Take the Long Way Home – Part 5

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South Dakota (Part 2) – The Badlands

Have I mentioned how much I loved driving through South Dakota? I reeeally loved driving through South Dakota. I especially loved coming across these golden fields of sunflowers throughout our drive. So pretty.

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We stopped at this antique market just so we could have a $.10 Pepsi… then we completely forgot about it and left without having any. Call it a senior moment, if you will. I could have spent hours in this place, though; especially looking through all the old books (my weakness) and the vintage metal lunchboxes.

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One of our pre-planned destinations for the trip was Badlands National Park. This place was amazing, with all the naturally-formed peaks and spires and cliffs.

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Chris had been to the Badlands with his parents when he was about three years old and they had taken this picture of him (seriously?? SOO adorable!).


We tried to recreate it to the best of our ability but since we didn’t have the original photo for reference it’s not exactly the same. Still, pretty close.


At this particular moment, Chris was trying to get the camera set on the tripod and asked me to stand there while he took some test shots. I may look calm but I was actually terrified about plunging to my death as there is a long, loooong drop off the side of that cliff.

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Gorgeous views.

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The sun was starting to set when we were there so there were all these beautiful shadows and reflections everywhere.

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As we were leaving the park, we spotted a small family of antelope grazing on the side of the road. I finally get that whole “home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play…” thing!

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After leaving the Badlands, we drove to Wall, SD in order to make a stop at Wall Drug, which is, apparently, a tourist mecca. We only had a few minutes to check it out and pick up a couple of souvenirs before closing time (Chris had been there during a previous road trip with friends, but I never had).

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We decided to have dinner at the Cactus Café across the street from Wall Drug, where Chris ordered the biggest beer I’ve ever seen in my life. I swear, after the waitress dropped it off, I asked him “did you order a pitcher??”


Chris took this picture before we left Wall.


Our stop for the night was Rapid City, SD. I wish we’d had more time to check it out, as there were several cool-looking little bars and pubs on the block where our hotel was located, but we needed to get to bed. However, the next morning Chris was looking out the window in our room and spotted something… uh… unusual…


A dinosaur! I have no idea what that was about, but seriously? How cool is that?


That’s it for now. More to come.


Peace out!


Take the Long Way Home – Part 4

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Iowa & South Dakota (Part One)

We finally got out of “Misery” sometime after 11pm and made our way into Iowa. We arrived at the hotel in Sioux City, Iowa at around midnight (it may have been later but I can’t remember right now). Chris’ cousin works at the hotel so she got us a great rate. She also met up with us when we arrived, and she and Chris went out for a drink and to catch up on family gossip. Sadly, I had to bow out as I was completely exhausted and really just wanted to get to bed.


Because we weren’t able to get a picture at the Iowa state line the night before, we had to make up for it the following day.


We really only got to see a little corner of Iowa. 

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These small, wild sunflowers were all along the side of the road.


At the other side of the highway was the South Dakota state line.


More corn.


We made a stop at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was such a pretty location. If we’d had more time we would have had lunch here.

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I love this type of farm, with the cute red barn, the silo and the dairy cows just chilling out.


As we were driving along a very flat, empty stretch of highway…


We spotted this giant “thing” off in the distance.


As we got closer we saw that it was a sculpture garden. So there are all these random metal sculptures just sitting there, in the middle of nowhere South Dakota. It was so strange, but also pretty cool.

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One of our pre-planned stops in South Dakota was the Mitchell Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. When we got there the first thing I had to do was get my picture taken with this guy.


Then I had to sample the corn. Needs more butter. (That cob was made of metal and burning hot in the sun, so while Chris kept trying to adjust the picture to get it right, I was trying not to get my hands singed. It hurt!)


And here it is… The Corn Palace!

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Apparently, it’s the World’s Only Corn Palace. Umm… okay.


It was actually a neat place. And I thought it was cute that their snack bar was called “The Corn-Cession Stand.” I’m a sucker for a good pun.


Well, that’s it for Part 4. More to come.


Peace out!


(P.S. I think I forgot to mention this before, but you can click on the pictures to see them slightly larger, if you so desire.)