I'm in South Dakota, specifically in a small place called Kadoka. Tonight I'm staying at a lovely little motel, the owner of which is absolutely delightful so it's well worth the $55 for the one-night stay. This is the first night on my own so by proxy my first post from the road!
So far I've traveled through or been in (in order): North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and of course South Dakota, with stops in Chicago, Minneapolis, and now Kadoka.
Chicago was a great visit, I got to see and stay with my grandparents as well as some NC friends who were up north to see a musical they Kickstarted. Then in Minneapolis I visited some more friends who were gracious enough to host me and show me the sights, which included a long walk around lake Harriet to find Pokemon and stock up at Pokestops. #TeamValor. I'll be straightforward here, I was incredibly tempted to end my trip there. Minneapolis is a gorgeous place that has found the sweet spot between feeling like a city and a rural area. There's so many interesting things and places there, the weather was fantastic, plus Andy and Maja are great people and who wouldn't want to be around them?
But I had to carry on, gotta stick to the plan but maybe I'll be back...probably...absolutely. I left pretty late from the city so I knew I wasn't going to get to Badlands National Park before the visitor's center closed so I decided to take my time and meander instead of muscling through the 7.5 hour drive speedily. So I ended up here, about 20 miles away from Badlands where I'll be early tomorrow hiking and checking out my first National Park on the trip!
I'm really excited for these next few days on my own while I go to Yellowstone next before heading south to Colorado. So here's to the NPS and their 100th anniversiary, maybe they'll have some neat swag.
Since I'm officially in Mountain Time now I gained an extra hour today but I'm still exhausted so right now it's unwinding and sleeping time. Keep an eye on the Twitter if you'd like to follow my day-to-day updates and random thoughts until my next post! Oh and Derek feel free to weigh in dude, I'm sure my trip agenda isn't terribly exciting.