Badlands National Park, South Dakota

On the way to Badlands National Park we stopped at Wall Drugs in Wall, South Dakota. The small town drugstore made its first step towards fame when it was purchased by Ted Hustead in 1931. Hustead was a Nebraska native and pharmacist who was looking for a small town with a Catholic church in which to establish his business. He bought Wall Drug, located in a 231-person town in what he referred to as "the middle of nowhere," and strove to make a living. Business was very slow until his wife, Dorothy, thought of advertising free ice water to parched travelers heading to the newly opened Mount Rushmore monument 60 miles to the west. From that time on business was brisk. To date, Wall Drug still offers free ice water, but as they have become more popular, they have started to offer free bumper stickers to aid in promotion, and coffee for 5 cents.

I do not know how many stores are in the "Wall Drugs" complex. Most have store fronts and are also connected to each other inside by doorways. So you do not have to go outside to go to the next store.

The badlands are very dry and next to impossible to cross. They are about 34 miles long and about 3-7 miles wide in most areas. Like taking pictures of the Grand Canyon, pictures of the Badlands do not show the real thing. What you see from the car is small compared to what you see hiking the trails. The national park is much larger than just the badland area. They also have a large buffalo herd.

There are many places to have your picture taken.

Time for some free ice water.

And a prayer of thanksgiving.

These are the taller parts of the badlands.

Barren land as far as you can see.

We started on one of the trails. Terry is not sure if she should go. It was sunny and in the nineties.

Where is the trail?

I think it is time to return to the car.

I went a little further and saw that the trail got harder. So we turned back.

The boardwalk trails were much better.

We were out driving around on our last day and Terry spotted these Big Horn Sheep.

That is a big buck with the long curved horns.

They started coming over to the road.

The sheep are not afraid of the cars.

They seem to know that we will stop or pull over.

They like the grass on the side of the road.

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