Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park

We headed south to a small town of Wall, SD so we could go see Badlands National Park and a few other items nearby.  Wall is famous for the huge drug store that grew back in the day by offering thirsty travelers free ice water from those traveling the dusty roads on the way to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone.  After putting up signs along the highway, travelers starting stopping and buying drinks and ice cream from the drug store.  It now takes up several blocks and has a huge western art collection in numerous dining rooms that seat over 500 people.  Very tourest oriented but if you have never been, you should stop.  They have 5ct coffee and veterans get free coffee and a nice, fresh cake donut, which I passed on while I am trying to loose some weight.  We hit Wall during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally so you can see it is a popular drive….

Nearby is the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, so if you can  not get on the military bases like I have to see the Minuteman Missile displays, this is worth getting the lowdown on the Cold War and what “mutual assured distraction” means and how the Cold War played out. When Ellsworth AFB was blowing up the decommissioned Silo’s and Launch facilities, they keep some which were turned over to the National Park Service.  You can self tour the silo facility but need to get advance tickets to get a guided tour of the underground facility.  They only take 6 people at a time so they sell out quickly in the summer.  I wasn’t able to get one for the few days we were nearby but took a photo of the building.  The other military museums I visited has enough photo’s and I have spent enough time in nuclear middle submarine to know what the facilities are like.  I promise, this is my last post on Nuclear Missiles…

Lastly was a trip into the Badlands to see Badlands National Park, it has a nice driving tour thought the park with interest spots and viewing areas. We did run into the Buffalo herd as it was crossing the road just a few feet ahead of us.  It was way to hot to do any hikes inside the park, better suited for the off summer season.

Why did the buffalo cross the road..l.

To get to the other side…

Badlands trifecta, Buffalo, Antelope and Prarie Dog….

Form here we went to Cheyenne Wy, to finish up our stay in WY before we head to Colorado.  Cheyenne is a major rail hub for the Union Pacific and has a nice railroad museum in the old historic depot.  We did a quick tour of it and took a nice walk around a nearby park.  It just amazes me on how small the “cities” are in both Wyoming and Montana.  Cheyenne is small compared to Fort Collins, Colorado just an hour away.

You can see the size of the rail yards and all the shops supporting the railroad.  The depot is on the left just below the road going over the rail yard.

The last of the huge steam engine is shown next to the dawn of new technology, in this case a turbin powered engine that did not need to stop to take on water and lower maintenance cost, which was soon to be replaced by Diesel engine power…

Layla on reflection watch…

Off to Colorado, the mountains and see some vintage steam trains and do some off reading in the Jeep.

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