Badlands and Wall Drug South Dakota

The Badlands and Wall Drug South Dakota

Good morning!  Today we are heading to The Badlands and Wall Drug South Dakota.  I’ve decided today is going to be a good day for traveling and sightseeing.  Yesterday was just a slight setback and today is a new day.   You can read about Day 1 here.

We left The Dakota Winds Motel in Kimball, South Dakota at a little after 8 in the morning.  After enjoying muffins, coffee and juice that was provided by the motel for breakfast.

Cottonwood,South Dakota

We spotted the ghost town of Cottonwood, South Dakota from the road as we traveled to Wall Drug. On Instagram, I had seen pictures of the town.  As we came up on it, we made a pit stop to go and check it out.

Here are a few pictures:

Old House South Dakota

(All Photography displayed on this site is web quality.  Not print quality.)

One of the abandoned homes in Cottonwood, South Dakota.

Old Church Cottonwood South Dakota

Abandoned Church in Cottonwood, South Dakota.

South Dakota House at Night under Milky Way

Two exposures blended together make up this print.  With an abandoned home and Milky Way.

Old house South Dakota

There is plenty to explore if you enjoy old buildings.

Wall Drug

If you miss Wall Drug because you say you didn’t see the signs I’m going to laugh hysterically! They have millions of signs along the roadway saying they pretty much have EVERYTHING.

You CAN'T miss Wall Drug. Literally, you can't.

It was our stop for lunch before heading off to The Badlands. We walked through a few shops. the one that my daughter wanted to see was closed on the weekend.  It was the pharmacy and apothecary. We window shopped there.  Our favorite item was the hanging urn that had green water stating the town was plague free.  If it was red, we would have worried!

Lunch time!  Our order was a chicken sandwich, cheeseburger and bison burger, all with onion rings and of course I had to have a 5 cent cup of coffee.

5 cent cup of coffee at Wall Drug. Yep, it really is :)

Off my Instagram Account

Our order came. They didn’t put the chicken patty on our daughter’s sandwich.  A few seconds later a teen ran out the chicken patty separately and said he was sorry. We laughed it off.

I told my husband after taking a bite of my burger that I didn’t like the taste.  He ate his, but said it was rather dry.  Then proceeded to eat mine, where he noticed that I had his bison burger, which was why I didn’t like the taste.

Skip lunch here, unless you just want the bragging rights to say you ate at Wall Drug.  Plenty of other places to eat that would have excellent food at a reasonable price.  Our crappy meal was a little over $50.00.

The Badlands National Park

Over 40 years on this planet and I have finally made it to a national park.  The Badlands was an excellent choice for my first national park.

Thrilled. My First National Park. The Badlands was perfect!

As we pulled in my daughter and I caught a glimpse of a sign warning the prairie dogs have the plague.  When paying the fee and receiving our map of the park we had to ask what that meant exactly.

According to the lady that was taking our money some of the prairie dogs do have the plague.  The fleas that the prairie dogs can and do give them the plague. Like the real plague – This is, in fact, the same bacteria which causes plague in humans. It can be transmitted from prairie dogs to humans, though the risk is very low.

Prairie Dog

I’m not standing in the middle of a prairie dog field.  Check that off my list AND, the apothecary in Wall, lied!  The prairie dogs have the plague. They outnumber people!

Prairie Dog

Good thing I had my long lens to get some shots. The prairie dogs were so much fun to watch.

The views that we experienced provided a backdrop of surreal images.  Just breathtaking!  You can take a million pictures here and never be able to capture what your eyes can see.

Bighorn Sheep - Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

I wish I could have spent more time exploring but we are on a schedule. Maybe on the way back? We were able to see burrowing owls, rams, sheep, pronghorn, prairie dogs, bison and additional wildlife.

From today – traveling The Badlands and Wall Drug South Dakota trip.


Sad to leave, but we have to get to Hill City, South Dakota by nightfall.  Along the way, we have to shop for groceries as well.

Hill City, South Dakota

Home base.  We rented an old mining house right in Hill City. Interesting home base!  While unloading the cooler, I was being chased by a hen around the yard. At the time, I didn’t know all it wanted was attention.


Off my Instagram Account
In the back yard there were goats, chickens and ducks,  My husband couldn’t stand the smell of the goats.  Yes, they do have an interesting smell. We noticed a gas grill on the patio and check it out. It was brand new. Perfect for grilling supper.

Our Rental House in South Dakota. Interesting color, interesting location and interesting animals. But, EXACTLY what we needed.

Front of the mining company house we stayed at.

On the left side of the house we had Hill City Mining Company. On the right, Naked Winery. We had private, off road parking.

The inside of the house was perfect.  It had all the comforts of home.  One bedroom downstairs, dining room, living room with Direct TV, bathroom with washer and dryer, kitchen with every appliance.  Upstairs had two additional bedrooms and a bathroom.  Everything was exceptionally clean and well stocked, right down to laundry soap.

Time to grocery shop.  We purchased meat for grilling suppers, full warm, breakfast items and items to make sandwiches for lunches.  Our bill for all our food was under $70.00.  Which is going to save us from spending an exceptional amount of money on meals out.

Sunset from Hill City South Dakota.

For now, I’m retiring to my bed!  Tomorrow, Custer State Park and Needles Highway.

See additional days from our trip:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8 
Day 9
Day 10