So I arrived on the west coast on Thursday. That Friday we packed up the cars and headed to Walton Lake in central Oregon to camp for the eclipse. We had a groups site with some other people which was really cool. Spent a lot of time just relaxing and not doing much. I did hike up around Mountain with Tracy. The view from the top is a true 360 panorama which was cool. In the prairie below we could see the 30k music festival which was huge.
As for the eclipse totality was amazing. I know it was only 2.5 minutes but I had goose bumps the whole time. It got so dark and cold. You could clearly see the corona and the stars even came out for a brief minutes. Truly Amazon site to be seen.
If you want a Bette picture go somewhere else. I was to in the moment to worry much about taking pictures.
After a quick stop at Rushmore and getting my car in working order I started making my way to Yellowstone. Things didn’t work out to well in terms of lodging the first night but the second night I was able to camp at Mommoth Hot Springs. Very impressive place. I could spend weeks here and not see the same thing twice. Did a rather flat hike to Cascade Lake in the north and climbed Purple Mountain near the south and yes, I caught Old Faithful.
On my way from The Badlands to Yellowstone I made a quick stop at Mount Rushmore just because I could. Kinda like seeing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rushmore is on the way and worth a stop. The park is actually well laid out and there are activities besides just looking at the mountain which is nice. This is certainly a half day or a couple hour trip but worth it for the history.
The Badlands might not be bad but they are certainly hot in the mid 80’s with no shade for miles. This place has a strange beauty to its ugliness. This park is really more about the geological structures which are pretty neat. Some good overlooks. Got clouded out for sunset one night but I am sure it looks amazing here. Camping at Sage Creek is a nice remote place. Actually caught a meteor shower on Saturday night which was cool. So peaceful that night. The Castle Trail is no joke so be prepared if you are going in the summer time with high heat. Bring lots of water with you!
Got in almost at 7 last night. The evenin seemed to fly by with food, drinks and conversations. It was really great seeing everyone and hanging out. I am sure the grin never left my face. Solid 8 hour drive to The Badlands today so I have my work cut out for me.