Trip Recap: 1,800+ Miles

I wanted to do a quick recap of my trip this past week. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you probably caught some of it, but just in case you missed something really important...here we go!

(Prepare yourself for a very picture heavy post.)

Wednesday night I had a class presentation and then caught a flight out of Seattle to Minneapolis. Luckily it was a direct flight. Unluckily, it was only 3 hours long and 3 hours does not a full night of sleep make.

awesome pool, tons of tootsie pops, a growler of coffee, and a buffalo skull

I was able to sleep a couple more hours at the hotel in MN while the rest of the team did an interview, then we hit the open road.

The Mitchell Corn Palace, completely decorated in agricultural products

After a stop along the way, for lunch, we made it to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. It was a pretty impressive structure with the entire exterior decorated in corn products. We checked out photos of all the iterations of the building and watched a video on its history.

our cute little cabin

Our goal after the Corn Palace was to make it to the Badlands for sunset. Sadly, we ran out of light. Instead we found cute little cabins to stay the night.

South Dakota Badlands

We woke up early to catch the morning light in the Badlands. The scenery was stunning and the wildlife was plentiful. We saw antelope, a buffalo, and visited a prairie dog city.

a buffalo wanders the Badlands

Next up was a stop at Wall Drug, which is pretty much the only place to see in Wall, SD. I enjoyed a delicious homemade donut in honor of National Donut Day and picked up a commemorative cup to enjoy my growler of cold pressed coffee that I had picked up the first day.

decorated boots on sale at Wall Drug

Following our visit to Wall Drug, we hit the road for Mt. Rushmore. There we saw the impressive monument and watched a video about the vision and process of its creation. Sadly, we didn't have time to check out the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is in progress, but it looks to be even more magnificent than Mt. Rushmore.

flags fly at Mt. Rushmore

Instead, we headed northwest for Little Big Horn. The park rangers there give talks about the battle and we had hoped to make the last one.

Little Big Horn memorial

I had actually been on the Crow Indian Reservation when I was in high school so it was a bit of a walk down memory lane for me. It was also very interesting to hear the story of the battle, and sad to be reminded of what the Native Americans went through.

Little Big Horn memorial

We left Little Big Horn for dinner in Billings and spent the night in Bozeman. It was nice to have an earlier evening without too early of a start in the morning so we could rest up for the day ahead---white water rafting!!!

We went out on the Gallatin River with Geyser Expeditions. The guides were incredibly experienced, the river was running fast, and no one fell in the water. It was awesome! We even got to raft in the same raft as Michelle Obama, FLOTUS! As political reporters, we were pretty stoked.

rafts loaded and set to take on the Gallatin River

We left the river behind amidst a major thunderstorm, but weather while on the water had been perfect, sunny and blue skies.

storm clouds gather in the mountains

We made it to Missoula in time to catch some NBA basketball and have some delicious barbecue.

texas barbecue

The last day of the trip was mostly driving. We covered a lot of territory and made it home in time for me to take a trip to the gym and get to bed early.

windmills line the skyline

driving through the mountains in Montana

1,885 miles, six days, and four days later, I made it home.


  1. Wow the scenery out there looks extremely beautiful.

    xo erica

  2. I so totally dig that Mt. Rushmore pic.

  3. Oh E, the miles, the monuments, the food of this year. You won the travel lottery since last year at this time.

  4. I agree with your mom, E! You lucky woman!

  5. I'm pretty sure I"ve been to Mt. Rushmore as a wee lil' tyke. But would love to go back! It looks so pretty out there!

  6. Oh man, I hope you bought those boots, they are awesome!

  7. Oh, goodness, that photo of Mt. Rushmore is divine! You make me want to go on a big road trip, a la The Baby-Sitters Club! Haha. Your life is so fun. :)

  8. This trip looks absolutely wonderful - I've done it with my family a long time ago. One of my buddies asked me what would happen if you went up to the exterior of the corn palace with a hair dryer. Popcorn for EVERYONE!

    1. for some reason the comment field isn't showing up for me so i'm replying instead and it works! you sure had some amazing sights to see on the trip, that is awesome! and thanks for your congrats :)

  9. Confession: Corn Palace is one of my favorite places on Earth.

    I'm a little bit jealous that you got to go there. But I'm super glad that I got to live vicariously through your pics!

    You're getting to take the best road trips this year. So fun.