There. I said it. Whew. Glad I got that off my chest.
I know... everybody was all, WOW! Look at that massive, incredible hole in the ground! It's A-MA-ZING! But I kinda thought it was exactly as its name implied: a grand canyon. I mean, really. You kinda get what you pay for on that one. Although it is definitely a cool sight and worth seeing, it wasn't my favorite natural wonder of all time.
The badlands, on the other hand, really wow-ed me.
The vastness of the landscape against the sky. The way the prairie transforms suddenly at the edge of a single precipice. The dynamic hills and valleys and intricacies of the textures and colors blew me away. This photo is cool, but nothing like being there in person.
South Dakota is truly beautiful. From the deep, dense Black Forrest, which conveys a sense of magic and transports one to a place where the possible lurks behind every tree, to a terrain that is altogether opposite yet somehow just as magical and alive.
We loved it.
The kids so enjoyed all the animals! And they roam completely free, unafraid to cross roads or walk right up to the car, so close we could have touched them (ahem: some of us may have
It's my kind of place.
And my little nature lovers were in heaven, because the close-ups continued in Bear Country, USA.
A drive through nature preserve that allowed us to see some really cool sights from the safety of our car.
The kids will tell you that, besides Rushmore, their favorite part of the trip was the bear who climbed up on the driver's side of our car and hung out there for several minutes. Yep. Although I didn't get any photos, because I was too busy feeling both awestruck and mildly nervous!
There are also more traditional "zoo" style exhibits, which the kids loved as well.
Here are a few of my little animals as well:
We had such a wonderful time! It is a trip I highly recommend, and one we're pleased to be able to check off our family's bucket list.