Badlands National Park Bop Begins... eventually.

Round of applause to Chris for setting up our first post. After a few hours of driving on Friday, we stopped at Brown Sugar Coffee Roastery in Riverton, Wyoming to finally publish the blog. And a special thanks to the jolly barista for letting us loiter for hours.

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He got a donk

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Vanilla Latte = Kylie’s fuel

 

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Grindin’

I’ll try my best to keep up with his humor (“Kylie fartin’ up the tent,” he typed, mere hours before I watched him swallow a TRIPLE cheeseburger whole). I would also like to clear up the story about me crying to Sam Smith. Not a single tear was shed that night until Chris heard me playing the piano in the Congress Hotel lobby.

Warning: Video contains explicit language not suitable for gramma

Finding time to sit down and hammer out the blog with very limited phone service, EXPLORING, and our days ending at sundown has been difficult. As much as Chris is dying to show you all the cool shit he’s been watching me do, coffee shops with wifi have been few and far between.

DAY 1

Went exactly as planned. HA!

This will probably come as a surprise, but Chris and I aren’t the most punctual humans. Planning to start our trip at 6 am on Monday morning was a bit ambitious – and we failed. In our defense, we were up till 4:30 in the morning (over)packing. We finally hit the road around 1pm on Monday and drove to the glorious city of Sioux Falls where we stayed at a Holiday Inn -_-

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We were bummed we had to set back a full day, but the delay had its benefits. We actually got to start setting up our bop baby blog, catch back up on sleep and wake up Tuesday at the crack, SHOWER, and then head to the Badlands.

Sioux Falls: easy on the eyes, hard on the nose

Sioux Falls: easy on the eyes, hard on the nose

 DAY 2

A real Bop day! We told ourselves at the beginning of planning that this road trip would be open-ended and we were not to feel compelled to pass over anything. So we went to the corn palace.

The Hillbillies' Taj Mahal

The Hillbillies’ Taj Mahal

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After that unforgettable experience, I didn’t think South Dakota could get any better. Then we arrived at the Badlands.

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The drive through the park was incredibly scenic – from the drive in all the way until the sprawling rock was in our rearview. GEOLOGY!

(Accidentally deleted all the cool videos of the drive through the park, but here’s a decent one of the drive to the campsite)

I was especially pumped to see some wildlife (this has since changed somewhat since we arrived in bear country, but that’s a story for later). Prairie dogs, anyone? They were EVERYWHERE. Scared of bison? You should be. Kidding – but be cautious, they will kill you if they feel like it. Apparently these giant fuzzy beasts/miniature wooly mammoth grandpas charge at 30 mph, so they are faster than you. Even if you run marathons. Plural.

We stayed at a very free, very primitive campsite in Sage Creek Campground. The site was surrounded by beautiful views, screeching prairie dogs, grazing bison, and friendly  humans.

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Before we set up camp, we stopped at Wall Drug (the 246 billboards made us) and a grocery store nearby to get some f00d and $7 celebratory wine. Because Bop budget.

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Our first dinner was basic (noodles, chicken, baked beans) but delicious -THANK YOU to Matt and Lindsey for lending us a Jet Boil – I wish you could have seen us try to figure out how to work it. But hey, the meal was hot so I think we got it down.

The Badlands were COLD. Not freezing, but the difference between driving out of Saint Paul the day before in sandals to sleeping in winter hats and pleading for God to send down gloves from the sky, was substantial.

Side note: If you are camping in the fall, or anywhere/anytime with temps below 40, I can’t stress enough how valuable a zero-degree sleeping bag is. I have to admit that I thought Chris was being dramatic when he said we need below zero sleeping bags for the mountains and Canada, but I am so heckin’ grateful for his research because I haven’t had a cold sleep yet. And temps have dropped into the 20’s already. They are SO warm.

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A little heavy, but warm and the synthetic material means it doesn’t hold water! How neat!

Between finally settling into our trip, staying warm, and having prairie dogs sing us to sleep and be our alarm clock the next morning, it was a FLEEQ SAUCE start to our Bopapalooza.

 

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Previous: BOP 101: The Roadtrip of our Dreams                     Next: The Interview

 

 

 

 

 

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