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  • Writer's pictureJoyce Deer

Mt Rushmore and Badlands

2022-05-22. First stop this morning, the Badlands! I think this has got to be my favorite and the most beautiful place so far. It's such a contrast, you're driving down this highway where you can see for miles, plains everywhere, deer and antelope and other wildlife in the fields that you can see from the road, and suddenly you turn into the Badlands National Park, and the terrain totally changes! There are gorges, mountains in the ground, I can't explain and the pictures don't do it justice. It honestly looks like God decided to play in the mud one day, tore up his backyard digging and playing, and then let it dry and pack hard. Every turn, there was some kind of animal and we spent forever stopping to take pictures!

As we were leaving Badlands, we had an appointment to go to the Wind Caves, but Kevin had been driving and he noticed that something felt funny, and immediately picked up on the fact that the tire on the Denali had a big bubble on it. So we found the nearest place that would give us a new tire on a Sunday and got that fixed immediately! Then we were off to our next adventure, Custer State Park. I sort of compare that to riding around Cade's Cove in Gatlinburg, without the old cabins and other things. All animals! We saw bison, antelope, prairie dogs, mule deer, and I can't remember what else. This is where we stopped in an overlook and got our pictures with Mount Rushmore in the back. But we weren't there at Mount Rushmore yet, just at the overlook where you could see it and take your picture.

Leaving Custer State Park, Kevin and family went and explored a cave. I used to love caves and wouldn't have minded doing it again, but to be honest I didn't think that I could handle it. I wanted to be editing some of the pictures that I had taken and I sat in the car and did that while they were in the cave. Hannah got to be the junior ranger and helped the ranger during the cave exploration, which she loved.

After the cave, we headed to Mount Rushmore, where we got ice cream, ate supper, and walked the boulevard of flags, then took pictures in front of Mount Rushmore. What an awesome sight! I'm not sure but I think this might have been Kevin's favorite part of the trip so far!

The girls have been so good, and everything has gone so well. Of course there have been a few snafus, aren't there always?! But we're taking them in stride and everything is going so well. We're having a great time. We are up at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning for another full day so I am headed to bed now. More tomorrow.

**note - many of these pictures are panorama-type pictures - long, wide - you only see a little. Open fully to see all of it.

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