First thing on Saturday was the Little Town on the Prairie: De Smet, SD, home of Laura Ingalls Wilder during most of her Little House books. We’d both read them in our childhood, so it was quite a thrill to see the actual Ingalls homestead and reproductions of the pioneer life she wrote about.
We found another, less famous attraction in South Dakota too: the world’s largest pheasant. (Makes up for the one that later found itself getting close and personal with our Michelins. Oops!)
We made it into Badlands National Park before nightfall and took advantage of their backcountry camping policy to set up our tent in the middle of one of the most spectacular views we’d ever seen. It was a full moon that night, and its glare, combined with the absolute silence, made the rock formations feel positively otherworldly. We wish we’d been able to get pictures, but we doubt we’ll ever forget it.
Next up: Mount Rushmore and its hordes of tourists! We refused to be taken in by their fee-parking scam and caught the view from the road, then went around the bend for the profile view.