Today was one of those non-stop-excitement sorts of days with lots of driving and sights and pictures, but it’s oh so late for these weary travelers so I’m afraid I’ll only get to cover about half the day in this blog post. Sorry! Enough yammering. On to the pictures!
Mom and I checked out of our hotel in Kodoka, SD this morning and hit the road for the Badlands. We hadn’t gone far when we heard a loud noise burst from beneath the driver’s side of my car. Uh-oh…
We both immediately suspected a flat tire, and as the speed limit on that stretch of freeway is 75 mph we were not traveling at a great speed for wheel protection! I got off on exit 101- an exit that leads to a cattle ranch in one direction, and the Great Beyond in the other- and pulled off the road to survey the damage.
With a prayer and a gulp I got out of the car, but wouldn’t ya’ know the tire was just fine? Turned out my already-loose splash guard had popped out of its makeshift “shove that back in there” quick-fix from a few summers ago. The noise we’d heard must’ve been the sound of the plastic popping loose and then dragging along beneath us on the asphalt. Phew! I popped the guard into place and we were back on track.
On our way to the Badlands National Park we pulled into the Badlands Ranch Store, famed for its six ton prairie dog, only to discover it was closed for the season. We haven’t encountered too many seasonal closings so far, but this one certainly didn’t set us back any. Just because the people don’t come around to run the attraction doesn’t mean the prairie dogs pack up and move to new burrows, right? And I mean to tell ya’: Those prairie dogs were out in full force this morning. Every other bump in the dirt was one of theirs, and they were digging and chewing and chirping like it was the first day of the world.
Mom and I managed to wrangle a meet-n-greet with a few of the locals, whose burrows appeared to let out in the parking lot itself. I’ll bet the owners just love that. And because these little guys are so used to people approaching them with food, they let us walk right up to them. One even let me touch his paw after he gave my hands a once-over with his wet little sniffer.
The Ranch Store pit stop wouldn’t have been complete without a few shots with Ol’ Six Ton-er out front. Mom was happy to oblige. Say cheese!
Next up: The Badlands, Wall Drug, and Mount Rushmore. But first? Sleep! Goodnight, Moon, from the White House Resort in Keystone, SD.