Badlands, prairie dogs and bighorn sheep!

August 27, 2010

LOCATION: Badlands/Black Hills, South Dakota

Last week I finally made it to state #47, South Dakota. In the middle of a road trip to Wyoming, I stopped by Badlands National Park and the Black Hills. I was most excited by the possibility of seeing bighorn sheep, since I had never seen any with my own eyes (just through a telescope).

Usually when you look for bighorn sheep, you look way up to ledges atop mountains, but there’s a certain peak in the Black Hills that is known for bighorn sheep where you can actually park and look down into a valley. Sure enough, when we walked over, we spotted a lone bighorn sheep feeding. She looked up at us but didn’t seem too bothered by our presence.

Minutes later, another sheep came along with a baby. We watched the three of them for probably 20 minutes. They were much closer than I ever thought I’d get.

As we were leaving, we walked around the ridge and spotted another five bighorn sheep, including a few babies. The babies were tiny and looked like lamb. I didn’t see any male bighorn sheep, the ones with the big spiral horns. So that gives me something to look forward to next time.

The Black Hills also provided opportunities to see other wildlife like buffalo and pronghorns, which I’d already seen plenty of before.

There was one new critter to add to my list: Prairie dogs! They were everywhere in the Badlands, noticeable by their communities of holes in the ground. Whenever people got close, they would all run underground, except for the one assigned to be lookout, who would stay atop his hole and shriek to warn everybody that danger was near.

My visit to the Badlands left North Dakota as the only state of the lower 48 that I’d never visited… but stay tuned for more reports from the rest of my trip. (Spoiler: I made it to North Dakota too!)

I also made it to the Crazy Horse monument, which is still in progress.

Friday Photo: Tsunami!

August 20, 2010

Somewhere in Washington (June 2009)

The western states had all sorts of tsunami warning signs along the coast. Highway 101 in California had a bunch. This one was in Washington state.

See all of my Friday Photos.

Friday Photo: Fried Coke

August 13, 2010

Greeley, Colorado (July 2009)

At the Greeley country fair for the 4th of July, they had all sorts of deep fried delicacies. One was “Fried Coke,” which I’d never heard of before. This sign attempts to explain it.

I was tempted but went with a fried Snickers instead. It was too sugary. I regret not trying the fried Coke.

See all of my Friday Photos.

Road trip update: Dakotas, here we come!

August 9, 2010

Last week I posted that my friend Kat and I had won a road trip from Chicago to Boston. Turns out we won a different route – U.S. Route 20 from Chicago to Casper, Wyoming. That route doesn’t have as much to see, and it means I won’t be able to stop in Pittsburgh and see friends and family.

But the good news is we still get a free week-long trip, and once our journey to Wyoming is complete, on the way back we’re going to head north through North and South Dakota! If you’ve been following my blog, you know those are the last two of the lower 48 states that I have yet to set foot in. By this time next month, I’ll have seen all 48. For someone who had only seen six states up to the age of 25, that is pretty amazing.

We’re gonna camp in the Badlands for a day or two. I’ve been researching this park, and I’m really excited because they have two of my favorite animals: Bison and bighorn sheep! Since I won’t be making it to Yellowstone this summer, seeing bison in the Badlands will have to suffice. And I love bighorn sheep and managed to see a few in Colorado last summer, but only from far away through a telescope. I’m on a mission to see some with my own eyes and take pictures.

So stay tuned. For our trip to Wyoming, we’ll be blogging and posting videos on You can go there now and register. We’re the Route 20 Ramblers. When it comes time to travel (August 15), vote for us every day as your favorite team – if we get the most votes during that week, we win an extra $500!

Though we are being given a traveling budget, we want to make sure it will last the whole trip.  We’re hoping to do some camping under the stars instead of staying in hotels. There’s also that ‘donate’ button in the right-hand column of the page you’re currently reading. Feel free to throw a $5 or $10 credit card contribution our way if you like.

So during our trip to Wyoming (August 15), we’ll be posting videos on Starting August 22, come back to this blog to read about our travels through North and South Dakota and back to Chicago.

We’ll see you on the road!

Foto del viernes: Mas vino y Paella

August 6, 2010

Tijuana, Mexico (2009 mayo)

Un foto otro de la Fiesta de Paella y Vino de Tijuana, Mexico.

Ver todas mis fotos del viernes.