We left Michigan on Thursday (8.18) and decided we were driving straight to Badlands. All I really knew about Badlands at the time was that it looked like where they could have possible filmed the moon landing (assuming that was a thing that was actually filmed) and that it was like 13 “google hours” away (meaning it was actually more like 20 hours away).

Aaron had a sprained ankle the size of my head and we were on a mission to GTFO of Michigan. On August 20th, at around 8:30pm (MT), the mission had been accomplished and I snapped the photo below. The landscape had started to change into rolling hills and things were getting interesting, we had finally made it into South Dakota! Well… things were getting as interesting as they could possible be. The sun was going down and we, yet again, had nowhere to sleep.

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our first glimpse of the landscape changing

Scenic Overlook – Kadoka, South Dakota

It was dark, our backs hurt, Kalie was at the point where she refused to get back into the truck after being released for any reason… things seemed bleak. It was finally decided that we would forgo our individual rooms and stay together in the fantasy suite… no no that’s not right. Um…it was decided that we would skip the rest stops that allowed kinda, sorta, overnight stays and go to a scenic overlook instead, that sounds more accurate.

We passed the “NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING” sign and parked in the darkness. With no real idea where we were,  it was quiet and we needed the sleep. A few semis parked with us throughout the night which made us feel a little more at ease and everything turned out fine. The view we woke up to was definitely worth the risk.

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“they have one of my favorite things in South Dakota: Nothing! – Aaron”

08.21 – 08.24.2016
Nomad View – Wall, South Dakota

Arriving at Nomad View was a strange experience. Most of the time Aaron knows where we are headed and I am just along for the ride, probably not the best way to live ones life, but here we are.

Picture it, we’re driving along, fields of grassland on both sides, me looking out my window: I’m just as unaware as a newborn baby when it comes to what our campsite is supposed to look like. Aaron opens a barbwire (what Campendium users called) “gate” and we proceed down our new driveway. Seriously though, I don’t know the brain capacity of the animals behind this “gate,” but I don’t see how anything is being contained.

Back to the story, we are driving along (all of this happens over seven minutes probably, but feels like forever because Kalie hates being “off road”), Aaron parks, we get out to see if we want to call this particular place on the side of the road home, and then BAM: vast nothingness and Badlands National Park right off the edge of our camp. Just try to tell me that doesn’t look like another planet. So frickin’ weird.

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our new home on the edge of Badlands National Park

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Not only was our new home beautiful and free, we also had some wildlife visitors the first day. This was before they realized that Kalie was around. After the brief interaction, they never came back… I tried telling her that she comes on too strong but she never listens. We actually ended up closer to the Bighorn Sheep at our site then we did while visiting the national park, but only on that very first morning.

I would definitely recommend camping at Nomad View. I’ve written another post dedicated to what we did during our stay, but there is so much more to do in the area. As long as the weather cooperates (the temperatures got well into the 90s, indoors) it is a truly beautiful place to camp.

To keep up with our journey, check me out on social media!

✌🏻 Amanda

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