Badlands

On the way out of Mitchell I stopped at the world famous Corn Palace. I had driven past it before  but never been inside. It turns out it’s a basketball stadium with a corn trinket flea market on the basketball floor when no games are going on.

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Crazy wind on the way to the Badlands, stopped at the Minuteman Missile historic site on the way in. Some really interesting exhibits from the 60s thru the 90s when they were decommissioned.

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then when I got to the campground it must have been blowing 30+ mph all afternoon. People were really struggling to put up tents, one family with a small kid across from me spent 2 hours trying before giving up and waiting for sunset when the wind finally died down somewhat.

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Next morning I took the scenic drive through the Badlands, went on a couple of short hikes before it got too hot.  Saw a bunch of prairie dogs and a bighorn sheep

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Half way through the drive I saw a dirt road marked “4WD High Clearance” that went up past a prairie dog down and decided to see where it would go. According to the map it led up to I-90 at the Minuteman missile silo which I wanted to see anyway, so I gave it a try.

It was mostly through the grass but at one point went up and through some of the Badlands formations

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and a couple of very muddy spots. After an hour of offroad driving I came out onto pavement at the missile silo. Most of these were blown up and buried in 1993 but this one was saved as an exhibit. The silo door is partly slid back with a skylight window where you can look down into the silo and see the deactivated ICBM.

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I had to stop in at Wall Drug but managed to get away without buying anything.

Next morning I went on a more challenging hike to The Notch. It’s not very long but the trail guide says people with a fear of heights should not attempt it. You have to climb a log ladder up a bluff

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then walk along some ledges with a decent drop to the side. It wouldn’t be bad except the bluffs are so soft it’s barely stone so everything is covered in loose gravel on top of the smooth rock.

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There is a nice view at the end from the notch high up on the bluffsIMG_8593.JPG

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