Day 356 – The Badlands

We hopped in the Jeep right after lunch today and drove an hour to the Badlands in South Dakota.

After driving for over an hour we pulled off the highway in Wall SD.  This town is famous for a store called WALL DRUG. The store opened up in 1941 and brought in people far and wide offering free water and ice.  I visited this store with my family when I was about 9 or 10 years old. 

The post signs about every mile along the side of the highway to Wall Drug. The signs started back in Rapid SD about 50 miles away. I must have been a lot of work to put up that many signs but, by the time you get to Wall Drug you want to stop to see what all the hype is about.

The store is run by local indians and offers all sorts of leather goods, hats, t-shirts, handmade items, really nice cowboy boots, giftshop items, ice cream and food.

The girls got new boots and looked they they were born to wesr them.
Luke found a stuffed moose that he picked up as well.

We only hung out at Wall Drug for about an hour and then it was back on the highway to the Badlands. 

As we approched the park entrance we saw a bison on the open prairie and stopped to take some pictures. Its so cool to just see a bison standing there. I always thought that bison/buffalo were extinct but, I found out when I lived in Denver that they are very real. 200 years ago there were 30-60 million bison in the US. They were hunted to near extinction.

They were almost wiped out many years ago in an effort to remove the native americans food supply. Early settlers didn’t like the indians and realized that if they removed the buffalo, the indians would leave in search of a new food supply. Such sad times in our history.

A major effort was made to bring them back to the area over the last hundred years.

As a matter of fact the bison in South Dakota were completely wiped out. Bison were actually brought back to South Dakota from the Bronx Zoo to repopulate the species in National Parks here.

Repopulating bison worked well here and in many other places. Now there are over 500,000 bison in the US and the numbers continue to grow.

About a 1/2 mile into the Badlands park we turned down a dirt road to get a closer look at a few sheep walking through the deep caverns of the Badlands.  Just a short drive down the road we found a family of sheep standing on the rim just a few feet off the dirt road and pulled over to take it in.

We continued to drive the park loop and came across several more sheep just standing in the road that looked more like goats from a distance. We all hopped out of the car and took a few pictures at different points along the way so that we can always remember this wonderful place.

The Badlands is such an interesting place.  The mountains seem to come out of nowhere, stretch 20 miles and then (just as fast as they appeared) they are gone.  The park shows off the different types of rock formations by creating lots of pull in areas with information signs about each type of mound or peak.  It’s amazing what mother nature creates.

The Eddens were here!  We came and we conquered. Lol.

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