We absolutely had to stop at Wall Drug Store on the way to the Badlands. The New York Times has described Wall Drug as “a sprawling tourist attraction of international renown [that] takes in more than $10 million a year and draws some two million annual visitors to a remote town.” From Leslie’s perspective it was a huge shopping opportunity (after having been in some pretty remote locations). So much so, that Don went on to the Badlands and left her there to shop. As she was leaving, the tornado sirens went off and she had to go back into the store and wait it out, then make a mad dash to the Badlands (30 minutes or so) to beat the storm.
She made it a few minutes ahead of the storm. It was a rockin’ time in the camper – 35 mph sustained winds with 60 mph gusts. Luckily, the storm did not last long and it left us with the chance to take cool pictures of the storm after it had passed by. Badlands National Park in southwestern South Dakota protects 242,756 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. It was authorized as Badlands National Monument in 1929, and was established in 1939. It was redesignated a national park in 1978.