The sun rose behind us, as I drove my motor home out of the campground in St. Mary's, Montana. We headed west, our destination Badlands National Park in North Dakota. This was the end of the first week of a five-week trip driving around America.
The girls sat at the table playing games and watched, as the miles flew by. They giggled and yelled, when they saw something they liked. We drove I-90 from Montana into North Dakota. We stopped for gasoline and a snack break. The girls piled out and washed up to get refreshed.
We pulled off the interstate onto highway 240 South to the entrance of The Badlands. We stopped at the visitor's center. The girls got their National Parks Passports stamped. I got a map of the park.
As we drove the park loop, the girls stared in awe at the land. A barren vista spread on both sides of us, stark landscapes containing horizontally striped canyon walls. The differing colors made wide bands of color.
As we came to the end of the loop, a small voice asked, "Daddy, who painted all the stripes we saw?" It was my 13 year old daughter innocently being curious.
I explained smiling, "No one painted them. They are the different layers of earth built up over millions of years."
From there we went further west to the Custer Memorial and the Black Hills National Forest. There were many more adventures ahead.