Highlights of My Road Trip Out West

“Life is not a problem to be solved; it is an adventure to be lived”. -John Eldredge

Adventure. Travel. Road trip.

Welcome to the Wild West.

Every summer families pack their suitcases, snacks, and sunscreen to head off on an adventure. Some head to the beach, some to the mountains. This summer my family decided to head out west on a road trip adventure. We hit up South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and Nebraska. These states are known for their unique nature scene, but I had no idea the treat I was in for. From powerful waterfalls, rushing streams, and towering mountains the scenery was definitely worth the trip. Here are some highlights of my adventures.

Siox Falls

For the first experience with South Dakota Siox Falls was the right place to go. The rushing waterfalls and greenery made this the perfect place to picnic with my family.
IMG_7510.PNGThe Badlands
The Badlands contrary to their name are actually great lands to visit. (Sorry that was cheesy) The view of the badlands is quite unique in its nature. The only place that could compare is the Grand Canyon. Each year more and more of the rock falls down into the valley and the formations change. It was such a neat place to visit.

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Mount Rushmore
I have always wanted to see Mount Rushmore ever since I watched the National Treasure movie. Mount Rushmore is a symbolic monument for America. As I was looked at the carved faces of past presidents a bold eagle flew by and a lady was playing some historical music in the background. It was in that moment I felt like a patriotic American.

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Crazy Horse Memorial
My graze looked towards a large rock formation. At first I didn’t notice it, but then I saw it. A face has been carved in the rock. It was the face of a Native American leader named Crazy Horse. Even though the rock was no where near being close to finishing I really enjoyed that the family of the original sculptor never let his dream die.
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Devils Tower
Legend has it that hundreds of years ago a Native American tribe was being chased by a large bear. They climbed up on top of Devils tower and the bear scratched and scratched the sides of the rock formation. The bear was unsuccessful at reaching the members of the tribe, but the rock still stands as a symbol of sacredness for the tribe. As I was looking at the formation for myself I saw people climbing up the rock. In that moment I knew I wanted to go rock climbing. Now I climb several days a week, and it all started with the inspiration I found at Devil’s Tower.

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Custard National Park
As a North Carolina native I had never seen plains like those in Custard National Park. The wildlife consisted on wild buffalo and prairie dogs. I had never seen a buffalo so close before. They can right up to our car. Prairie  dogs are just as cute as you might imagine. This national park was a new sight I was glad to experience.

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Madison River
Imagine a giant lazy river with mountain peaks in the background. My dad and I went fly fishing down the river. We had a guide with us who showed us inexperienced fishers how it is done. The guide explained to us in the beginning that we wouldn’t have much success in catching fish, but it was still a great experience. In the last twenty minutes in the trip my dad and I both caught fish.

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Waterfalls

Almost every hike we adventured on had a waterfall at the end of it. They made the hike totally worth it. There is just something calming about waterfalls. The rush of the water pounding against the rocks is enough for anyone to take a step back and admire its beauty.

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Yellowstone

Yellowstone was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. There were so many hot springs, I wish I could have jumped in. Too bad the water was boiling hot and it would have scorched my skin. Yellowstone is defiantly a place to visit.

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Prismatic Springs

The Prismatic Springs was my favorite sight that we saw at Yellowstone. The colors were unbelievable and alluring covered by a layer of smoke.

 

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Nature Trails

I love hiking. It is probably my favorite outdoor activity. If only my University had hiking trails like those in Yellowstone National park. The views were amazing along these trails and there are tons of them in the park.

 

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Mammoth Springs

This spring was incredible and so unique. The rock formation and the color of the rocks were so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Not to mention all of the mountains we were surrounded by.

 

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Rocky Mountain National Park

This was probably my favorite park we visited. It reminds me of a scene out of a fantasy movie. As I gazed down the mountainside I could have stared at this view for hours. Breathtaking. It was a rainy, cloudy day and I was still awestruck. Colorado is such a magnificent place.

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Hope you enjoyed reading about my new found love of the west! Happy trails!

Love, 

Morgan
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