Nebraska's Toadstool Geological Park

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: astrophotographynight photographybird photographybadlandssunsets • Places: Toadstool Geological Park and Campground

Toadstool Geologic Park, located in the Oglala National Grassland is a fantastic little underappreciated gem of Badlands in Northwestern Nebraska.

I visited it on my trip to Seattle and took a bazillion photos, which I'll now share with you, dear reader.

Image On Where-Is-Steve
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Badlands National Park

✍️ 🕑 September 14-15, 2021 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: prairie dogsnational parksbadlandswildlife photographybird photographytourist traps • Places: Badlands National Park Wall Drug Sage Creek Campground

When I entered South Dakota, in my mind, at least, I was far west enough to start hitting some really famous national parks, and some really beautiful places. (And for that matter, some 80 mph speed limits on the Interstates...)

Image On Where-Is-Steve

I remember visiting the Badlands as a kid, and I was stoked to return.

Left Tailrace

✍️ 🕑 September 13-14, 2021 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: bird photographyus politics • Places: Left Tailrace

After a lovely day eating cheese curds, visiting Pipestone National Monument, and stopping by the World's Only Corn Palace, I drove on to my campground for the night: Left Tailrace.

It's an Army Corps of Engineers-created campground, located very close to the Big Bend Hydroelectric Dam and its reservoir, Lake Sharpe.

Shores of the lake
Shores of the lake

It was only at some point after I hastily reserved my campsite that I learned of the area's sad history...

Corn, Cheese Curds, and Sacred Stones

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: national monumentssacred sitestourist trapsgood eatsminnesota • Places: Bump's Family Restaurant Pipestone National Monument The World's Only Corn Palace

I bid farewell to the Twin Cities fairly early in the morning.

The next day's plan was to travel from the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Paul to the Missouri in South Dakota, traversing terrain between two of America's most important rivers.

In a few ways, it would be a jumping off point for me for the rest of the trip. After this, I had no plans to stay with friends, and in fact, virtually no plans to sleep anywhere other than my tent.

But, I did still get to bump into an old pal, if you know what I mean...

Twin Cities, Thousand Lakes

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: waterfallsriversurban waterfallsminnesota • Places: St. Paul MN

By the time I reached St. Paul, I had driven quite a ways. Probably over 24 hrs of solo driving (spread across several days), and I had added about 1,500 mi to my odometer, through stops, detours, and unavoidable hours on the interstate.

This experience gives me the ability to say the following: Of everywhere I have driven in my life, by far, the friendliest and most courteous drivers were those in Saint Paul, Minnesota. A much needed respite after... other cities.

The Ford Bridge: One of Many Between Minneapolis & St. Paul
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