July 17 – 24, 2016: After leaving Badlands National Park we made our way to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Downtown Sioux Falls has a beautiful park that contains their namesake waterfall.
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Departing South Dakota we traveled through Minnesota before entering the cornfields of Iowa. We visited Toppling Goliath Brewing Company and spent the night in Deorah, Iowa.
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Continuing westward we stopped at Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harper’s Ferry, Iowa. A two mile trail circles some of the effigy mounds including one that is clearly constructed in the shape of a bear. Not much is known about the moundbuilders however it is believed that the mounds mark ceremonial and sacred spots. The trail also includes a view of the Mississippi River; here we stopped and reflected on the Natchez Trace Parkway and the burial mounds and view of the Mississippi River we saw whilst in Natchez, Mississippi earlier on this road trip.
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Onward we went and crossed the border into Wisconsin. We stopped at New Glarus Brewing Company and also at a random cheese shop for delicious, inexpensive cheeses. Continuing on, we spent the night in Illinois, crossed into Indiana the next day for lunch at 3 Floyds Brewing Co., spent that night in Ohio, had lunch the following day at Hoppin’ Frog Brewery, and crossed through Pennsylvania before ending up in my hometown of Rochester, New York.
We enjoyed two days in Rochester and had the opportunity to see a special photography exhibit at the George Eastman Museum. The exhibit was in honor of the National Park Centennial and celebrated the history of our national parks and the role photography played in bolstering the public perception of the importance of our lands. The exhibit was the perfect endcap to this 2016 road trip that included visits to thirty-six National Park System properties.
Our last night was spent in Watkins Glen State Park. We hiked a stretch of the stunning gorge and saw a number of the nineteen waterfalls before enjoying our last campfire.
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The final stop of our road trip was the MetLife Stadium in our home state of New Jersey. Here we met friends and saw a Gun ‘N Roses show (IMHO, not the most exciting thing ever) before driving the final stretch home. And so it ends. For now. Sad face.
- Sioux Falls KOA, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States
- Pulpit Rock Campground, Decorah, Iowa, United States
- LaSalle / Peru KOA, North Utica, Illinois, United States
- Findley State Park Campground, Wellington, Ohio, United States
- with family, Rochester, New York, United States
- Watkins Glen State Park Campground, Watkins Glen, New York, United States