Much like years passed, we spent the first part of the day playing in the Badlands and exploring new trails. This park is like one big playground so very little of it is off limits.
We spent a good deal of time watching a couple of bighorn sheep wandering the cliffs, hoping they would come closer. Lucky for us, they did!
No trip to the Badlands is complete without swinging by the prairie dog villages to say hello. These little pipsqueaks are always out and about and they love to put on a show. Each year Christy asks to take one home and each year Mark says “no.” 🙁
As we were leaving the park, we were met with one more spectacular view and and farewell bighorn sheep.
After leaving the Badlands, we made our way to Custer State Park to see what trouble we could get into.
We didn’t find any trouble, but we found some fun stuff to climb. Or at least Mark did. Have we mentioned Christy is a little scared of heights? Note what she climbs in comparison to Mark.
The air in Custer State Park is a perfect blend of pine trees and fresh water. When you’re here, you breathe deep and breathe often!
Our favorite part of Custer State Park is the Needles Highway. If you are in this area of South Dakota, you’re going to want to take the time to check out this unique road. FYI, you can spot Mount Rushmore from some areas of the road.
On our next stop of the day we witnessed one of the greatest sculptures ever attempted. The Crazy Horse Memorial is nowhere near completion, but it’s impressive just the same. We toured the museum and gift shop and then set out on the road again. If you aren’t taking a special tour or helicopter ride, that’s really about all you can do here.
We hopped back into the car and drove and drove and soon found ourselves in Wyoming. We took a new route into the state this year, highway 16 to interstate 90. It was good to be back in the state we love so much!
Over the last 2 years we have grown to love the Bighorn National Forest. Something about the dark hills, winding road, and free ranging cattle just put us in a good mood. This year, we went up and over the mountains via Highway 14.
We stumbled upon Shell Falls and enjoyed the misty breeze for a few minutes before we set out again.
After exiting the Bighorn National Forest we soon found ourselves in one of our favorite KOAs. There are no great views here and the campsites are small, but the Greybull KOA hosts are extremely friendly and they keep a tidy campground, which is always a plus. We set up camp and prepared for a night filled with delicious food, cold beer, and maybe even a cigar or two.