Miles traveled today: 372
Total miles traveled: 1,647
Miles to go: 938
States visited: 9 – Add Wyoming and Montana to the list

Today was a very long day. We didn’t get to go to the Badlands yesterday because of the rain, so we decided that we’d be there for sunrise this morning. That meant getting up at 4:15 (yes, AM) and driving the 40 minutes or so back to the park entrance before dawn. I’m not really known to be an early riser, but today we did it, and we are so glad that we did. I think it would be very hard to describe the Badlands to anyone, it’s just not like anything else I’ve ever seen. I’m not even sure that pictures can convey it, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t try! Here are some of my favorite from the day:

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It looks too small in the pictures, of course. We also saw quite a few different animals, some of which were nice enough to pose for pictures:

Wild sheep

Wild sheep

Rabbit

Rabbit

Chipmunk

Chipmunk

I think that last one is a chipmunk, but it had a very long tail. I’m assuming it’s some midwestern chipmunk variety that I’m not familiar with, but let me know if I’m wrong. We also saw deer and prairie dogs, but they were not interested in any photo ops.

After a quick breakfast, we headed back the way we came, towards Rapid City, and took the detour down to Mt Rushmore. Whenever you tell someone that you are going to Mt. Rushmore, they say, “It’s not as big as you think!” But c’mon folks, it’s still pretty big! It pains me to think of how something like that would have been accomplished. We weren’t interested in paying the $10 necessary to go to the little exhibit, so we just took pictures from the overlooks.

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We did all of this before 11:00.

We then headed back to our hotel and packed up our cats. Today’s drive wasn’t particularly long, but we got a late start, so we were still on the road until 8:00 (we missed the Mad Men premiere! Luckily, they showed it again immediately after the first showing). We made it to Billings, MT, and tomorrow we’re going to try to get to Spokane, WA, but that’s a very long drive. We’ll just see how far we can get in the time we have.

Now, some sleep. If you want to see all of the pictures we took today, go here.

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