"Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a farm and live entirely surrounded by cows–and china." Charles Dickens

October 23, 2011

Les Mauvaises Terres–Day 3

The Prairie Homestead, just outside of the Badlands National Park off I-90, is a rare and preserved
sod home. The sod portion, built in 1909, is on the left and the other addition was added later.
Although cozy and play-house like, it would have been bleak–and dusty–much of the year.
That's the root cellar in a dugout to the right. Imagine the winters? And the wind?
A fine, interpretive display!
I like a museum with a sense of humor.

Some canned goods in the root cellar.

The sod chicken house.

The Badlands or Les Mauvaises Terres: bleak, expansive, not arable.
They are more photogenic when the sun is out but this was our poorest weather day of the trip.
In the 1930s, when auto travel had begun to be more popular in the West, 
Wall Drug Store lured people off the highway with the promise of free ice water.
You start to see signs for Wall Drug many miles east of it. [I even saw one in Amsterdam]
There are even more signs after you exit the Badlands–yup, right into the town of Wall, SD.
While it is the ultimate tourist trap, you have to see it once in your life (well, this is twice for  me).
And it seems to be the only show in town unless you want to keep driving further along to Rapid City.
There is still free ice water.
Coffee was great (or was it the price? Still 5 cents) but the food was lousy.

Get out of the way! Our boys do have a crazy sense of humor, too.
All things considered, Wall Drug is a great place to get out and stretch for a bit.

Magnificent Mount Rushmore, even though it was dreary out.

Mountain goats just sort of ambling along near a campsite.
Prairie dogs are everywhere and are a real menace to ranchers' livestock safety.
This bison was wandering around right outside of our car.
"Home, home on the range! Where the deer and the antelope play..."
Just missed this!

Our budding geologists.
Our cabin for the night at Rustic Ridge.
Cozy, clean and rustic.
Dinner at the end of a long day
at the Chute Rooster in Hill City, SD.
You come back when you're ready! 



  1. Our thanks go out to those pioneers who left home and country and opened up both Canada and the United States for habitation. What they endured we can only imagine.

  2. LOVE the pictures! All I can think of is how cold those people were out there on the plains when the winter winds were blowing, snow was covering everything, and there was a good chance that death was waiting outside the door. They were far hardier than I ever was or will be.

  3. Madame, what an incredible trip you made and how beautifully you have documented it! You are a gifted photographer as well as writer and it's such a pleasure to see your work.

  4. Fabulous photos! And thanks for the postcard. Hey, did you see Tammy there? She sent me a postcard, too. I think she went to Wall Drug for Dippity Do. Wish I had been there. Miss my Cupcakes!

    Love, Peaches


Welcome to the farm! I hope you feel free to comment and share here. I will respond as often as I can.