Great America Road Trip Day 33: A New Time Zone

Sun blazed into our tent at the crack of dawn, chasing us both out of bed. There wasn’t much in the way of shade around here. It was about to get really hot, and we didn’t want to be around for that.

I was a little sleepy this morning, too – thanks in part to last night’s excitement. But happy. The Badlands are so unbelievably beautiful. Waking up in the middle the of the Badlands was an incredible way to start the day.

Daniel and I hiked back to the Rialta and soon we were ready for today’s shenanigans.

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A distant view of our camp site in the Badlands. You can see Daniel rolling up his sleeping pad in the distance.
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Good morning Badlands! Photo by Daniel.
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When we woke up this morning, our tent was covered with these little guys
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Daniel summits a pass. Ok, the pass was only 3 feet tall – but it was still fun to cross.
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Walking back to the car

Prairie Homestead

Our first stop of the day was located just past the park’s Northeast Entrance Station. Prairie Homestead, a sod house constructed in 1909, is one of the last original sod homes still intact today. Now listed on the National Register of Historic places, Prairie Homestead gives visitors a glimpse back in time at how life was like for early pioneers.

The big draw for us, however, was not the the pioneer artifacts. It was the prairie dogs. Prairie dogs are all over the place around Prairie Homestead, scampering in and out of giant holes in the ground. And they are ADORABLE!

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Your Rialta photo for the day
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Prairie Homestead sod house
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Inside the sod house. Photo by Daniel.
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You can clearly see the sod walls in this photo
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Prairie dogs are everywhere at the Prairie Homestead
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Prairie dogs are adorable! Although they do have a tendency to tunnel everywhere. I about wrecked the Rialta driving over a giant hole in the middle of the parking lot.

Prairie dogs are also a major attraction at the Badlands Ranch Store down the road. They even have a giant prairie dog statue. Daniel and I enjoy giant statues of things, so of course we had to stop for a photo.

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Prairie Dog statue at the Badlands Ranch Store

Dignity Statue

Soon we were back on Interstate 90 and heading east. We crossed the Missouri River around lunchtime and pulled over at a rest stop. Here we found the Dignity of Earth and Sky Statue on a bluff overlooking the river.

Designed by artist Dale Lamphere, the Dignity Statue is meant to honor the Native Nations of the Great Plains. The sculpture depicts an Indigenous woman with her arms outstretched gracefully. It’s a beautiful piece and it drew quite the crowd of admirers when we were there.

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View of the Missouri River from the bluff near the Dignity Statue
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Dignity of Earth and Sky Statue

A Hotel Night

Daniel and were both feeling scuzzy and agreed that it was time for a night in a hotel. So we stopped for the day in Mitchell, South Dakota. This town is home to the renowned Corn Palace, which we plan to visit tomorrow.

We crossed over into the Central Time Zone somewhere in the middle of South Dakota today. That’s our second time zone change on this trip so far. Moving to a new time zone is a little disorienting. It always takes me a few days to adjust.

Where are we now?

We are currently in a hotel in Mitchell, South Dakota – but the above photos are taken from the Badlands Ranch Store.

Date: August 7, 2020
Great American Road Trip Status: Day 33

Starting Location: Badlands National Park, SD
Ending Location: AmericInn, Mitchell SD
Miles Traveled: 197.9
Total Trip Mileage: 3369.1

For more details on our Great America (Socially Distanced) Road Trip, see my previous posts:

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