Hey Wyoming. Whats up?

Well gosh I just love the west. South Dakota (some argue its credentials for being considered a western state) was un-freaking-believable. The flowing plains, lack of civilizations, and beautiful grasses made for a dizzingly and almost too beautiful landscape. I had never been to S.D, nor had I really ever heard of it so I did not know what to expect. We experienced some amazing storms (don’t worry, we were safe), and really got to see what small town America is like. We would only encounter 3 towns or so in our 80 mile rides, and those spaced apart towns only consisted of 16-250 people usually. Very different from home.

I was already totally digging S.D, when we came to the badlands. I had no idea what they were, except that they would be really cool. Some people explained them as alien-like, placed there out of nowhere. Riding through the Badlands is the coolest thing I’ve ever done. Huge rock formations jutting out of the ground and huge canyons overtaking the horizon. Explaining the badlands is next to impossible. The colors, the grandiosity, and the bissarre & out of nowhere formations made for an unbelievable experience. Pictures can’t even truly capture it. Simply put go there and see it for yourself!

Anyways, we also got to hang out in THE Wall, S.D. Home of Wall Drug, bringing tourists free Ice water for about 80 years. Huge tourist attraction for the town of 310 people, taking up a full city block.

Black Hills- I love you. On our day off in Rapid City Connor Yantz, Lee, Anthony, Linsey, Gedion, Manny, and David went exploring in the Black Hills. We climbed up mountains almost at random and purposely got lost. We stopped ontop of a mountain, overlooking the mountains for lunch. PB and J in the mountains. Eagles soaring overhead, huge rocks jutting out of the mountians, and evergreens dotting the scenery. We found a trail that we thought/hoped would lead us to state road 40, it didn’t. We did however find a river that we had to forde to get on a nother trail. Backpacks held over our head, 60 degree water, and a whole lot of fun. We climbe up and down miles, and hiked for a good 15 miles. We eventually found a path that led back to civilization. I forgot what it was like being completely removed from civilization. The black hills got even awesomer when I got to bike through them the next day. scenic rollin hills/mountains every bit as challenging as a normal day in the Appalachians. Riding up to Mount Rushmore was real cool too. We could see faces in the distance. They were smaller then I thought, but amazing nonetheless. I was blown away (pun intended) that they used dynamite to explode the granite to such specificity of their faces. Black Hills and Badlands were the 2 best rides of the trip , hands down ( so far). Later that day we had a 6 mile downhill into Wyoming.

Wyoming has been real flat for the most part. Beautiful grasses, and a more arid climate. Today we rode from Gillete to Buffalo. Buffalo lies at the base of the Big Horns, the mountain range that leads into the rockies. All day we could see the mountains in the distance. We inched closer and closer to the snow covered caps. I hardly looked at the road infront of me because the scenery was too overwhelming. I couldnt even drink water, becase my hands were full holding my camera. Being in the mountains brings on this awesome feeling of freedom, and excitement. The mountains in the horizon were huge. Its crazy to imagine that we are going to bike over/thru them. Tomorrow we start our climb. We are finally here. The west. The mountains.

Comments (2)
  • Nancy Replogle says:

    Josh,
    Your Blog is making me wish I was there :-). The Black Hills sounds wildly wonderful. Hiking, climbing, crossing an ice cold river, eagles soaring and PBJ’s (you must be so tired of PBJ’s). Get ready for the big climb into the mountains!

  • Debbie Doppelt says:

    Joshie,
    You are a great writer. Your descriptions are so vivid. I can feel your excitement and your sense of wonderment. Thanks for giving me a slice of your life on the road.

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