Honeymooning Part 5: The Road Home

The final installment of my posts about our honeymoon in the Black Hills area. This is the morning of our departure, and I found myself a little sad while writing it. I hope we can return again soon…

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This is the final installment of my posts about our honeymoon in the Black Hills. You can read earlier posts about the trip here.

Bags packed, Sportage loaded, and coffee in hand, we pulled away from the Hotel Alex Johnson and started heading away from Rapid City, back towards Sioux Falls. We enjoyed our stay in the foothills and our excursions into the Black Hills. Part of me didn’t want to ever leave; alas we had jobs to which we needed to return, so we began the journey home.

The trip wasn’t over yet, however. There were a few stops still to be made, the first of which being Wall Drug, a famous roadside tourist attraction.
Wall DrugWe like to think of ourselves as travelers instead of tourists, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t see value in these kinds of attractions. It’s fun to do something that is, admittedly, a bit campy, and who hasn’t wanted to get their photo taken with Annie Oakley?

Annie Oakley at Wall Drug
Although Annie seems a little less enthused about being there.

Some people can make an entire day out of this place, but we didn’t spend much time at Wall Drug since we still had a lot of road ahead of us, but we did see this magic machine before hitting the road.

We absolutely did not make any wishes!

Leaving Wall, we struggled through some construction and then back to Badlands National Park. There had been a few stops on the loop that we had wanted to visit on our way to Rapid City, but we had found ourselves growing weary and hungry and decided that we’d swing back through on our way back home. One of the overlooks I wanted to check out was Ancient Hunters, a cliff used as a means to hunt bison a thousand years ago by native people. The only thing we were only hunting for was a few more awesome views before the drive home, and once again, the Badlands delivered.

The view from Ancient Hunters overlook, Badlands National Park
The view from Ancient Hunters overlook

Clarissa also wanted to stop by Panorama Point, because of its (aptly named) view.

Panorama Point Badlands National Park
Panorama Point is no joke. The name is incredibly literal.

We also took this opportunity to get a cool shot of our new tattoos from the night before.

Tattoos in at Panorama Point in Badlands National Park
We may not always know where we’re going, but this ink means we’ll always know where we’re from.

We soaked in the cool morning air. The sky was overcast, and we could see rain in the distance. Everything smelled clean. We stood and took it all in for awhile.

And then, with no ceremony or celebration, we began the journey home…

Over the last six months I’ve enjoyed sharing some of the excitement of our honeymoon with you. If you’ve never been to South Dakota, the Black Hills, or the Badlands, I can’t recommend it enough and I hope we’ll be able to return soon. We’ve had some invitations to come back and have some new experiences, and if everything works out right, summer and fall of 2016 will see us rock-climbing and camping in the area, so wish us luck on that front!

I’ve got to tip my hat to our Kia Sportage, who took all the twists, turns, changes in elevation, and just pure unadulterated mileage like a champ.

Kia Sportage at Badlands National Park
Shes still got plenty of adventure left in her!

Again, if ever you have the opportunity to visit the area, the only thing I can say to you is, “GO!” You won’t regret it. Need more inspiration? Check out the other Honeymooning posts to see what else we got up to while in the area. You won’t be disappointed! Stay intrepid, everyone.


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