We departed Minnesota pretty early so that we would have time to explore the Badlands in South Dakota. We headed out at 6am and we could not get Goggle Maps to work – so I had an idea of where we needed to go – but all of Google was down (Char couldn’t even get on to her classroom) – so we had to go old school for a bit with MapQuest – remember that? We got on our way and after an hour or so, Google was back on line so “Eliza” was back in business.
Our drive from Maple Grove, MN to meet Interstate 90 was gorgeous! As the sun rose we began to see the prairie lands of the US and we were enamored! The endless grasslands and fields with livestock were just what we needed – we were looking for a landscape different than our own and we finally got it! Oh, and the WINDMILLS!! Hundreds of them on the Minnesota prairie – oh and I saw an exit for Mankato (you know what I am talking about if you watched Little House on the Prairie).
We boogied to the South Dakota border – our only border crossing this day AND when we got to South Dakota, the state speed limit is 80 MPH! Hammer down, baby! Another great thing about South Dakota? Cheapest gas yet at $1.87 per gallon!
One of our pitstops along the was was the Corn Palace – we timed this with a gas pit stop but checked out the Corn Palace (an arena) and did some souvenir shopping across the street. It was a great way to stretch our legs.
Around 2pm we reached the Badlands – and WOW!!!!! We took the 29 mile driving loop through the main tourist portion of the park and saw absolutely stunning landscapes and a host of animals – a porcupine in a tree right above the road, mule deer, bighorn sheep (I thought these were rams but learned otherwise) and buffalo!!!! We actually got rather up close and personal with a handsome fellow and his two ladies.
Enjoy these photos of the stunning landscape and adorable fuzzy critters!
Total Miles = 676
States = Minnesota & South Dakota
Hours on the road = 13.5 (including stops and sight seeing)
Average Temperature = 16 degrees – it was stinkin’ cold!
Coffees = 1
Playlist = Hamilton the Musical (twice), The Best of Phil Collins, 80’s hits
Major Landmarks = The Missouri River, the American Prairie, the Corn Palace, Badlands National Park
Speed Traps passed = 1
People not wearing masks in public places = 0
Gas bought = $59.00
Extras = $54.00 (trinkets and food)
Bed & Breakfast = The White Tail Bed and Breakfast in Hermosa, SD. SUPER cute place for $100 a night! We also bought a picnic lunch to take on the road tomorrow for $8 each and the location of this B&B is perfect for sight seeing in the Mount Rushmore area!