Time to move on, we hit the road early in order to get to the campground at Badlands National Park. All the sites are first come first serve and while there are some other options in the area we wanted to be sure to get a site. Arriving at the campground a little before noon all the sites except a few were open, however by the time we had eaten lunch and were ready to explore the park the choice sites were filling up quickly. By the time we returned after it was dark we found the campground to be just about full.
I had been really looking forward to visiting the Badlands and as expected it proved to be the most unique landscape we would encounter on the trip. We made a brief stop at the visitor center then encountered some pretty heavy rain just as we got into the most picturesque parts of the park. Once the rain stopped it was apparent that it had brought out more color variation than we would have seen otherwise, so perhaps it was a good thing. We also checked out nearby Wall Drug and had dinner at a nice locally owned restaurant in Wall. On the way back to the campsite we traveled through a unpaved stretch of the park and had an interesting phone message from my mother in-law. "You wouldn't happen to be in the Badlands would you?" Turns out they were in the park only about a 1/2 mile ahead of us on their way back to NY from a road-trip to Idaho. (Must be some Gypsy genes in there someplace!) Anyway we spent a couple of hours with them before heading our separate ways for the night. Amazing how small the world can be sometimes!
If you want to see more of our photos from the Badlands I've posted a bunch in the trip set on flickr.