Friday, June 25, 2010
Day 10 Badlands to Hill City, SD
We woke up to a lovely day in the Badlands. We left the FMC in our campsite and took off in the Suzuki. We toured the visitor's center and headed off on a drive. We drove to the brand new Minuteman National Monument just about 30 minutes from Badlands. The kids became Jr. Rangers there! We then headed up to Wall Drug on I-90. We had lunch and bought a few things. Then we headed back into the Badlands. We drove out a great dirt road and saw our first Bison near a prairie dog town. While there, a couple told us about another herd that was near a pullout on the road where you could walk down closer to them and get a better view. They really are amazingly large creatures. What a presence!
We then made our way back -- through some of the most beautiful country. As we drove, we kept our eyes peeled for Big Horn Sheep. We ended up seeing TWO of them. I was so excited about it!
We headed back to the campsite and then packed up the FMC and headed off down Highway 44 for Rapid City. It was a beautiful byway except for one thing . . . it was under construction for 14 grueling miles. And, when I say under construction, I mean they tore the entire road bed up and we were driving on compacted dirt for much of the time. Yikes!
We pulled into Hill City and settled in at the Creekside Mountain Resort. It was a nice park but we didn't love it. They charged extra for the kids (which I find rude) and had no facilities like restrooms, showers, or wifi. We'll be here two days and make the best of it. Another thunderstorm was coming in so we hightailed it into Hill City for a good dinner at the Bumpin' Buffalo.