Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 5: Unexpected Surprises

States Traveled: South Dakota and Wyoming

Weather: High Temp: 65        Low Temp: 55        Sunny and windy.  So windy in fact that because we were driving straight into the wind most of the day we got absolutely terrible gas mileage.

We feel like we have gotten the hang of packing up and heading out each morning.  Most of today was spent in South Dakota, with nothing specific on the agenda other than to get to our destination in Wyoming with enough time to let the kids expend some of their extra energy.  Last night we discovered that the famed Wall Drug was on our way and at a perfect distance from the start of our day to stop for a lunch break.

About 30 miles before Wall, SD, we saw a sign for the Badlands Scenic Loop road that conveniently ended at Wall.  We made a quick decision that we had plenty of time for a detour thanks to gaining an hour to our day by passing into Mountain Time.  That means we are now 2 hours behind the east coast (please keep that in mind when calling us!).  What a fantastic decision that was!  We entered Badlands National Park and made a couple of quick photo stops while driving the loop.  The beauty of the Badlands can't be put into words, so I will just show you these photos instead.  If we are friends on Facebook, you can find even more photos there, including family photos, in my CT to AK trip album.

Afterward, we all had lunch at Wall Drug (buffalo burgers, of course!) and then wandered the store.  It held quite an eclectic combination of attractions, from a roaring animatronic T-rex to jumping fountains and the usual cowboy

Tomorrow we are headed to Yellowstone!  We found out that the entrance we had planned to go through is currently closed during the day because they got over 2 feet of new snow last week, causing an avalance danger when the sun warms it up.  We have to re-route and go up through Montana and back down into the North Entrance of the park, which conveniently puts us at the entrance closest to the place we will be staying.  Unfortunately, it also means that the half-day we planned to spend in the park while driving through it to get to our cabin won't be happening.  Semper Paratus!  We will not have wifi in the park for the next 2 days, so I will blog from my phone if I can and then add more once we have internet access again.


Michele said...

Love the pictures.

Susan, Ryan, Pete and Chester said...

What a super cool road trip. Maybe we'll get Alaska next and follow your path!

Richter's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great photos of the Badlands and Wall Drug. So glad that you decided to take the Badlands Loop Road, some beautiful sites!

Safe travels,
Katlyn Richter
South Dakota Dept. Tourism
Facebook - South Dakota Tourism