Fresh off a day at Mount Rushmore and 7 days into our #FLtoYellowstone trip we knew The Badlands of South Dakota would be our last hoorah before we headed back to Florida.
As was the case in most of our trip, our itinerary went out the window, due to too many variables and so we found ourselves googling for a place to sleep, with only 3-4 hours of light left in the day. We knew we wanted to be east of Rapid City but not in a hotel. So we came to the conclusion based on our location (just having left Custer State Park) that we would try to make a run for Sage Creek Campground on the West end of the The Badlands.
We had no idea what to expect and minimal reception to research, so we knew we were going to be in a bind if this place was full or if we couldn’t find it. Expecting a desert wasteland, we were pleasantly surprised that this area was full of tall, beautiful grass and tons of wildlife. Hawks, Coyotes, Turkeys, Bison and Deer were just some of the fauna we were able to catch a glimpse of.
We set up camp quickly, as seen in the timelapse above and were absolutely exhausted. So with no sunlight left and a major leg back to Florida ahead of us, we decided to get some sleep.
We of course left our camera equipment set up and to our surprise were awoken several times by the unforgettable conversations of over eight Coyotes in the distance (but not that far). Although they are not nearly as majestic as the wolves we listened to in the Lamar Valley a few days earlier, they were equally entertaining and just as memorable.
Thanks to these coyotes, we were able to wake up in time to catch the image above, after we woke up a couple of Bison that had been sleeping no more than 30 yards away from our tent.
Our trip had countless memorable moments… But Sage Creek Campground in The Badlands of South Dakota turned out to be in the top 3 of our trip and maybe top 5 all time in our lives.