Day 38/39: The Badlands

Day 38 marked the official halfway point of our trip! Progress IS being made. We checked the first national park off our list yesterday: the Badlands. Since most of you are wondering “why is it called that” we learned that the name is a translation of the Lakota naming. It was titled this for its rugged and dry terrain.

Yesterday was probably one of the best riding days. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous and being able to witness the beauty of it all from a bike gave the experience a certain level of intimacy that merely seeing it from a car window just couldn’t offer. Our group made sure to take as much time to stop and experience the park. This entailed stopping at a gift shop to feed ground hogs, then stopping at every scenic point to climb the rocks and take pictures, and riding at a slower pace to take it all in.  We even got to see mountain goats up close once the sun started to set. Once we were on our last leg of the 60-mile day at the top of the hill we got caught in a lightning storm and had to be rescued by the van. Right before the storm got really bad the mountains looked so beautiful with muted tones of blue and pink, better than any of the pictures in the postcards.  Being in our uniform gave us the opportunity to chat up with many tourists passing through, and they were very generous with giving us water and congratulations.

 

Today we rode another 60 miles to Rapid City where we will have a rest day tomorrow. We saw glimpses of mountains in the distance as we biked up the rolling hills. Since most of the towns we have visited in SD have been extremely small I had low expectations for Rapid City. I was surprised by all the cute shops and unique restaurants in the ‘downtown’ area. Most of us are looking forward to being able to do laundry and chill out tomorrow.

The West just keeps getting better

MB

 

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