We would have never guessed the fun and adventure we would encounter in South Dakota. We enjoyed incredible scenery, epic & grand views, majestic animals and fun with family.
We spent May 30, 2019 through June 6, 2019 in South Dakota.
Typically we do not take in tourist regions and activities but we both wanted to check out Wind Cave. We did a cave tour. It was considered a strenuous one but neither of us were even remotely winded from the many steps through the belly of the cave. There are a few interesting cave formations like the box work and the cave popcorn but all in all the lack of stalactites and flowstones made it less appealing to me. I love active, living caves with drops of water falling from above through limestone. This is not one of those types of caves. I did enjoy it none the less.
We got in a few epic bicycle rides on the road bikes. We had planned to go up to a peak north of Wind Cave but were turned around by large herds of bison with new babies that were not only along the road but on the road. These mamas are aggressive and I would rather tackle a car than a bison while on a bike! The Prairie Dogs are hilarious as they chirp and cackle. Antelope look like deer with diapers. I love the cycling thorugh such majestic areas.
We camped at the Wind Cave campground, enjoying the solitude since there were few others here.
There is such a variety of birds and flowers and butterflies and other forms of wildlife. Seeing these from the seat of a bicycle makes it somehow feel more “real”. There is nothing between me and what is laid out before me.
We took the Salsas out on a local trail from Cottonwood Camground outside of Hotsprings, SD. There is an incredible trail and we had a blast. We saw three badgers although only one stayed above ground while we cycled past. After leaving the trail we encountered amazing double track on our way back to Cottonwood. This campground was perched on top of a hill and was incredibly quiet.
Meeting up with my sister Juli, her husband Ed and their friends Portia and Sedona was a lot of fun. We cycled to meet them for coffee in Hot Springs, SD. We then drove to meet them later in Interior, SD which is due south of the Badlands National Park. We enjoyed some grilled ribs and roasted marshmallows.
No trip to SD is complete without seeing Crazyhorse Monument.
We also saw a Bicycle Monument along the roadway. This was a pile of bikes with a few “sculptures”. Very odd!
We camped near Mt Rushmore at Wrinkled Rock Climbers Trailhead. This place allows camping up to 14 days. There is no water or electric but there is a vault toilet. This place was amazing and it allowed us to cycle around Mt. Rushmore and then cut back up through on the Centennial Trail in pouring down rain. What a FUN ride!!
The Bandlands National Park is what we would consider a windshield park. It is beautiful and the storms are intense when they roll through. There are pulloffs to see the views and very few hiking trails. We drove through before boondocking our van at the National Grasslands outside the park.
The area that we parked was on the edge of the Bandlands and we were greeted to a most phenominal sunrise.
Good morning world! Life on the road is incredible and full of things to see and do and so many incredible sites to witness.
Our time in South Dakota was incredible and I have no doubt it is a place we will return to.