This week for my ILP I convinced my family to drive an hour or so out of town to go play around in some mud and to a glorified pharmacy with me. I know what you’re thinking, “Dang, her family must really love her.” Now to the everyday, average American family these attractions are better known as Badlands National Park and Wall Drug Store. Before yesterday I hadn’t been to the Badlands since a field trip in eighth grade which was more social than anything else and hadn’t been to Wall Drug since I was about six. It is safe to say it was time for me to return to these places and see what all the hype was about.
The Badlands were incredible. We walked along boardwalked path till we arrived at what I can only describe as a field of mud-made canyons crafted by God. I think one day He decided to play with clay and half-heartily molded the Badlands, but left it halfway done. Like other pieces of art, it is more stunning in progress than it would be completed. The point of interest here is called The Door and there are numbered markers to lead explorers across the landscape with the least amount of trouble. My family took them into consideration the same way I take cookie dough packaging into consideration; we smiled at the idea and then did our own thing. I jumped, climbed and tumbled into miniature canyons of layered clay, listening to our laughter echo off of the plateaus of cracked dirt. Eventually we made it to The Door which is just a particularity door-like formation of lands.
After we left the Badlands, the landscape turned to prairie as we headed to Wall, South Dakota. Back in the pioneer days there was a local drug store that advertised free ice water and business boomed from there. Now in 2016 consists of a string of gift shops, what I believe to be a ‘gold mine’, restaurants, historical artifacts and a courtyard of picture-ready props. (The free ice water is also out there!) My favorite part was how the walls were covered with articles, photographs and advertisements from the homesteading days. My dad I read and pointed out fun facts from these while the rest of my family shopped around. For those of you who don’t already know, I have always always loved learning about the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder ever since I read her books as a kid. The picture at then end has my face-wide smile, but not the jump I did when I first spotted a covered wagon I could sit in! This was just one of the props open for pictures in the courtyard.
In the end, I had a great time learning more about my home and experiencing it all with my family!