Wind Cave and Badlands National Parks

Trip Start Jul 16, 2010
Trip End Aug 15, 2010

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Saturday, August 7, 2010

(Darren): Today started with Mom and Tom going to an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast while Dad updated the blog and I slept.  They brought me back some pancakes and bacon.  The pancakes were so-so, the bacon was amazing.

We went to Wind Cave National Park where we took a 1 hour tour down into the caves.  The cave was 53 degrees even though it was 95 degrees outside.  The cave was low and cramped and I felt bad for the 6'6" giant that was in our tour group.  I was up to his buttocks.  We were 200 feet underground.  We saw boxwork formation, popcorn formation and of course rock.  95% of the boxwork in the world is in Wind Cave.  See the picture Dad took.  After that, we took an elevator up 20 stories and looked around in the gift shop and got our passbooks stamped at the visitor’s center.

After we ate lunch in the RV we decided to see the Badlands National Park on our way to Iowa.  While still in Wind Cave, we saw some bison and prairie dogs.

In Badlands we saw six mountain goats (four on the road, 2 adults and 2 babies) and then a mother and baby on the ridge of the mountain.  We saw tons of prairie homes and their hosts, the prairie dogs.  We got our passbooks stamped and saw a quick movie about Badlands, then headed to Iowa.  We had supper at The Happy Chef in South Dakota and I had steak, toast and hashbrowns.  It was goooooood!

Weird fact 1:  Tom ate a meal that wasn’t deeply fried.

Weird fact 2:  Grasshopper guts smell.

(Jana):  Darren summarized the day quite well.  We hadn’t planned on seeing the Badlands NP, but it was only eight miles off our track so we took the scenic route through the park.  I’m glad we did.  It was worth the detour.  The caves were amazing at Wind Cave.  They have 134 miles of caves within one square mile area.  There are three levels and we took the tour for the mid-level.  We are now driving across South Dakota and will stay somewhere tonight and continue on to Field of Dreams in Iowa tomorrow.  South Dakota has quite an odor to it between cow pastures and grasshoppers on the grill and windshield.  I’ve never seen so many grasshoppers!  Also, I can’t believe the number of motorcycles we’ve seen today due to the Sturgis Rally near Mt. Rushmore.  Kevin has a counter that he’s clicking to count how many we meet.  I’m sure he’ll update everyone on the total.  Take care everyone.  And yes, Tom ate a meal that wasn’t deep fried and Darren ate a steak!  Tom even went up to the chef with his thumb up and said "Great Meal”.

(Kevin)  What they said.  3,509 motorcycles seen today.  They came in so many shapes and sizes as did the riders.  I drove until I could no longer see out the windshield.  The last hour of driving through South Dakota was awful.  At one point, I thought it was raining, but only bugs.  We will have to check out the damage tomorrow morning.  We pulled into a Cabela’s in Mitchell, SD for some shuteye at 9:30 (10:30 if you count the time change).  There were 8-10 RVs in the back lot and they even had an RV dump station.

393 miles, avg. speed 55.0 mph, travel time 7:08, stopped time 4:26, total trip miles 6,579
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Lake Unc on

Now, just imagine: Harley + grasshoppers = euucccchh! Great job Darren!! I hope that cave giant wasn't directly in front of you.......

Bump & Nana on

Hi to all of you, looks like your having a wonderful time. Darren, great job on your blog. Looks like the grasshoppers might have outnumbered the motorcycles.

mandy on

how about fried grasshoppers?

Grammie on

WOW ! Grammie remembers great to be on the trip again.

Pauline Dickey on

We only saw the Badlands from afar. It was too far out of our way. This blog thing is really cool. What an experience. We ran into a bug thing one night also. They makean awful noise when they hit the windshield.

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