Monday, September 27, 2021

Yellowstone Trip Day 3

 Thursday Sept. 9

Today was a really awesome day! It was great to get to stop, see and do some different things.

The first stop was the Corn Palace, which was extremely interesting....

The Palace has been in existence for over 100 years. The unique thing about it is the murals that are made every year with colored corn, grasses and grains. Each year has a different theme and the process of removing the existing murals and building the new ones takes several months. The inside of the building has a basketball arena and kiosks.

On my way back to the expressway I stopped and grabbed a geocache that was hidden here...

My next stop was in the town of Chamberlain to see the Dignity Statue The statue stands 50 feet tall and honors the Lakota and Dakota Indians of South Dakota. The statue is also the location of a geocache, so I made sure to get the necessary photo to claim this geocache. It is located at a spot along the river where Louis and Clark had stopped. I really wanted to see the Lewis and Clark interpretive center there but unfortunately it was closed because they didn’t have anybody to staff it.  

After that I continued on to the Badlands and my first stop was at the Ranch Store of the Badlands.

The store is home to a large colony of Prairie Dogs. Admission is free and you can purchase bags of unsalted peanuts to feed the prairie dogs which were so adorable. Some of them would even come and take a peanut out of my hand.

Finally I headed into Badlands National Park and I can’t even describe the beauty of this place.

The history of these geologic formations is quite interesting and you can read more about them here. I stopped and hiked the Door Trail first...

I then headed over to the Notch Trail which is the one I was really looking forward to. You hike a couple blocks and then you have to climb up a 50 rung wooden to get to the upper trail and you go on from there.  Climbing the ladder was a lot more difficult than I imagined it would be. The last 3 or 4 rungs were actually difficult and strenuous and I admit I was huffing and puffing a little bit when I reached the top.

I continued on for a bit but then stopped because it would be really easy to get lost. They do have trail markers but since I was by myself I didn’t feel comfortable with continuing on because of the rugged terrain and the steep drop offs. I climbed back down the ladder and sat at the bottom with 2 women for quite awhile just watching people maneuver up and down the ladder.

It was still a good hike and one that I had been looking forward to. The temperatures were in the high 90's and by the time I got back to the car I was soaked in sweat.

After that I stopped at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center which was extremely crowded. Masks were required in all Federal Buildings that I visited on my trip and some locations would only let so many people into the building at one time.

After getting my National Parks book stamped I headed outside of the park to the KOA Interior Campground for the night.   It’s a nice quiet campground and the bathrooms were just OK nothing spectacular. I was looking forward to a good nights sleep and since I had crossed over into the mountain time zone, I ended up going to bed really early. LOL.

If you're looking for a great pair of hiking boots, I recommend Vasque Boots. I've had mine for almost 10 years and they are well made, sturdy boots. My particular pair are waterproof as well. You can read my original review on them here.

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1 comment:

  1. Trying again to comment -- wish I had saved the LONG one I tried posting first! But I will say two things . . . I love prairie dogs! There were hundreds of them all over when my family visited that area 60 years ago. I would love to see them again. And you are definitely right about the Vasque boots! I bought them on your recommendation and have loved them.


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