We left Nebraska behind and entered South Dakota once again through the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. The ride to the Badlands National Park took us through several Native American Reservations. As in Arizona, many American Indians live in poverty. I call it American India (not quite as bad as the real one, but poor none the less). It seems that each state in the region has some Native American owned casinos, but the money doesn’t seem to make it to the people. It’s interesting that the Federal Government has funded (~$100 million) the installation of a ~100 mile water distribution system where there are virtually no people to distribute to on the Ogalala Sioux Reservation that paralleled SR 44 that we traveled from Mission, NE to Interior, SD. The Ogallala Aquifer, which is arguably the largest in North America, is only about 200-400 ft below the surface. You gotta love the Feds.
The trip was uneventful. We passed a sign pointing to Kyle, SD. Kyle will have to visit his town. Speaking of Kyle, it’s interesting that we’ve seen so many bikers (not motorcycle riders) on these desolate back roads.
We arrived at our campground outside of the entrance of the Badlands early in the afternoon. This place is the worst we’ve had along the route. It rivals the Wal-Mart parking lot. We drove around the Badlands Loop to get to Wall, SD for the obligatory visit to Wall Drug. We visited Wall Drug in 1976 and it has changed. For those of you who have driven to Florida, it’s a lot like South of the Border. If you are on I-90, you see signs advertising Wall Dug for miles. You can’t not stop for your free ice water (probably a big deal in the 1930’s and 40’s when car travel was a lot more difficult). Lot's of bikers (motorcycle riders) in Wall. Saw a cool Victory cycle and lots of Harleys
The Badlands are an awesome place. I’ll leave it to the pictures. We plan to do some more driving and walking around the park tomorrow and will have more pictures.