After a peaceful and relaxing time on the ranch we headed west, but not for home. We still had many exciting places to visit. First stop was the Badlands… these amazing rock canyons that resemble the Grand Canyon. I wish we got there closer to dusk as the sun setting casts amazing red light on the rock but it was amazing nonetheless. Melissa and I viewed from the backseat while BJ navigated us through. Then it was off to the biggest tourist trap in the midwest: Wall. There’s not much more than a small town located in Wall but Wall Drug is there and everyone just HAS TO stop there. They give you stickers too with their name on it and you are supposed to take it all over and send them photos. My dad took his sticker he got previously to Scotland!
Our final stop of the day was the Black Hills where Mount Rushmore resides. I can now say I have been there three times but each trip is different. Growing up, I travelled the country with my family in our minivan but this time I was with my husband! It is amazing to me still that I just get to travel with my best friend and go anywhere I want to. Even though he’s been to the Black Hills a lot, I am excited to show him a lot of the places that my family has taken me to already.
The next morning, after a lovely stay in a wooden cabin (with a communal camp bathroom that I survived) we headed to Custer State Park, home of Sylvan Lake and a huge herd of buffalo. When I went there four years ago I just had an amazing time driving through the herd, they are RIGHT NEXT TO your car! They are so massive and you just don’t realize their breadth until up close to them. We actually went so deep into the herd this time that we went into a prohibited area and were asked to leave! We saw lots and lots of deer and these goat-deer animals.
Sylvan Lake was another favorite from my last trip to the Black Hills but I have to admit that this time was even better. As we walked around the lake we came across a “secret” trail that was only indicated by a set of handrails. We started down this path that followed a waterfall, stair after stair. It was beautiful. THe best hike I have ever been on in fact! I will post more photos later, these are the only ones from my phone.
And now we are in COlorado staying with wonderful hosts, Jason and Danielle. More to come! Homeward bound in just 2 more days! One week home and then it’s off to Mexico!