July 6, 2019

#174 Badlands

"General Alfred Sully described it 'hell with the fires burned out,' and to the Lakota Sioux and 19th-century French trappers and explorers, it was the Mako Sica and "les mauvaises Terres" - the bad lands.  Frank Lloyd Wright wrote that 'what I saw gave me an indescribable sense of mysterious other-where...'"


The Badlands are populated with bison and bighorn sheep; I got to see both. There was a little group of sheep down in the grassy area in the middle of a switchback.  I drove around the switchback to the parking area so I could take pictures of them from above.  When I finished and started walking back to my car I heard what sounded like rocks (like gravel) kind of falling down the cliff over my car.  I turned around and bam!  there were two little sheep up on the cliff.  One, of which was standing on top looking right at me.

And last, but not least Wall Drug and a surprise stop to buy new tires!

I'll be honest, I hate shopping...in any form so Wall Drug was actually a nightmare.  But I did buy some really delicious fudge. And no, I didn't get a free glass of ice water.  Thanks, but I've got water in my car - "I like cold water, but not freezing cold water." 

I'd also decided that I was going to buy some Black Hills gold while I was there.  I've loved since I saw Kelly Dayley's wedding ring and so to buy some while actually in the Black Hills was a must do.

Also, the tires.  While i was in Oregon, my TPS came on and my front left tire needed a patch.  Right then I knew: I'd be buying tires sooner than later.  I started through the Badlands scenic loop, and I started on the far side (away from Wall, SD).  So when, not far in, my TPS pinged again, I got really nervous.  My gps said I was probably 30 miles away from a tire shop, so I high-tailed (and by high-tailed, it seemed like 30 hours) it to the first auto shop in Wall.  

The guy told me the patch was bad and that he didn't carry the right sized tires to replace them, but he also said it seemed like a slow leak, so he recommended that he re-fill the tire so I could go back and do my sight-seeing.  Then, come back on my way out of town and he'd fill it again to get me to a shop he recommended in Rapid City.  It was a little miracle, that I'm extremely grateful for.  

After I got to Rapid City and got my tire changed, I was able to still do some Black Hills sight-seeing, and getting dinner at a fabulous little pizza place - where I met a great couple and ended up eating with them. 

All in all, what could have been a disastrous day, ended up being a pretty fantastic one.