Cross Country Drive – Part 2

Badlands National Park

Mt Rushmore

Wind Caves National Park

Billings Montana Temple

Montana State Capitol Building

As Rachel and I continued our cross country drive from Boston, we got to the Badlands National Park in South Dakota on Sunday afternoon, June 2nd.  We set up out campsite, and watched the sunset which was a really good one.  On Monday morning we unintentionally got a very early start and were packed up and out of the campsite by 7:30.  We drove through the rest of the park stopping at a bunch of view points along the way.  We came across a huge field of prairie dogs that we watched all scrambling around and hopping up and down.  My favorite part was by the yellow mounds, the stream meandering through with the green grasses growing around it, I love that!

From there we continued the drive to Mount Rushmore.  We walked on the boardwalk around the base of the mountain, and it was so pretty.  The mountains there reminded me so much of growing up, the way they felt and smelled.  It was very nostalgic.  There is some kind of shiny element in the rocks that was so pretty sparkling in the sunlight.  After Mt Rushmore we went to Wind Caves National Park.  There were a number of different herds of Buffalo/Bison (not really clear on the difference between the two…) and we ran across a lot of them.  There were even some with lots of babies.  We took a tour of the cave, which was interesting, but I am not really the biggest fan of caves.  It was very different from a lot of the caves that I have been too, there was a lot of what they call “boxwork”.  We drove to Billings that night where we stayed.  At this point in the trip it was really hot everywhere we went, I was not loving that.

On Tuesday we had another early morning and went to the Billings Montana temple.  I really liked this one a lot too, I loved how it was situated right next to the bluff and they had a bunch of really pretty lilac bushes and there were the prettiest little fountains between the inside and outside doors and they had really pretty skylights in the entrance.  It was an unexpected favorite.  Montana is one of those states that I don’t realize how much I love until I am there.  There is just something about it, the beautiful mountains and on this trip we were there when the lilacs were blooming and they were EVERYWHERE.  I mean seriously, it seemed like every single house had at least one bush and every building we went to had tons, and on one of the roads close to the temple we drove past a house that a row all along the fence, it was amazing.  I loved it so much.

After the temple we drove to Helena to tour the capitol building.  And of course right there in the front were more lilacs.  It was a really good trip for lilacs!  (Which is one of my favorite flowers, in case you didn’t know….) There was no official tour of the Capitol, just a self guided one, so we wandered all around.  This was our last stop along the way before we were finally home.  It was long with lots of driving, but a really good trip!


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