We awoke early eager to depart Rapid City – this day we had a interesting place to see other then the endless tarmac of Interstate 90. Today we had plans to visit the Badlands National Park. After only an hour of driving east we entered the park and the terrain suddenly became other-worldly. A dense fog had cover the terrain making the vistas and rock formations all the more strange. Soon the bright sun burned off the fog and we were treated to some stunning views of this strange and beautiful area. This area is also quite full of other travelers many who ride Harleys. These bikers who we share the road with are always quite interested in Giulia – probably due to her small size, she poses little threat to them on the interstates as do the big rigs who blow them around.
After some more tedious hours on the interstate we came upon the town of Murdo South Dakota. This was home, as we learned from the many road side billboards, to the Pioneer Auto Museum and Cafe. Three bored and hungry car enthusiasts decided to visit. This had all the tell-tail signs of a tourist-trap but we ventured on. Prior to the museum visit, I asked a museum employee how the attached diner was. He had plenty to say, all of it negative. He was right. Paying our $9 for the entry to the museum ($1 discount from the diner) we encountered the best of what the “auto show” had to offer. This part of the museum was the most well kept – with most of the displays actually sort of clean. As we progressed to the older sections of the collection things became much stranger, older, smellier and confused. Eventually this “museum” could be summed up as a crazy collectors junk collection. Perhaps a visualization – in person – of all the junk ever sold on bay. For a car enthusiast, it is mostly a sad way to spend a few hours. Most of the cars on display are rotting away and very poorly arranged in old dirty barns. We were quite happy to get back into the now pristine looking Giulia again and hit the road east.
Our stop for the night was in Sioux Falls. A great looking town with a newly rebuilt downtown full of many bars, diners and art galleries. Unfortunately as this was Sunday night, almost everything was closed, save for the dive bars. This is were we were able to meet the natives. It was quite a strange few hours.
Total Distance: 599.24 km (372.4 mi)
Total Time: 9:50:04
Moving Time: 6:41:41
Average Speed: 60.93 km/h (37.9 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 89.51 km/h (55.6 mi/h)
Max Speed: 141.64 km/h (88.0 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 357 m (1172 ft)
Max Elevation: 1009 m (3310 ft)
Elevation Gain: 1570 m (5150 ft)