South Dakota Trip – Part One

Adventures

In 2019 we started something new. My good friends Felipe and Tanarra and I committed to hitting at least one national park every year for some hiking. This year we chose the Badlands and the Black Hills in South Dakota. If you haven’t been, you should make the trip, though I recommend flying and not driving if you live in Chicago. It is a long ass drive…

At this point I was still excited and not exhausted. I think this was still in Wisconsin, many hours away from the point where I said, “Enough, I need to sleep for an hour or two.”

We found a pull off view of the open plains of South Dakota and it was worth the stop. The photo doesn’t do it justice.
I tried to capture the magic of this place where we stopped, and it was something special. Seriously, go. Now!

We stopped at Wall, SD to get donuts and coffee. It was worth the crazy, weird Tchotchke space we encountered.

It is not fair that my. friends look way more together than I do at this point.

As always, Felipe looks stylish. He is the only person I know who can sleep anywhere at a drop of a hat. It is amazing.

See! I am collapsing like a hot mess compared to my travel companions.

Our AirBnB was not ready for us when we hit SD, so we drove on to Mount Rushmore. It is both impressive, and not as big as I was lead to believe by North By Northwest. Thanks Hitch…

In some ways, the original sculpture created for the mountain carving is more impressive. They couldn’t complete it because of the structural integrity of the mountain itself. Go see this place.

The entrance to Mount Rushmore is really well done. It is pretty impressive overall.

The house we stayed at was really nice. I would, and hopefully will do so, again. At the base of a valley, along a creek, it was wonderful.

We were surrounded by amazing views, and we hadn’t even hit the trails yet.

I mean look at this. If I could do my job from a place like this, I would in a heartbeat.

The one thing I lament is that our nights were cloudy or rainy, so I didn’t get to take some really clean photos of the night sky. This is close though. Really close to how awesome it was… I the traditional sense of that word.