Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ellsworth Air Force Base and the Badlands!

July 7 was moving day and we left the LaBairds and drove north to Rapid City, SD and Ellsworth AFB. With all the rv parks in the area, I didn't think that there would be a problem getting a spot but this place was packed full and we ended up in overflow which had electric. Overflow is up in a hill over looking the hangers and the runway. It was super windy that first day.
I parked like this but as supposed to park like the camper in the background. I wasn't going to be able to get in and out if we backed in. The host gave us some grief about it but I didn't move. There were lots of Lancers hanging out by the hangers.

The view from the front door. The wind swept prairie that had a herd of deer in it and needed to be mowed at 7 am.
Outside the base they had a museum dedicated to the different aircraft the flew out of Ellsworth as well as many of the people from South Dakota that served in the army air corps and the Chair Force. A hall of fame it you will. 

Lancer, swing wing bomber

Patrick was impressed by the Stratafortress in the background.
July 8 was dedicated to the Badlands. First we stopped in Wall to see the only National Grassland Visitors Center in the country. It serves all twenty national grasslands. Then we stopped into Wall Drug. What a place you could spend hours wandering through the isles looking at trinkets and souvenirs.

 I always thought that the Badlands covered a vast swath of South Dakota and it does but not like I had imagined. If you go north or south a few miles you would completely miss this vast desolate, beautiful monument to the changing of nature. As we drove about, I was reminded of the verse where Jesus said that if his followers were suffered to stay quiet then the stones would cry out. I believe they do cry out in testament to God's handiwork.
What can I say about the Badlands? It was beautiful, impossible to describe the colors in the ground, the changing shadows and hues as clouds passed and shadows changed. We must have passed through at the right time because everything was green and the flowers were in bloom. From common sunflowers to echinacea to yellow sweet clover. From atop the cliffs were sweeping vista where we could see for miles across the landscape. No pictures can do the beauty of the land the justice that it deserves, certainly not my point and shoot but we try and it will serve as a reminder of our travels when I am old and grey.

Stunning vistas ruined by the camera lens.

We stopped at a place with a board walk and half way through it started to rain. We hoofed it back to the car and went on the visitors center. It was packed full with the rain.

Echinecea in full bloom.

It was supper time when we came out of the park. So we stopped at this place and had buffalo hotdogs and the dog tried to eat prairie dogs.
We arrived back at the camper to a note from management telling us to move. We didn't. Then a guy came in late and told us that management said to move if we hadn't already. While Becky was talking to him, the dog escaped. She was gone for about five hours running the base and doing what knows. She showed up at 2am came in the trailer and climbed in my chair like nothing happened. But something did and she won't tell us. She is good at keeping secrets. She is limping and favoring her right front leg. It has gotten worse as the day progressed.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Been there, done that so I REALLY enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing.