This is why we go. . .

Trip Start Jul 02, 2010
1
6
18
Trip End Jul 16, 2010


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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Sunday, July 4, 2010

We headed due north from Kansas City today towards Omaha and it did not take long to lose the familiar terrain of the Missouri Valley behind. As we entered Iowa and continued along the Louis and Clark Trail, the highway demarcated the plains symbolically with low running ridges and rogue hillocks to the right (or east) and a smooth flat patchwork of farms to the left (or west). Our path also took us right into the remnants of Hurricane Alex which dumped loads of heavy rain, and mixed with the ubiquitous highway construction, made the drive a little slower than I would have liked.

We neared Omaha in the same lingering rain and stopped off at Rosenblatt Stadium for some pictures. The Gamecocks just recently won the Baseball National Championships there and the stadium was used for the last time for the College World Series. The stadium looked in good condition and I did not see any signs that it was run down or obsolete, but nonetheless it will fade into trivia beginning next year.

We continued on to Sioux Falls and the rain faded slowly along with the trees. After a quick stop at the grocery store there we made a hard left onto I-90 and the sky and land opened up. The road was arrow straight at times and the gentle up and down of the earth made for fast driving and good time. The further we made our way west the more dramatic the landscape became and the treeless ground was exposed to see the handiwork of time and nature over each successive vista. The green and brown earth just faded into the horizon hundreds of miles away on all sides. It was beautiful and indescribable.

It was late evening when we saw our first glimpses of the eroded canyons of the Badlands in western South Dakota. At first it was just a few small rocky forms peeking out of the green prairie grass, but eventually sharp jagged formations, grassy vertical peaks, and long open valleys of striated weathered rock stood out starkly from the green tree-dotted hills.

As we drove to Sage Creek Campground the prairie dogs were everywhere, darting in and out of their holes. The road eventually turned to gravel and as we rounded a bend in the road a large valley unfolded below us and we caught our first glimpse in the distance of a large buffalo herd. It was a fitting sight and symbol of America to behold on the fourth of July.

After setting up camp a lone Buffalo sauntered down to the shores of Sage Creek and settled down for a rest. Hannah and I were excited to get our first close encounter with these beasts of American lore and I took off running through the sage-filled fields to get some good shots with my cameras. As we settled in we began to notice that single bison were slowly wandering the hills surrounding our camp and most stopped to rest perched on the ridges all around looking down on us as if on sentry duty for the night. The sun set magnificently with swaths of purple and orange brushed with strokes of white clouds and the smell of sage permeated the air. A feeling of satisfaction came over me when I cracked open a Moose Drool Brown Ale and tore hungrily into our supper of crusty bread, hummus, and olives; today is the kind of day that is the reason we are making this trip. . .
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Comments

terrym1004dar
terrym1004dar on

Good Morning! Loving your blog...it sure is nice to see where you are and to share this experience with you! It looks like y'all are having a great time. Take more pics of Hannah. Love you and miss you. Give me a call today!

MOM

Kevin Etheridge on

Diggin on the blog dude. It has become a part of my daily routine.

U guys be safe.

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