Midwestern US, US High Points

On Top of South Dakota: Black Elk Peak

After summiting the North Dakota high point the day before, Chelsea and I set out to conquer South Dakota. Our hotel was only about 30 minutes from the trailhead, so this one involved much less driving. The hike, however, was a little more substantial. The highest point in South Dakota is Black Elk Peak, formerly… Continue reading On Top of South Dakota: Black Elk Peak

Midwestern US, US High Points

On Top of North Dakota: White Butte

Chelsea and I both have the goal to summit as many US state high points as possible. Up to this point, we’d both checked a few of them off our lists… separately. This time, we decided we’d check a couple off together! The states? North and South Dakota. And so, two days after the end… Continue reading On Top of North Dakota: White Butte

Midwestern US

Badlands and Bentonite – Toadstool Geologic Park, Nebraska

Following our explorations at two of Nebraska’s national monuments, Chelsea and I made our way to the Oglala National Grassland for our final stop in the state – Toadstool Geologic Park. Basically, Nebraska’s version of the badlands. The formations at Toadstool date back more than 30 million years, to a time when now-extinct animals roamed… Continue reading Badlands and Bentonite – Toadstool Geologic Park, Nebraska

Midwestern US, US National Parks

The Devil’s Corkscrew – Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska

After exploring Scotts Bluff and learning the history of the Oregon Trail, Chelsea and I continued north to our next stop: Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. Here, we would learn about a very different time in Nebraska's history. With my semester wrapping up just a couple days prior to our departure, I hadn’t really had… Continue reading The Devil’s Corkscrew – Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska

Midwestern US, US National Parks

Landmark on the Oregon Trail – Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska

Back in May, Chelsea and I headed to the Dakotas for a long weekend to do some highpointing. Since we were driving all the way up there, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to detour through Nebraska along the way and visit some national monuments in the western part of the state. Our… Continue reading Landmark on the Oregon Trail – Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska

Midwestern US, US High Points

On Top of Oklahoma: Black Mesa

When we told people we were heading to Oklahoma for the weekend, the typical response was a raised eyebrow followed by a confused “why?” In their defense, it’s not exactly a hopping travel destination, especially the panhandle region. But aside from the fact that I had the entire soundtrack of Oklahoma! stuck in my head… Continue reading On Top of Oklahoma: Black Mesa

Midwestern US, US High Points

On Top of Kansas: Mount Sunflower

In late April of 2021, Pat and I set out for our first camping trip of the season. Our ultimate destination was the Oklahoma panhandle to climb the state high point. As it turns out, when one drives from Denver to Oklahoma there’s quite a lot to see along the way. So naturally, we stopped… Continue reading On Top of Kansas: Mount Sunflower

Midwestern US, US High Points

On Top of Nebraska: Panorama Point

The highest point in Nebraska, Panorama Point, is located just across the border from both Colorado and Wyoming in the middle of basically nowhere. The elevation at Panorama Point is 5424 feet (1653 m) – higher than I would have expected for a plains state. But one thing differentiates this high point from most of… Continue reading On Top of Nebraska: Panorama Point

Colorado, Midwestern US

Fifty Lakes and a 12,000 Foot Summit – Snowy Range Scenic Byway, Wyoming

If you read the title of this post and assumed the “fifty lakes” is an exaggeration, let me begin by assuring you that it's not. If anything, it’s an underestimation. At one point, from where I was standing on the Medicine Bow Peak trail, I could see 32 lakes! At an elevation of 12,013 feet… Continue reading Fifty Lakes and a 12,000 Foot Summit – Snowy Range Scenic Byway, Wyoming

Midwestern US

Westward Bound, part II – Kentucky to Colorado

(Read part 1 of this post here) Day #5: I pride myself on being a pretty good vacation planner, but the logistics of this portion of our cross-country trip completely slipped through the cracks. I’d done my best to divide up the driving into relatively equal amounts – about 8 hours – each day. But… Continue reading Westward Bound, part II – Kentucky to Colorado