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Keystone, United States


When we first drove up through the Badlands, Gavin and I were both speechless. It's something everyone should experience in person, because pictures do NOT do this park justice. There is a unbelievable amount of variety in the terrain at this park. For the first couple miles of the "Badlands Loop" it's completely rock, dirt, and sand- then you drive a couple more miles and it's lush, green hills. What amazes me most is how the landscape looks now, compared to hundreds of years ago. The erosion has created these oddly shaped, beautifully colored mountains. We saw all different kinds of colors coming through the mountains, depending on what time of day it was.
There are all different kinds of animals that roam this park, including prairie dogs (which I saw for the first time there- holy cuteness), bison, all different kinds of birds, and deer. At one point during the loop (the loop is a 60-70 mile drive around the perimeter), a bison came up to our car about 15 feet away, needless to say I couldn't get a photo because I was so frazzled!
Onto the Black Hills which was a completely different experience. It's really amazing to see the change in scenery through our country. The Black Hills is a dense forest for miles and miles which is only an hour away from the badlands which is like I said, a dry desert like park. While we were in the Black Hills we stopped and saw two monuments and a cavern. The first monument we saw was the infamous Mount Rushmore! Although we only observed from afar because we both refused to pay ten dollars to park near it. The next monument we stopped at was The Crazy Horse Memorial. Now for those of you who don't know what that is (don't be ashamed, I didn't either!), it's the unfinished sculpture of the Native American Chief Crazy Horse on his horse pointing to the land where his fellow men were killed. The story is one that every person should hear and learn about especially in this day and age. The memorial is not yet finished because the sculptor who took on the project died in the 80's but his family lives on and has promised to finish the amazing piece of art he started. I'm certain my description won't do it justice so please please please go to the website and read about it .http://www.crazyhorsememorial.org/about/ . Come on.....just do it!!
The cavern that we decided to go to was called the Wind Cave, which is located in the Wind Cave National Park right outside the Black Hills. It's called the Wind Cave because of the way the wind blows through it. The inside of the cave is constantly trying to balance our the barometric pressure to coincide with the outside of the cave, ergo Wind Cave! Really amazing place to visit as well.

Til next time!

permalink written by  Gavin Danger on June 8, 2010 from Keystone, United States
from the travel blog: Badlands, South Dakota
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