Prairie Dog Town in the Badlands, Devils Tower and Surprise Snow Storm in Sheridan, Wyoming

During day's 13, 14 and 15, we spent a lot of time touring the incredible Badlands and checking out Rapid City, South Dakota. Then off to Wyoming.

Rapid City is a very nice western town and Main Street features lots of locally owned restaurants and galleries.

miss hilda vw 1966 bug

The Badlands called us back. We spent another day exploring the unique and strange beauty of that area. Really, the Badlands look like the surface of Mars. I've never seen anything like it. And I'll be forever fascinated with its stark beauty.

And we found a town of pairie dogs that were enjoying a handful of Club crackers that someone threw to them. (We didn't - I promise!) But they are incredibly cute and their "bark" is so distinctive.

We finally crossed the Wyoming line. Sometime's it's hard to believe that Miss Hilda has come this far! No breakdowns! My husband thinks its nothing less than amazing. Almost mystical. NOW he finally believes that Miss Hilda is going to make it to Santa Barbara, CA. But we knew it all along, didn't we?

Then: Devils Tower! I was so thrilled to finally see this mamouth stone structure in person. And it didn't disappoint! 1280 feet of vertical, ribbed rock. There's no other sight like this in the world! The Indians felt it was a sacred site, and I have to agree. And I resent the name "Devils Tower", that some white men gave it. There's nothing evil about it. It's glorious, natural and has a powerfully good karma. A trip highlight.

Nearing Sheridan, Wyoming we couldn't help notice the vast landscape-- and the lack of other human beings! Wyoming is the least populated state. And we drove for hours, enjoying the views, but not seeing any ranches, trailers, houses, towns, etc. We were glad that Miss Hilda keep putt-putting along! It would have been impossible to call for a tow truck since we rarely had cell phone service!

We drove through a heavy snow storm for about an hour before we made our hotel. SNOW? I couldn't believe it. But the locals here assure us that they get snow storms in early October. Brrr. But Miss Hilda stayed on the road and drove though the near white-out conditions. They're calling for 3-4 inches tonight! Wow. We're starting to long for the California Sunshine!

I felt bad leaving Miss Hilda in the parking lot, while I took shelter in my warm hotel room. To my knowledge, in all of her 43 years, Miss Hilda has never been left outside during a snow storm.

By day 15, Miss Hilda's interior (carpet/upholstery) was 90% dry! Finally. Lesson learned: driving through 2.5 days of heavy rain in Iowa can explose a small leak or two. Or cause a plugged drain hole to flood a small VW bug. But really, who hasn't owned a Bug that didn't leak from time to time?

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We’re going to take a slow ride across the USA to explore, learn and just experience. Beautiful.


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"DON'T BE DENIED" - Neil Young

"Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose."

---- from Song of the Open Road, Walt Whitman