Monday, June 30, 2008
30.06.2008 - 01.07.2008 32 °C
We leave early today so we can do some hiking before it gets too hot. Our first stop is at the Minuteman Missile Historic Site Headquarters to get info about the minuteman missile site in the area and see their info film about Minuteman Missiles.
Joe and I aren't thrilled about the stop at the Minuteman Headquarters, but it's a short stop. We then head to Badlands National Park for a scenic drive and a few short hikes.
We hike the Windows Trail with it's ladder up the side of the hill. We hiked this trail 20 years ago with our daughters when they were little and remember that they enjoyed the ladder on this trail. Joe enjoys this trail also.
View of hikers climbing the ladder:
The view of the Badlands at the end of the trail is very nice and we take a break to look at the view:
We do a few other very short trails and then our last hike is a very steep trail with lots of loose gravel called Saddle Pass Trail. We get up the trail okay, but coming back down the steep trail with loose gravel is really challenging. I end up coming down part of the trail by stooping down and sliding down the trail with my shoes (I get the idea of sliding down from a little boy who gets down using this technique). I look pretty silly but I make it down without falling :-)
We drive through the rest of the park. No more hikes after the "strenuous" rated Saddle Pass Trail.
We then drive to the infamous Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota. We walk around and take a few funny pictures:
We check out their famous Jackalope statue, but Joe won't climb it to have his picture taken.
I did have my picture taken on the Jackalope, but no way am I going to post that funny looking picture :-)
We were planning to have a snack at Wall Drug, but it's crowded so we decide to just go to Dairy Queen for some ice cream before heading back to the campground.
On the way back we make a short stop at a Minuteman Missile site. They have instructions to call a cell phone number and the cellphone connects to a recorded message that explains the missile site. There are no missiles here any more. The Minuteman Missile site of the 1960s were dismantled in the 1980s as part of one of the nuclear weapons treaties. But it's interesting to see one of the 150 missile sites that were in South Dakota in the 1960s during the Cold War.
We get back to the campground and have a refreshing dip in the swimming pool, followed by Indian tacos that the campground sells in the evenings. Then some wifi time, reading and another evening walk to see the sunset over the Badlands.