Good Times at Badlands National Park

As we were heading towards Wyoming from Indiana, we noticed signs to the Badlands, and having heard about them and looking up details as we approached we decided on a small detour to check it out. We were happy to present the rangers with our newly printed 4th grader pass which got us in free! We were pretty immediately impressed with a great overlook as we made our way to the information center, so we had to get out!

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We were struck with blasts of wind as enjoyed the canyons and cliffs.

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Then we saw something coming over the hills behind us, like a brown cloud and then we realized it was a sandstorm! So we ran to the car. Most of us made it in time, the rest of use was picking sand out of our hair and beards the rest of the day.

We checked out the Ben Reifel Visitor Center to learn all about the history of the area and participate in the Junior Ranger program. We were thoroughly impressed. We’re really glad that we stopped in to see the Badlands National Park and happy to report the badlands are a good time.

Working on the Road

We said goodbye and left home to start our nomad adventure!

  • Sell stuff, check
  • Get rid of rest of stuff, check
  • Sell house, check.
  • Pack up, check
  • Drive off into the sunset, check

We left Georgia and drove all the way to Indiana in a day to visit more family. Then a few more days on the road through Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota and Wyoming. As a family we’ve made road trips a tradition and have had a big trip across the states every summer for the past few years. We’re happy to be able to continue the tradition this year and incorporate it into our nomad life. In fact our road trips are what inspired us with the idea of living on the road full-time. We love to travel that much. The past couple years we’ve been aspiring nomads and been researching and putting things into place to make it a reality.

I’m lucky enough to be able to work remotely and we put it to the test while I worked from the passenger seat of the minivan! I’m pleased to report that it works pretty well. I turned on the hotspot on my phone (it’s not too expensive), I wouldn’t use it for video conferencing, but for my needs, it was alright. A few places were a bit spotty with connection (looking at you South Dakota), but most of the time I don’t need constant connection for the work I do, so we we’re just fine. I just need to push code up every once in a while and send/receive messages.

It did get tricky a few times however when the bright sun was coming down it was hard to see the screen! We had to get creative a few times to roll with it. It also gets pretty warm to sit in the sun in the car with a laptop on your lap for hours on end, so I’d recommend taking advantage of the cooler parts of the day to work from the passenger seat. If we can figure out how to work from the freeway, we expect to be able to figure out how to work from various countries and time zones too.

Driving across country gave us a good excuse to make some stops we haven’t been able to work into other trips. With Jackson, Wyoming as our destination for a work summit we would be so close it made perfect sense to hit Yellowstone Park on the way and the route went pretty close to some other landmarks too, like Mount Rushmore so we made it a weekend whirlwind through National Parks. 

We’re lucky to be able to take advantage of the Every Kid in the Park program, where since we have a 4th grader we get free admission into all National Parks for the year! We’re trying to hit as many as we can on our quick road trip before we leave the country, but as we have 4 kids, we’ll roughly have a 4th grader every other year for a while, so we can hopefully take advantage of the program more in the future. If you have a 4th grader, fill out the form on the site and bring it (and the 4th grader) to any National Park and you’ll get a pass for admission which is good for each and every National Park! We’ll try to follow up with a post for each park.