Day 6 began from a warm bed and a warm shower. It’s so incredible for us to have family strewn across the lower 48 in such a way where every few days we get a bed and a shower. The next few days however, will not be that luxurious in their accommodations. 

Joe and his wife Kate (Nicky’s Cousin) put us up for the night in their wonderful home on base at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. We stayed up a little later enjoying ice cream cake and helping them name their soon to be born son or daughter. I’m partial to Bentley given Joe’s automotive inspired ideas while also avoiding names that map his/her future to be one of ill repute. 

This morning we were dropped off at our car, which we left parked outside Leavenworth, and hit the road. You would have never known we passed through 4 states today; Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and South Dakota. I say so because they were all overwhelmingly flat and featureless, a very different precursor to what we are about to see this next week. 

With the exception of weird stuff like this, South Dakota is pretty boring.  
We also passed into a new time zone, so until further notice we’re on Mountain time! 

All the driving through flat prairies made for a startling sight when as we hid the edge of the badlands, a sight to my left nearly took the car off the road.  

 The badlands come completely out of nowhere and all the sudden you’re on a landscape I can only presume bears a striking resemblance to Mars. The topography is stunning. Spires weathered by wind and rain jut from the grassy plains that lay beside it. Some peaks look like roughly hewn teeth from a bread knife, others roll and flow like waves. All of them share a unique red, tan, white, and sometimes purplish tinge to their numerous layers formed from countless years of erosion and time.  

 We pitched the tent and then immediately took the main road up through the center of the park. Every mile or so there was another scenic overlook, each equally unique in what it showed from the park.   

  It began to get late, and thankfully this park has a dedicated restaurant on the park grounds. It wasn’t too bad actually. Decent wine, and Nicky got to have some green things she and I had been craving these past few days.   

  Afterwards the sun was just about ready to set, and we climbed a short hill, maybe 150ft up, to watch the sunset.   

  We sat there pretty quiet, just enjoying the view and snapping a few photos as the sun dipped behind the craggy pillars of roughly shaped clay and sandstone. I’ll leave you with how we ended our evening and let you miss on what it may have been like to see it first hand.  

The next blog post will emcompass 2 days since our Friday was long and somewhat uneventful, and Yellowstone is going to take up some space.