Mount Rushmore and The Badlands

Coming out of Jackson’s Hole Kate and I were on the last gasp of this trip. We had completed a trimendouise tour of the mid north west, after coming this far we couldn’t pass up Mount Rushmore and the Badlands.

Mount Rushmore….. Well, it’s there and you can see it. Other than that I’m not sure what else to say. It’s not disappointing, it’s just what you want it to be. If you had the time to take all the tours and read all the plaques it might be even more impressive… We did not have time for that. We parked in the giant parking garage outside the grounds. Walked into the monument with thousands of other people and looks up at the sculpture. It’s one of those things, I wanted to check it off the list. It’s an icon of American culture and no matter how you feel about it, it’s part of the fabric of the country.

We turned on to a dirt road somewhere on the west end entrance of the Badlands and drove for what seemed like forever before getting to a campsite suggested by a friend of Kate’s over Facebook. I will not bury the lead here. It was the end of the trip and this was a very rough campsite. These two things do not mix. The site is called Sage Creek. As we drove up the dirt path to the camp spot a huge slow-moving bison walked into our path and stood in the middle of the road begging us to hit him. I was all to aware that our tin can van stood no chance against this very solid animal and we politely waited for the bison to decide to keep moving before we entered the camp.

Getting to the camp spot we took our place in the ring you see in the above photo. We opened the door to put out some chairs and have a relaxing afternoon drink. In that moment a massive cloud of black flies swarmed us and the van. Biting us and filling the inside of the van. After only a moment of trying to live in this fly hell scape we decided to get back in the van and decide what to do next. We discussed trying to find a hotel in a near by town but that seemed like a long shot. We decised to take a little walk and try to calm ourselves down. We strolled back down the road we cam in on and i climed a very muddy hill to get that arieal shot of the cam site.

Tired and beaten we made our way back to the van and took final stock of the situation. Both tired and annoyed at this point we found we had just enough food left for dinner and enough booze left to make the night bearable. By the true grace of God, my phone had just enough signal to play music in the van while we ate a combo of boiled hot dogs whiskey, and wine till we found ourselves relaxed enough to drift off to sleep.

The next morning we got up and drove to the visitors center for the Badlands and drover through some of the more scenic areas running across amazing land formations and amazing wild life.

With tired eyes and bodies, we pointed ourselves back east and made a mad dash for the NJ state to continue on with real life. sadly…

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