Again, I'll upload proper photos once the trip is over but in the meantime you can view the album in its entirety. Uploads will be delayed because hotel wifi doesn't much appreciate uploading hundreds of full-size photos at once.
After a quick run around the small town of Valentine and the to-be-expected Super 8 breakfast we drove off toward South Dakota and the Badlands. It didn't take long for either, the drive was the prettiest so far.
We arrived in Wall and stopped at the biggest place in town for lunch, Wall Drug. After walking through the gift shops and buying some souvenirs we headed to the cafe. I had what looked like the main item on the menu, the "legendary" hot beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy. The potatoes were certainly reconstituted, it was not bad. After minutes of deliberation between the maple cake donut and cherry pie, I opted for the donut which was incredibly tasty.
At this point we decided to wait until tomorrow and catch Mount Rushmore on our way westward, so after seeing what the rest of the shops in Wall had to offer (not much, save the Grasslands Visitor's Center which was interesting) I laced up my new hiking boots and we headed to the Badlands National Park.
The park was gorgeous, we drove from stopping point to stopping point, getting out to scale the rocks and explore the beautiful hills and valleys for about 6 hours. I took a lot of photos, but only being there in person does it justice.
We were pretty tired and getting hungry by this point, and we have an extraordinarily early morning tomorrow so we said goodbye to the Badlands, checked into our hotel, and headed to Badlands Saloon & Grille back in downtown Wall for dinner.
I had the steak tips, labelled a local favorite and recommended by our delightful waitress, were alright. They were tough and nothing special. But the service was wonderful.
Afterward we stopped at Wall Drug one final time for altogether too much ice cream (I had butter pecan), and turned into our hotel for the night. I've got a 3:30 wakeup call scheduled, tomorrow will begin early.
In the morning we'll visit Mount Rushmore as soon as it opens and try to find a nice place in Wyoming to watch the eclipse before it starts at 10ish.