you going thru the state? We are only about 150 Miles NE of Sioux Falls on highway 23. However, this week we will be watching grandchildren near Holdingford, which is north of St Cloud. If you get near us, shoot us an email would be fun to meet and talk about travels. Or if you have any questions about where or what to do in MN let us know. I know our blog hasn't been update in a while but we are still alive and kickin. If you comment on our blog, we will get the email.

    Safe Travels

  2. We visited the exact same places!! We loved the Badlands (it snowed when we were there), found the Corn Palace interesting and laughed our way through Wall Drug:o))


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