Two National Parks and a Monument

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Throughout our summer road trip we had either been staying with family or camping (with the exception of Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island). South Dakota was probably the most exciting camping night of the trip, after spending the day with Shelli in Minneapolis we drove to Badlands National Park and pitched a tent after midnight. That night was probably the most exciting out of all the nights we had been camping… because we set up of tent in the rain, listened to thunder amidst the flash of lightning, did not get eaten alive by mosquitos and the site was not off a busy highway… all in all it was the most peaceful of all.

Once the morning came we dashed out of the tent while there was a break in the heavy rain and packed up before the clouds opened up and dumped all the water out like it had been doing all night. We got into the park anticipating to go on a hike through “The Wall” but quickly realized how impossible that would be given that the natural landscape is clay and silt. And with the heavy rainfall the trails were slick and we didn’t go off the pavement as much as we would have liked but we still got to take in some of the views before we went to our next destination that day.

On a side note, I am disappointed that I couldn’t find much more information on the South Side of the Badlands National Park, it doesn’t seem to be as supported as the North Side because of politics with the local Indian Reservation. I was hoping to get down there after reading this article from the New York Times (written in 1998) but I knew our car wouldn’t make it on unpaved roads. One day we will go back and explore each park for days instead of hours.

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Wind Cave National Park

Two hours east and we came to Wind Cave National Park. The majority of this park is a hilly green range and doesn’t seem too exciting except for the fascinating bison that openly roam the country side and randomly charge stationary vehicles (seriously there are many signs that say to not stop your vehicle near a bison.. but many people do anyways, not the smartest choice). Hence the name, underneath the bison and green pastures are intricate caves that haven’t been 100% discovered yet. We purchased our tickets to go on the Natural Entrance Cave Tour and spent the 90 minutes going further the further into the caves. We saw many different paths to go while underground and I am astounded that people do not get lost more often. I already felt disoriented and couldn’t figure out whether we were going north, south, east or west.

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Mount Rushmore National Monument

To end the day (before we drove to Montana to visit my brother Cameron) we stopped by Mount Rushmore. Bobby went on the presidential hike while I got conned into buying a book at the gift shop by an old man, I probably should have gone on the hike instead.

And then began another long drive to end the day.

A Long Process

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Just to take a break from our huge road trip we took this summer I just wanted to give everybody an update on life, currently.

It seems like we have been moving for months. We decided to move in July, with our move out date being mid- August. Once we made the decision life has been a whirlwind of two-week notices, yard sales, going away parties, packing (oh the packing), donating and throwing things away. Not to mention how to decide how to move. Moving pods, driving moving truck and towing the car or selling everything and starting from almost scratch. We decided we weren’t emotionally invested too much into the furniture we had so we sold nearly everything. Yet we still had enough to fill up the Corolla to the brim with a mattress on top of the car and barely enough room for Bobby to sit in and drive across the country. I packed 7 suitcases and boxes and took the train.

Once we got to Illinois we have been staying with my parents until we found employment and an apartment. Well the day has come, next week we are moving into the city! We originally were looking for a studio apartment but the better studios were kinda pricey. Then we found a two bedroom apartment three blocks away from Lake Michigan for only $25 more than the studio we loved. Obviously we took the two bedroom because those brick walls and balcony were to die for!! Pardon the phone quality images, I will give an update once we give it a good dose of Bobby and Kristen flair.

So next week we are moving! Do you have any tips for a house warming party?

A Day with Family

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I had been looking forward to spending the day with my sister, Shelli, for months!! The time finally came during our cross-country road trip and we met in Minneapolis to swim, explore and eat wonderful food. Now that we live in the Mid-West I am looking forward to spending a lot more time with her and my niece and nephews.

On our way to South Dakota, Bobby and I stopped in Minneapolis. Shelli took us to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and it was hilarious to see Shelli try to organize Micah, Malaya and Cale to appear as if they are holding the cherry… They didn’t quite listen and the result was equally funny. Now the only downer is that I never got a photo with Shel, we should probably fix that over Thanksgiving.

I love seeing Bobby interact with my nieces and nephews because they are all fascinated by him and I don’t know what he does! They just love him it always is, “Hey Bobby, Bobby… hey Uncle Bobby!” Part of me wants to be jealous but its just so cute how much they like him that it is no big deal. Cause his little nephews treat me with the same amount of admiration.