After a long driving day and a chilled night in camp yesterday, we were woken up at 5am by a thunderstorm.
Steve told us to go into the bathrooms and wait it out, but with 60mph winds heading our way (signs of a tornado), he told us to pack up everything and go. So there we were in our PJs, packing our tents away in torrential downpours. (Is it me, or is this a case of déjà vu?)
We stopped off at a café where we had a drink and a bite to eat – we all joked about how the rain was following us (little did we know it actually would throughout our whole trek), and waited the storm out. One of the highlights of that day was when Steve was getting the breakfast box out of the trailer for those who didn’t want to buy anything in the café, and we all looked up and saw the lid blowing down the street with Steve chasing after it – it was such a comedy gold moment!
the world famous corn palace
Once the storm had calmed down, it was back in the van and straight to our next stop and our first national park, Badlands in South Dakota. On our way there, we stopped off at the world’s only corn palace (yup, you read that right). Let’s just say that it was a very interesting experience – but hey, one to tick off the bucket list!
entrance to badlands
We then stopped at a gun store, which I wasn’t really too keen on, before we finally arrived at camp to get our hiking gear on and go on our very first hike (out of many) on the trek! After taking a look in the Ben Reifel Visitors Center we started our hike.
top: view of badlands, bottom: me & bobbi
Steve took us on our trail, which would only be a short hike (looking back he was easing us all in). It was such a chilled walk – and a different pace from Chicago and being in the van all day.
top; beware of snakes! sign, bottom: cacti
Badlands itself was such a beautiful place – who knew rocks could be so interesting? We took so many pictures and even saw the sun set!
top: rock formation, bottom: sunset
After our hike, we headed back to camp where most of us went straight into the showers (at this point none of us had washed since the day before, so we were all smelling pretty fresh). At least it gave us an insight of what two days at Yellowstone would be like – with no showers!
Group D were cooking tonight and made an awesome chilli, as it was such a long day we all had a quick chat before calling it a night. Well…we had to be prepared for Mount Rushmore!
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(Corn Palace image from Google)