We left Custer, SD around 8am this morning and headed east to begin our journey home. As I’ve shared before, for us the journey is just as much a part of the trip as the destination.
Not long into our drive, we began to see signs along the road for the famous Wall Drug in Wall, SD.
Of course we had to stop and capture a selfie! This place was huge! It is full of everything you can imagine. We browsed quickly since we knew we had a long day of driving ahead – 431 miles (2nd longest of our trip).
The inside resembles streets with various store fronts and reminded me of my parents’ “general store” in their barn. (Dad, this would be right up your alley!) We were too busy looking around to take any store pictures besides this one.
There was a neat chapel in the middle too!
The boys took the opportunity to grab a picture with a buffalo and ride a bronco and a jackalope!
Emmitt finally found a T-Rex!
Today in our books, we learned that South Dakota is made up of four different landscapes – the Black Hills, Badlands, Great Plains and Central Lowlands. We saw parts of each of these on our drive today as we crossed the state from west to east. We also learned that South Dakota’s livestock is 7 times their population. No wonder we passed so many herd of cattle along the interstate.
Another must-see stop on the list was Badlands National Park and it didn’t disappoint. Since we were driving through we had limited time to visit, but it was enough to know we should definitely plan to come back!
The colors were beautiful reds and browns. I never dreamed I would see such beauty in land without trees but the plateaus and badlands have truly been some of my favorite views of the trip!
Since we purchased a National Park Pass for our trip, our entrance to Badlands National Park was covered already. This made it the perfect place to stop for lunch.
After lunch we took a quick hike up the close hills. The rock was so soft it felt more like dirt than rock…not at all what I expected. Surprisingly, going up was easier than coming back down. The loose rock/dirt made for a slippery slope so we sort of just slid down the hill.
Close to our stop for the night we entered another new state for us – Nebraska! This was our third and final new state of this trip. Unfortunately, the welcome sign was on the side of a highway with no real place to stop so a quick picture from the truck was all we could capture this time.
Tonight was another night of boondocking thanks to Harvest Hosts. Our host tonight was Pfanny’s Farm. You can also check them out here on Facebook. Julie and her husband were fantastic hosts and their place was beautiful! Their farm overlooks plenty of fields and their large greenhouses.
Their extended family was over for the evening and everyone was so welcoming! We were able to meet several of their family members and learn about their history. The kids played with the dogs, dug in the dirt and made new friends with their granddaughters (not pictured).
I was a bit worried it might be hot and humid as we headed closer to home, but the weather was perfect! Apparently, this was not normal for August in Nebraska.
We finished the evening with views of the sunset and relaxing in our camper. I’m really going to miss this slower pace when we get back home!