Remember being little, tucked into bed after mass on Christmas Eve? Remember that overwhelming feeling of excitement and magic? Watching snow fall out your bedroom window in the night sky and knowing that when you woke, you would run to see what was waiting for you under the tree. When you grow up, it sort of fades. It’s still fun special and exciting, but never the same. That feeling, the tucked into bed anxious, magical feeling, is one that I’ve only felt as an adult only two times. The first was on the eve of my wedding, and the second time was a couple of days ago–when we slept on the side of a cliff overlooking the badlands.

As we drove through Wisconsin and Minnesota, we watched the sun set and the moon rise. We had hoped to get to SD before dark, but all of our plans were shifted; we were a-ok winging it.

The drive was easy and we arrived in Wall SD around 6:00pm. We asked a couple of people if they had heard of the Wall dispersed area and if we would be able to get up on the cliff safely at night. Virtually everyone we spoke to looked at us sideways. And I quote: “no, uh..never heard of it. Tell me how it is though. Sounds cool.”-gas station clerk. After a little bit of persuasion, Ben and Phil agreed to go with my half baked plan and off we went.

Side note: Ben and Phil deserve a medal for going with all of my crazy ideas throughout this journey. Seriously. (More on that later)

After 15 minutes of winging it, flashlights out the truck window, and a little bit of faith, we made it to the top of the wall (in the dark). We couldn’t see much but KNEW in the morning, we’d be in for a treat. And cue the magic, sparkly, Christmas-y, night before feeling!!!

Much like when I was little, I woke up with the sun. Much like when I was little, I woke up everyone so they didn’t miss it.

it was chilllllly! We were sure to bundle up.

the sun hit the badlands and they sang. It seemed to go on and on and on and on.

Our timing was impeccable because the sunrise was quickly covered by clouds. But for the 15 minutes it wasn’t, we soaked it in.

I hope to take Chesnie back here when she’s older. I’ve got a feeling she’ll love it as much as we did.

Once we brushed our teeth and walked the dogs, we went out to bfast at the famous Wall Drug Cafe.

We could have spent a solid two hours in there! It was huge. I bought a coffee mug (because cute coffee cups are my Achilles heal). Ben and Phil had about 6 cups of coffee each; good thing coffee was only 5 cents.

We headed out to see more of the badlands after breakfast.

If you don’t like heights, it might not be for you, but I urge you to get out of your vehicle and explore!! You can walk pretty far into the lands.

On the drive back, we were lucky enough to see some wildlife. We saw a coyote, prairie dogs, and these!!

Ben had to honk for them to get off the road.

I was sad to leave but know we will be back with more time to explore next time!

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