Those Are Some BAD LANDS

Waking up and knowing that you are going to ride almost 100 miles is no easy feat, but the thought of the Badlands National Park kept the team’s spirits high in the morning. After a ‘Hey Jude’ mosher (somehow that song has become one of our team songs), we carried out into a cool, cloudy morning and said goodbye to the beautiful skyline of Murdo. After a couple baby hills, some broken spokes, and many many snacks at the gas station, our team had found it’s way to the 60 mile mark outside of the Badlands National Park. To say the least everyone was excited how close we were.

Going into the ride I barely remembered learning about this terrain in 6th grade, but after going through the park I will never forget the natural scenery again. Here is my description of this place: remember that time when you watched an old western movie with your dad and the outlaws lived outside of the town in a bunch of dust and high rocks all around them, or maybe saw a cartoon with the dust and high ¬†cliffs in the scenery and you thought ‘this looks exactly what I imagined the west to look like when the cowboys were around’? Well, that’s very close to what it looks like. According to the National Parks website, the actual description of the scenery and reason for it is: “Deep canyons, towering spirals, and flat-topped tables can all be found among Badlands buttes. Yet, despite their complex appearance, they are largely a result of two basic geological principles: deposition and erosion.” Honestly, I don’t understand too much of why they are there. There once was a ton of water and glaciers, next they all melted away, and TADA! we have badlands. I guess I get it, kinda. Anyway, the journey in the Badlands was amazing! Everyone dropped their jaw in amazement from the initial lookout, several groups went on hikes through the numerous trails in the park, and some just relaxed from the ridiculous views of the never-ending scenery.

Every group was able to take their time throughout the park, but as the day began to end the team found themselves an enemy in an oncoming storm. After racing out of the valleys and up the mountains to get to the mythical Wall Drug, the team finally found shelter, with weary bodies, after a hard days ride. Luckily, Wall’s Subway was able to provide our team with free foot long subs. Thank you once again Subway! With satisfied appetites and tired bodies and minds, many of the riders did not have a problem falling asleep quickly, especially with knowing that tomorrow will be another action packed day as we get closer to our rest stop in Rapid City and eventually Mt. Rushmore!

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