Today was a day I had been looking forward to since planning this leg of the trip. It was Badlands National Park day. Even from I-90, the Badlands look dramatic. Up close, they are spectacular. It feels like a completely different planet. My only regret is that I couldn’t do a long run on one of the trails.
Before entering Badlands National Park, we stopped at the Prairie Homestead National Heritage Site. I like to show the boys what life was like before the iPad and iPhone. I also like them to see that in the past kids had more challenging chores than putting their dishes in the sink.
Will, of course, immediately fixated on a kinda spooky doll on the kid bed when we got to the house. They were most intrigued by the root vegetable cellar built into the ground next to the house. I told them that their great-grandparents had a fruit and vegetables cellar. Will was glad that the homestead outhouse had collapsed, given his repulsion at the one in UP forest he had to use.
Before leaving, Will lectured the mother goat in the barn about how she had to look out for her baby. He has recently become a self-appointed “protector of all living things.” Yesterday, he chastised Lucas for stepping on a spider when we were waiting in line for the ropes course. He informed him that “there is no reason to kill spiders because only three types of spiders have been proven to be poisonous.” I am certain to be on his bad list soon because South Dakota is littered with flies and each day I spend 20 minutes cutting short their lives for the crime of sneaking into the RV.
As a bonus, the Prairie Homestead lot was littered with prairie dogs.
We spent the afternoon at Badlands exploring the incredible landscapes. During lunch in the RV, we watched a couple videos about the geology and history of the Badlands. Then, we did some light hiking across the barren landscapes.
It was a pretty hot day, but Will did an incredible job of monitoring his skin temp. Every time he started to feel too hot he doused himself with the water we were carrying or asked me to do so. He wore his cooling without whining or complaining about the heat. He seems to be getting more mature daily during this trip.
Tomorrow, we begin the trek to Yellowstone. Jenny meets us on Saturday. We are all looking forward to being together again soon. I can’t believe that we are already three weeks into the road trip.