The Open Range

The Open Range

Only 4 more states to go!

Let me give you a detailed account of the incredible journey I embarked on this weekend! Out of all the places I visited on this trip, North Dakota surprised me the most, particularly the far southwestern corner that I had the pleasure of exploring. During my time in North Dakota, I dedicated a significant portion to experiencing the wonders of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. To my astonishment, the topography I encountered there surpassed all my expectations. It was a sight to behold, and I dare say its beauty rivals, if not surpasses, that of Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

Of course, personal preferences may vary, and I acknowledge that this claim might ignite debates among nature enthusiasts. Nevertheless, the breathtaking landscapes I encountered in North Dakota left an indelible impression on me.

While the majority of my trip was spent in South Dakota, it was driving through central and eastern parts of the state that reminded me of traversing the vast plains common to many states in the region. It could be likened to driving through Kansas or Nebraska, though I must say it was a far more enjoyable experience than the desolate Texas drives I’ve endured in the past. Then again, it’s hard to find anything worse than driving through Texas, so perhaps that’s not the best scale of comparison.

However, the western portion of South Dakota is where the other gems lie—the Black Hills and Badlands National Park. Both of these areas boast exceptional natural beauty that should not be missed. Exploring the Black Hills and immersing oneself in the wonders of Badlands National Park is an experience that deserves ample time. I highly recommend setting aside at least three days to fully absorb the splendor of western South Dakota. This allows for leisurely exploration without the burden of feeling rushed, ensuring you can savor each moment to the fullest.

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