Saturday, July 18, 2009

What South Dakota has to offer

Welcome to Bear Country!

This morning began with a drive to Mount Rushmore - a must-stop on any cross-country trip. We checked out the monument, and continued to cruise through the Black Hills National Park in South Dakota.

USA! USA! USA!

A scenic overlook in the Black Hills

While driving across South Dakota, we took a slight detour through the Badlands. "Badlands'" is a term which refers to any rocky, uninhabitable terrain, often caused by erosion, as well as volcanic activity. We had visited badlands in New Mexico and Arizona, but those were in the middle of the desert. The South Dakota Badlands are located amidst the plains of middle America, making for very lush, green valleys between the rocky cliffs and hills.


This is Emily taking the picture above

The world's hardest golf course

The Little Tetons

We also stopped at Bear Country USA, a drive-through bear reservation, which allowed us to get up close and personal with some real-life grizzlies, without having to worry about tying our food up in trees (for the record: we learned that this practice is no longer efficient, as bears have learned to climb trees!).

We must have missed the bear party last night

He looks so sweet! Why would something so cuddly want to eat me?!

video
At the end of the drive-through, we got to get out of the car to see "Babyland," a whole pen of baby bear cubs!

This one was our favorite.

We had dinner in a little town called Murdo, South Dakota. The salad bar was not as fresh as advertised, but the sunset more than made up for it.

South Dakota at its finest

Glorious

We're about to head to bed (in Onalaska, Wisconsin!) after a long day and night of driving. Tomorrow, we make the long trek home! Goodnight!

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