Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On to the Badlands

Today we planned to move to the Badlands, about 120 mile trek to the east.  We also needed to stop at the Supercenter in Rapid City to stock up for the next week or so.  After a quick run to the post office to mail another IRS quarterly tax bill, we were ready to leave by 10:15.  Another task I wanted to do was to take the motor home through a do-it-yourself car wash as we left Custer.  

I have seen a number of these car washes which are big enough to wash the motor home in....but few have had the room to maneuver into and out of the car wash with the HHR hooked up to it....and this one was large enough.  The motor home needed it, and although it was not as good of a wash as when I do it at home, this was quicker, easier, and it does look much better.

After we finished our business at the Supercenter, we got onto I-90 and headed east.  This part of South Dakota is the typical "plains prairie land" which is good for growing wheat and sunflowers....and we saw a bit of both.
 Wheat fields already harvested above, and sunflowers below.
 And the occasional watering hole mixed in....I think this is going to be a lot of what we see as we travel across South Dakota.

 About 70 miles down the Interstate, and we turn off onto highway 240.  Very quickly we enter into Badlands National Park, which was free due to the senior pass we have. The Badlands/White River KOA we are staying at is south of this area of the badlands.

In the map below you can Custer in the far left, and the city of Interior to the far right.  So it was up to Rapid City, then east along I-90, then down to where the KOA is near Interior.
Entering the Badlands is a striking difference from the North Dakota scenery that we have already seen.  In fact, it is unlike anything we have seen....with Bryce Canyon in Utah being the closest for me, except that it is red earth, and here it is more greys...and the formations are different too.

We will share just a small sample as we drove through this small portion of the Badlands...

I think it is going to be a fascinating three or four days of driving around looking at the various formations around here, that is for sure.

With the hot, dry weather that South Dakota is having, the KOA is not in the best of shape, but that can be expected.  We drove over the White River right before pulling into the KOA, and it 99% dry...just a few small standing areas of water in it.  I am sure by the size of the banks that in the spring it is a good size river.

The good thing about coming this time of year is that the park is not very crowded.  With all the shade trees, I am sure this is one of the better RV parks in the area, because the few that we passed looked a lot like a dirt parking lot with electrical hookups.
Above is our closest neighbor to the left (driver's side), while the picture below is what is behind us...which means nobody will be behind us!

 Above is the view to our front-right, so there is plenty of room to the right and to the left....and the best thing is that to the back-right is shown below....the Dog Walk!  It would be better if they had watered it keeping the grass green...but that is how it is.  Also, near the tree by those people is a Dog Bath!!!!   We will surely be taking advantage of that, and this is something we have not seen at other parks.
Finally, for those members of our family who follow us.....we have NO CELL PHONE COVERAGE!  Not sure how much we will get as we drive around, but we do have this "so so" Internet connection, and we do have Cable TV again.  So email is the best way to communicate over the next 4-5 days...but we will check voice messages when we do get coverage again.

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