06/03/2021 South Dakota
Not much sight seeing on this trip, but I did go to Wall Drug and stayed at Cedar Pass Campground in the Badlands National Park for a night. It was a first come first serve camp site and there were a few available. These sites are pretty crummy. It was in the 90s again and the attendant said that the best time to come would be mid-May or in September. I had to go around a wet marsh to get to the covered picnic table that was up a slight hill and didn’t even bother. There were bats hiding in the marshes, and that was pretty cool. It took a couple of us to figure out that they weren’t birds. The bathrooms were not clean and the camp host was a lazy a**. He laid on a chaise and never bothered to look at me.
That night I decided to walk over to the amphitheater to watch the sky show. It’s amazing how many stars you can see in a dark sky park! We watched a couple of satellites fly by and then later I brought my camera stuff and set up for star photography of the Milky Way. There was another woman who was taking pictures, but she was more “artsy” than me. We chatted a little and compared pictures while her husband snoozed on a bench. I might drive back on my way to North Dakota in the fall. The next day, I decided to drive up to Devil’s Tower, WY to visit my friend Debra, whom I met in Arizona.
Devil’s Tower, WY
I was able to book a campsite for 3 nights at the Devil’s Tower KOA where my friend, Debra was working. I had a tent site with electric hook up and water, and was happy. The first night I just chilled out and Deb stopped by to say hi. We made plans for the weekend and then I just went to bed. The next night we watched – wait for it – First Encounters of the Third Kind. My favorite movie!! The campground plays it every night at 8pm, weather permitting, and I just can’t miss watching it. The next day we had breakfast and went to the tower for a hike and take pictures. It was so nice to do something with another person. On Sunday we took a side trip to Rapid City, SD to visit Bear Country USA to see the wildlife. That was quite the experience. All of the cars drove on a one way road and we had to keep our windows closed for safety. The animals are wild and are rescues that have full access to the road. We saw longhorn sheep, foxes and, of course, bears. Bears everywhere! Rubbing themselves on tree trunks, swimming and even get this – fornicating right in front of us! Yowsa!! The baby cubs were in a separate area and played all day long. What a cool sight! It was a little pricey at $26 per person, but it was fun. After, we stopped at a candy store so I could get my fix, then had dinner at the Hart Resort restaurant. I think it was called Shipwrecks. The food was OK and I treated myself to a beer, since I wasn’t driving. I left on Monday and Deb said she’ll make a plan to visit at Yellowstone.