Bad is Beautiful

Trip Start Jun 06, 2009
Trip End Dec 01, 2009

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Monday, July 27, 2009

After a wonderful drive through the "heartland", I took a weird route in order to drive by Mt. Rushmore. The Black Hills are really pretty and I must have passed over a thousand bikers on my way to Rushmore and on to the Badlands NP.  The big Sturgis biker party was scheduled for the next week, so the roads were reaching a just bearable level of motorcycle rumble.  I hit Rapid city before heading to Badlands to take care of a much needed oil change and car wash.  I think, by the time I hit Rapid, I had inadvertently killed upwards of a million bugs.  
I was surprised at the size of Badlands NP.  It only takes about an hour to drive the whole park and maybe another hour to walk around some of the cool trails you can follow through the natural architecture.  The color separation on the canyons is really amazing. I decided to camp in the parks "way out there" free campsite.  I took a back road to get there and had a moment of peace and quiet while traveling the dirt roads that wound there way past farms and prairie fields.  It was a lovely time to be alone, watching the buffalo in the fields and messing with the prairie dogs.  
I think, by this time in my adventures, I had finally gotten truly comfortable being by myself and enjoying the beautiful emptiness that surrounded me.  The weather was good and I was looking forward to seeing Tamami soon.  
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