Friday, July 24, 2015

South Dakota: Sioux Falls to the Badlands

We covered as much ground as fast as we could between Indiana and South Dakota. We were tempted to take a couple of diversions but decided to just head straight West. Our arrival in Sioux Falls, SD sort of marked the start of the trip we wanted to be on. We still had a couple days of endless crops but with great stops in between.

Sioux Falls, SD. 

The mist from the falls felt good on a hot day.

Somebody told Andy to make sure we get plenty of pics of all four of us. Here's our first!

And our second. I don't know why we stopped at the Corn Palace. It's really terrible. Sorry, Corn Palace.

Yes, corn is in EVERYTHING!

Seriously flat and endless. Corn corn corn corn soybeans corn corn soybeans soybeans tractor soybeans cow corn.

West Bend on the Missouri River. This was a really great spot and a welcome break from the endless endlessness.

First thing in the morning the carp came right up to the shore. 

Got one!

While we were just hanging around Churchill Clark, a descendant of William Clark, paddled ashore in this canoe he carved from a cottonwood tree. Churchill does reenactments and also followed the path of the Lewis & Clark expedition on the 200th anniversary. He's now on a journey of the Missouri River. His website is! 

We had Churchill over for dinner. He was super nice and I liked that he wears his reenactment garb as his regular clothes. 

On the way to the Badlands is this cool preserved homestead. We learned all about the Homestead Acts and started reading one of the Little House books together.

Prairie Dogs are the cutest things on the planet. It's always fun to see one even if you've seen 10 a few minutes before.

The kids really loved the cozy house and imagining what it would be like to live there. Fine on a summer day but hard to imagine the winters. 

Built into the earth, it stays cool in summer and warm in winter.

Approaching the Badlands. The change in topography is sudden and amazing. 

Overlooking the amphitheater where we listened to nightly Ranger talks with the campsite in the background. 

Sunset over the campground. 

The mercury hit 101F that day. I think Drew is pointing out a little toad. 

There are trails to hike but the park allows a lot of scrambling off trail. 

We found this fossil in the layers. Can you see the shape of the bone with the marrow in the middle?

The kids taking their first Junior Ranger oath after completing all of the activities. 

A view as we drove out of the Park to the west. 

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