|It was very windy all night long. It stopped raining, but was very overcast. We went into DeSmet to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in DeSmet. It's a nice little museum. You could visit the Surveyors house, a replica of the schoolhouse Laura taught in and Pa and Ma's house. We even drove out to the homestead site to see the cottonwood trees. Silver Lake is no longer there and the trees are the only thing left. It was raining by then so we didn't even get out.
Leaving DeSmet, we headed for Mitchell and the "World-Famous" Corn Palace. Sure glad we didn't go out of our way to see it. It was cute, but I guess there isn't much else to do but play with the corn in South Dakota. Our real destination today is the Badlands. It was a more difficult drive because of the winds. They really pushed Little House around. We drove through a lot of rural South Dakota. It's a very flat and green area with almost nothing but very small towns and farms.
As we got into western South Dakota, the area became more and more hilly, but still very green. All of a sudden, these rocky buttes pop up, then you are in the badlands. I can hardly imagine how the early pioneers must have felt when they encountered this beautiful, desolate area.
We arrived early enough to stop and hike the Door Trail into the badlands. It was breathtakingly beautiful. It was nearing sunset and the colors were so rich and the shadows made the scenery even more striking. The Door trail is one which goes though an opening in the Wall. The wall divides the upper and lower prairies. At the end of the official trail, you could walk out into the badlands terrain. The ground is like nothing I've ever seen before - very thick, hard packed, grey mud. I don't think I'd like to see it when it rains. Walking out a ways let us watch some big horned sheep grazing and resting at the top of an outcropping. The kids were thrilled to see the wildlife.