South Dakota is the first really scenic drive of the trip. There’s rolling plains on either side of the highway, stretching as far as you can see. No farms, though there are lots of cattle dotting the landscape.

You thought I was exaggerating about the bugs? I couldn’t take any pictures out of the front of the car because of these things.

South Dakota landscape reminds me a lot of that one Windows background that everyone gets default with a new computer.

That is, until you get to Western South Dakota, when the landscape changes rather dramatically. Here is the Badlands, which looks fairly intimidating as it emerges out of the rolling hills. We didn’t get to go into Badlands National Park, but I hear good things.

And then there’s Wall Drug. So South Dakota has a ton of billboards advertising all sorts of hokey tourist-traps. Cowboy towns, random caves, something called “the world’s only corn palace”, and stuff even dumber than that. But nothing beats Wall Drug. They have these ambiguous adverts for this place ALL OVER South Dakota. Like the entire 300 mile drive through the state. We must have heard about this place on at least 50 billboards on the way through South Dakota.

Well, here’s Wall Drug. A crappy amusement park. Yay.

We wanted to camp out in Custer National Park, but we couldn’t secure a reservation. So we found another campground in the Black Hills (just a few miles from Mount Rushmore). The setting up of the tent did not go well in the beginning:

But we persevered and eventually victory was ours.

Setting up camp in the wilderness and then knocking back a few beers; about the manliest thing you can do.

I couldn’t get any pictures of it, but the stars are amazing out in the middle of nowhere. I actually saw the Milky Way for the first time, which was nice. Especially when you see it by accident at 2 AM when you stumble out of the tent looking for somewhere to pee and hoping you don’t run into a bear or something.