From the Plains to the Mountains

We have done lots of driving since we left Chicago because we wanted to get across the Great Plains quickly since there is not much to see and do there. The vast expanse of the Great Plains was, however, very impressive – only fields and scattered farms.

Badlands National Park with its eroded rock formations was a stark contrast to the flat land. The park gets its name from challenging nature to cross the area. We stayed there for two nights since we met a lot of nice people, liked the landscape, and needed a break from driving. As usual, we were asked about our truck very often, and we met a family from Denver who have just started their big trip, first up to Canada and then down to South America (www.whensparksfly.org). We will keep in close contact and surely see one another a few times along the way.

 

When we left Badlands to head west, we saw lots of prairie dogs and even two bison up close. The drive through the Black Hills reminded us of the Black Forrest in Germany. We went to Mt. Rushmore the next day and marveled, together with hundreds of other tourists, at the famous four faces of presidents carved into the mountain. In the afternoon, we arrived in the Wild West, in Wyoming, yippee! We found a fire lookout tower we could climb to have a wonderful view all the way to Devil’s Tower, where we wanted to go the next day. We spent the night at a nice little lake in the forest where we could go swimming and light a campfire. The next day, we went to Devil’s Tower, which rises up sharply against the sky. Magma had intruded into the sedimentary rocks above it and cooled its underground. As the top layers of soil eroded, the column of rock remained. After a short hike, we camped right at the foot of Devil’s Tower. During the night, we felt very close to the sky as never-ending thunderstorms with ear-splitting roars raged right above us. Since we left Pittsburgh, we have had thunderstorms almost every day and have been able to watch the enormous clouds building up far away in the sky. During our time in the plains, we were stunned by the vast expanse of sky above us.

Our next big stop is Yellowstone National Park.

One Thought on “From the Plains to the Mountains

  1. I saw your vehicle in the parking lot on bear tooth pass today.
    Cool vehicle.
    Can it be purchased in the USA?
    Would like to know specs .

    Enjoy the park!

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