We woke up in the tiny remote mining town of Wright, Wyoming. Not much going on there, but it was a nice enough stop.
Just near Wright on the map, you might notice “Thunder Basin National Grassland”. On the map, it looks like a National Park, right? Wrong! Just for the record, this is really just a euphemism for one of the largest open-cut coal mining operations in America, along with some small scale oil wells to boot. However, let’s not detract too much from Wyoming’s in-your-face raw natural beauty. While they are trying their hardest to mine and squeeze every dollar out of this state, the natural beauty still abounds.
We headed up into the Black Hills, and over the mountains down into Rapid City, South Dakota. Our GPS directed us to a health food co-op where we stocked up on fresh foods for the next leg.
If Wyoming is rugged and beautiful, then South Dakota might be described as developed (farming) and gently undulating (lots more faming), with farms in all directions.
With all these crops and grass lands, there comes a lot of bugs of all descriptions. I mean a LOT. When we stop for gas, we peel back layers of bugs from the front of the vehicle (mostly dead) and it’s interesting to see the different species. Today I found a live grasshopper on top of the cab, and it was obviously annoyed that I was poking it to see if it was alive, and promptly jumped away. It looked like it had been there a long time, just hanging out and enjoying the ride.
The kids are being very patient – as patient as they could be for their ages. We are putting in some long driving days right now, with the intention of taking a bit of a break near Chicago where we’ll meet up with our friend Amy. Lots of excitement from all quarters on that plan.
Are we ready to go? – VIDEO
Mmmmm…. smoothies all around.
Photos from today:
As the sun sets on South Dakota, so too does our visit. Tomorrow we visit a new state. What is the state immediately to the east of South Dakota? If you don’t know, check back tomorrow for the answer.