Street art and graffiti always pique my interest when we travel, and there were some colorful depictions to sample in Rapid City. From Art Alley to random murals we spotted around town, there was a great variety.
Despite an awesome time in South Dakota, we decided on the spur of the moment to drive up to North Dakota, as well. We popped into a gas station, and upon opening my door, I was immediately accosted by a massive pit bull. She jumped half-way into the car, and straight up onto my shoulders! I laughed so hard while hugging her and petting her soft, gray fur. She was the sweetest chunk of love, and her human was blissfully unaware of her incursion. We found out later that her name was Luna; I wish she could have joined us for the rest of the trip!
We continued on our northern trajectory, sans unfamiliar, affectionate dogs. We spent the morning at Pioneer Park, which is flanked by tall trees on one side and the Missouri River on the other. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the green walkways.
The winding path went by a quiet little dog cemetery, under a bridge, and all the way to a permanently-mounted keelboat. We saw a bunny tucked away in the brush, and we even honed in on a wild turkey!
There was a darling duo of mountain goat kids that were so furry and sweet!
This beautiful donkey with her splattered pink nose was a strong contender for the cuteness award!
Some tiny creatures had moved into the zoo all on their own; Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrels! They scampered freely around the property, ensuring that everyone noticed how endearing they were. Their famous stripes and spots were very eye-catching!
Also commanding attention was an alligator sporting quite the toothy grin. I love the texture on these guys!
Meanwhile, giving us the sly eye was this Aoudad, or Barbary sheep. His herd occupied a massive enclosure!
We admired a gorgeous raptor who looked quite innocent, though I'm sure the aforementioned ground squirrels have a thing or two to say about that!
There was a huge area brimming with trees for the resident white-tailed deer, and we enjoyed watching them forage. We were very happy to see the animals here living in such beautiful habitats.
I have been missing the prairie dogs that lived near me in Colorado, so it made me smile when we came across some. Check out the long claws on this little digger!
We ended the day with a lovely white tiger, gazing peacefully at its reflection in the lagoon, as it relaxed for the night.