Sunday, July 8, 2012

Total Mileage: approx. 1980 miles
License Plate Total: 45

This morning Cassie and I went to the Corn Palace as promised in the previous post. Since we were going to be driving west to Badlands National Park we didn't have time to tour the interior but we did get some shots from the outside.

As we crossed South Dakota we drove through Buffalo Gap National Grasslands and as we got closer to the Badlands we could see the landscape change from wide open fields as far as the eye could see to a combintaion of prairie and massive eroded rock formations. It almost looked like we had been transported to a desert. On our way into the park we stopped at some overlook sites on the road but we had to get to the campground early in order to secure a site for the night. We got our site at the campground and set up our tent and then went back out of the park to get some ice for our cooler at a shop. On our way back to the campground Americus, our car, decided that she was going to throw her back right hubcap into the tall grasses along the road. Cassie pulled over and the two of us went walking along the road in search of the hubcap. Unfortunately we weren't able to find the it so Americus now looks a bit sad on the right side. She'll just have to wait until we get back to Pennsylvania before she can get a replacement.

After we got back on the road to the campground and packed the ice in the cooler we went out to walk the Door and Window trails, two of the shortest trails, where we were able to climb some of the rocks and get nice views of the landscape.

We went back to our camp site to make dinner and get ready for the Night Program, a ranger talk about the night sky and Native American beliefs. Since the park has very few lights and the sky was clear we were able to see the Milky Way, which neither of us had ever seen, and a few constellations which I bascially never get to see on account of all the light pollution in New York.

The Badlands is a really beautiful National Park and it has definitely set our expectations pretty high for the next parks we visit.

- Rachel

(Corn Palace)

(Buffalo Gap National Grasslands)

(Our camp site)

(Cassie attempting to open a can of peas with a knife and a hammer)

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