We packed up the adventure machine and headed towards home, but not quite direct since there were still some sights to take in. We traversed the snow-capped rocky mountains again and marveled at the beautiful views of Yellowstone National Park and launched towards the Badlands of South Dakota. We climbed back up to a nice cool altitude of 15k feet again and we enjoyed a nice 30 kt tailwind for much of the journey! I pulled the prop back to 2200 RPM and we enjoyed the great performance with around 8 GPH and 160 kts! The Badlands was a reasonable stop off for the night and was on Brandi's bucket list, so we dropped in for a day trip to view the beautiful sites.
I surprised Lucy with a hotel booking that was directly attached to an indoor water park and upon landing, we suited up and got some really great play in. Then we headed off in our rented car to Wall Drug, which is a silly yet fun tourist area on the way to Badlands National Park.
The area was breathtaking and we saw plenty of bison and bighorn sheep as we drove the twisty roads of the park. We were all exhausted and got back late that night after dark and slept deeply. We roused early for a quick breakfast and launched out of Rapid City to finally make it back home. With a quick fuel stop in Humboldt Tennessee (M53) we had a long 6 hour day of flying and wore out but finally home. We wiped down the plane a bit and stopped for Mexican food before getting back to the house. We all lived happily ever after (so far). :)