four years ago today [2012.09.09]
on this morning i woke up on sheep mountain table in the badlands. i had spent the night sleeping under the stars with my camera photographing them all night. i explored the area a little more before continuing on my journey west. when planning the route toward washington, i decided to zig-zag my way across the map so i could visit all the northern states on the way there. this day i took a slight detour out of south dakota into nebraska. i would look for green spots on the map to go visit. after either having lunch or a bathroom break at one of these green spots in nebraska, i headed back to south dakota on the way towards wyoming.
while in nebraska, i learned that the google maps app on my old phone might know better than me. i had seen what looked like a shortcut that it wasn't telling me to take. when i attempted to follow this road, the dirt path went up a pretty steep hill in the middle of what seemed to be a field. i decided to try to follow it anyway as i had already started going that way.. i ended up having to put my truck into 4x4 low and then go up backwards back over the hill just to get out when i saw there wasn't a road or path on the other side.
i explored a couple places along my route in south dakota and decided to check out wind's cave national park when i saw it on the map. i took a tour in one of the caves, and then drove up through one of the nearby state parks where i saw some more buffalo that were also right on the road like in the badlands. i wanted to make my way towards devil's tower to photograph the stars over it, though i recall it being a bit of a drive and i think i was getting tired plus i didn't know if i was going to be able to find a spot with a good view that i could park at all night. i'm glad i decided to keep going and made it there.. when i arrived, i found a spot along the side of the road just outside the national monument with a clear shot of the tower.