Trains on display in North Platte, Nebraska.
The desolate beauty of the Badlands in South Dakota.
The Badlands mellowed in the late evening light.
Mud birds' nests seen on a hike.
The ladder we climbed on our hike. (It wasn't quite as steep as it looks in the picture.)
Finding a rare bit of shade.
It was easy to imagine why early travelers called these the Badlands!
The view at the end.
We toured this gold mine in Keystone, South Dakota. It was a horizontal tunnel drilled and blasted into the side of the mountain. It was painstakingly formed over the course of about 20 years by two men. At the end, they worked out a large room, but they weren't able to follow the veins of gold that they found because they were running into other people's claims. It was hard to imagine how much work they put into that mine.
Looking up in the room at the end of the tunnel.
We also toured Wind Cave, a national park in the Black Hills. It has the greatest length of surveyed tunnels of any cave in the world, all in less than one square mile of surface area! We could see little passages branching off every which way. One unique feature of the cave is its lack of stalactites and stalagmites. Instead, its major feature is boxwork:
There were other features as well, including frostwork and popcorn:
The train we rode...
...which was late.
Off we go, through the rolling hills.
The view from a fire lookout.