In the morning, we woke up to the beautiful song of the Western Meadow Lark! It was amazing. We made breakfast, packed our gear, and hiked through the Badlands. The first hike we did was short and sweet. It was called Window Trail and ended with a lovely scenic view of the wild topography. Our final hike, Notch Trail, took us on a mile loop up and over sharp spires and gravel buttes. It also ended with an amazing view! Despite the eyesore billboards, South Dakota recaptured our interests’ with its mind-blowing topography and beautiful sunset!

Morning view of The Badlands

On the way out of South Dakota we passed through the Black Hills.  Large granite cliffs, pungent pines and clear lakes dotted the cool topography.  We could definitely head back here some day to spend some more time.  Of course, since we were passing through, we stopped to see the old dudes in the rock.

Chillin with old dudes

Day five and day six involuntarily kept us in the great state of Wyoming. Now, don’t get us wrong. Wyoming is a great state, however, our travel plans had us staying only a night in Casper, WY, before driving onward to Salt Lake City, UT, to visit our friends, Pudd and Doug. Unfortunately, our GoogleMap directions provided us with a three hour detour in the opposite direction of Salt Lake City, guiding us southeastward through Wyoming’s Capital, Cheyenne. The detour got us to Salt Lake City a little later than expected, however, we were thankful nothing went wrong (i.e. flat tire, out of gas, etc.) and the traveling was fairly easy.

We were greeted in Salt Lake City by our great friends, Pudd and Doug. Here, we enjoyed delicious food, brews, and awesome company! We were also able to catch snippets of the Gay Pride Parade on Sunday before driving to Rupert, ID. It sure was a sight! We were welcomed with fashionable Drag Queens, men smeared in silver paint, and cowboys dancing on moving trailers. It was quite the event!

Doug, Ethan and Pudd

Finally, after a yummy lunch in Salt Lake, we were back on the road, only this time, we were en route to our final destination (at least for a few days). We made it to Rupert just in time to enjoy Momma Suz’s dinner and family fun! So.. what’s left before our trip to Alaska begins? Unpacking, packing, repacking, and more packing! Stay tuned. More updates are soon to come!