Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Going West through South Dakota

Before leaving Sioux Falls, I wanted to see the namesake. I'm a sucker for waterfalls.
So I went to Falls Park and found the spot where the Big Sioux River meets some exposed quartzite rock to form Sioux Falls.  







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I liked the town of Sioux Falls. What little I saw of it. I got in very late last night and just visited a gas station, a pet store and this park before leaving town.  I got on the highway and drove until I got hungry.   Right at the spot where the Interstate crosses over the Missouri River, I found a Taco John's in a town called Chamberlain. I was very disappointed. Blech!

Also in the town of Chamberlain was the South Dakota Hall of Fame (not a big building) and the War Veterans Memorial. Missouri River in the background.
After a few more hours on the road, I found myself in Badlands National Park.  A stunning place!  Craggy rocks that you can walk amongst and get right up close. The striations of colors hinting at centuries of history, and the prairie grasses and flowers also add splashes of color. It was a grey, overcast day, and I found myself wishing it were more of a bright sunny day so that the vibrant colors would pop even more.
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From Badlands, I wanted to swing by Mount Rushmore and check that out before going to my motel in Rapid City. But going out the back door of the Badlands National Park put me on a long unpaved road to a town ironically called Scenic. The driving was so treacherous and slow, it ate up all the remaining daylight, so I skipped Mount Rushmore and just went straight to Rapid City for the night.
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At some point today, I crossed over from Central to Mountain time, so I gained an hour. But I lost the hour on Bear Creek Road, so I came out even at the end.

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