From Badlands National Park, South Dakota...

Hi Emma, Sebbie, and Lizzie!

I just learned the most unbelievable, super-incredible, cooler than cool thing; but first, do you know what a prairie dog is? Here are some pictures of them:

Prairie dogs are basically squirrels that live underground in large communities. Their homes are a web of tunnels; this extensive network of tunnels is sometimes called a prairie dog town.

Now here’s the cool part: the prairie dogs make a chirping sound to warn each other when someone or something is coming, and I just learned that not only can they tell each other, “Hey, watch out, there’s a dog.” They can give full descriptions, they can yell to each other, “There’s a short human, wearing purple clothes, running through town.”

Can you believe it?! I was gobsmacked when I found this out!! Here’s the link to the article I read that talks about it, just in case you want to find out more.

Last Saturday was my birthday and I wanted to go to Badlands National Park. I had hopes of doing an afternoon hike and then some stargazing. (There aren’t any lights for miles and miles around, so this park is one of the most amazing places in the United States for watching the stars.) Too bad for us, it was cloudy and a storm was brewing when we got there.

Instead of hiking and star-gazing, we went to Robert’s Prairie Dog Town, which is on the outer edge of the Badlands. Here’s a video where you can hear them calling to each other:

We also visited a wild store in the next town over; it’s called Wall Drug and has been around since 1931. It’s a store in the middle of nowhere, and it almost didn’t survive, but then the owners started offering free water to people driving by. This saved the store! Now it’s a big tourist attraction and they still have a place where you can fill your water bottle for free. Here are some pictures of all the different shops and the yard that makeup Wall Drug now:

wall drug.jpg
wall-drug5.jpg

Oh, I almost forgot… guess what I had for lunch that day? We went for Mexican food and I ordered a taco with bison tongue in it. (It wasn’t bad, but I preferred my chorizo taco.) Later, we were looking at our videos and found this one that Skye had taken. It’s slow-motion of a bison tongue. Eww!

So that’s it for South Dakota! Next time I’ll tell you about Montana and the cows, and the horses, and the mountains.

I hope you had a great weekend!

Prairie Dog Hugs and Bison Kisses,
Chris