We’re a little behind…

We are in the process of catching up with the blog. We have a lot of adventures to write about. Keep checking in with us!

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Badlands, Bison, and Big ol’ Presidents Carved Into a Mountain

The day started slow. We took our time eating breakfast (3$ all-you-can-eat pancakes!) and packing up camp. By the time we made it to the first trail at the Badlands the sun was already high in the sky. Fortunately, there was a nice breeze to keep us cool as we ventured around.

The sign that greets you as you enter Badlands National Park.

Pictures can’t prepare you for the magnificence of the Badlands. As you approach from the Southeast, the scenery is not much more than rolling South Dakota hills that continue for hundreds of miles. Even after you enter Badlands National Park the scenery continues, until suddenly, you crest yet another hill, and you stumble upon the beauty that is the badlands. The horizon drops off, and stretches as far as the eye can see. And, right smack in the middle of it are the formations that comprise the heart of Badlands National Park.

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Man, These Lands Are Bad…

The Iowa state fair was a lot of fun, but it was time to move on from the Midwest and head to the west!  South Dakota!  I didn’t know anything about South Dakota except what i learned from the movie “Fargo” and it turns out that was North  Dakota.  It is the Wild west. It is where pioneers were offered acres of land if they could survive on them for 5 years. That doesn’t sound like too difficult of a task until you see the land.  It is desolate and spare. There is a reason that this place was named the Badlands. As Andy said “It is pretty shitty out here!”.   It may be desolate but it is also beautiful in a wide open kind of way that we don’t really see in NJ, even the rural parts.  You can almost see storms rolling in from as far as the curvature of the earth with allow.

En route to Badlands National Park, we saw a huge sign that read “World’s Largest Bull Head”. YES, PLEASE!  Well actually Andy said ” Yes, please!”. I said ” We are going to be murdered out here and pay an entrance fee for the privilege!”. After Andy convinced me to get out of the car, we were greeted in the middle of nowhere by a very nice man with a speech impediment and his albino dog.  No I didn’t make that up.  Over the expanse of land were 30 sculptures made of metal with hand-painted signs next to them describing the work. They were spread out over about a half mile of land so we were offered a golf cart to speed around. Some of the sculptures were beautiful, some were ridiculous, while others were impressive.  My favorite besides the bull head was one of a girl sweeping up pieces of herself into a bucket.  Andy liked the sculpture of a little boy sledding with a look of mutual terror and glee on his face.

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Married for one week!

I can’t believe that the happiest day of my life was a week ago!


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Butter Cows, 1300 lb Boars, and Deep Fried Everything!

Today started rather uneventfully by waking up and driving the five hours to Des Moines Iowa, home of the Iowa state fair.

Let me tell you, the Iowa State Fair was everything we could have imagined and more.  Our experience began with a half mile hike from the remote parking lot through the state fair campgrounds to the gate. And, in true State fair fashion, no more than fifty paces from the gate stood a building full of cages of show chickens of many breeds and varieties.

One of the many chickens to be judged at the fair.

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So far on our journey…

So we are officially on our honeymoon! We had a late and rocky start thanks to a certain rental car company and a certain bank, but I digress. We started our trip with a visit to Niagara Falls. I had been before in high school and college but it was Andy’s first time. It is definitely overly commercialized but the views are incredible and so I feel that it’s worth a brief visit.

The view of Niagara Falls from our hotel room.

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