america, South Dakota

CA to NJ: Day 4 (Pt. 2) — The Badlands

Pop Pop and I continued our journey to Badlands National Park from the Agate Fossil Beds. Unfortunately, we missed the whole drive through the park because we hit an Indian Reservation who illegally wouldn’t let us through. In their defense, they were understandably trying to protect themselves from coronavirus. Alas, we did get to see some of the Badlands.

I don’t know about you, but it looks a lot like how I would picture another planet. The terrain of the park was formed by the deposition and erosion of sediment over millions of years, according to its website. The park contains sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, claystones, limestones, volcanic ash, and shale that formed from a variety of natural processes, like from the flow of ancient river channels, calcium-rich groundwater running through ancient lakes, and volcanic explosions. 

The Badlands

After a quick exploration of the other-worldly looking formations, Pop Pop and I stopped at the famous Wall Drug Storein Wall, South Dakota. The store, which is not one single drug store, but a maze of eclectic and western-themed shops, was founded in 1931 and now welcomes 2 million visitors a year. It is also known for its free ice water and 5 cent coffee. Pop Pop and I had quite the mediocre meal and sat in the store’s “backyard” which features a bunch of random sculptures you can climb on, a singing monkey, and a scaled-down Mount Rushmore. It sounds really weird, I know.

A glimpse into Wall Drug Store

Afterward, Pop Pop and I continued our drive into the night and called it quits upon arriving at our hotel in Mitchell, South Dakota. 

Up Next: Chicago!

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