Sunday, July 26, 2009

South Dakota and the Badlands!

Headed out of my motel in Vermillion, I made tracks into South Dakota. First neat thing I came across was Fort Randall Dam. It's 2 miles long and one of the biggest in the world. Cost $200M for the Army Core of Engineers to build and generates $30M in electrical power revenue. They had a cool museum that I stopped at for a few moments for a bathroom/stretch break. They had some cool fossils in there...apparently the largest Sea Turtle fossil in the world was found here (but located in Souix City).


Eastern South Dakota is pretty..lots of rolling small hills interspersed between open flat areas. Lots of cows and crops.


My bike rolled over 10K too. Cool!


I stopped for lunch in Winner, SD and ate at the Holiday House. Everyone was real friendly, including the owner, Tony, who let me park my bike up next to the restaurant, out of the sun.


I continued West on SR44, towards the Badlands. This took me thru some large Indian Reservations. The road was lonely, flat and straight. And HOT. I was seeing mid 90's the whole way. I also had a hard time getting high octane fuel, so I did the boost and mid-grade mix.


As I started getting near the Badlands, the scenery changed. Lots of weather-worn ruts created some neat looking landscape.


Finally made it into Badlands National Park. Since I had purchased a national parks pass, I didn't have to pay again to get in. I did the Badlands loop 240, which was stunning. I'll let the pics speak for themselves.


I stopped at a turn-out at one point and ended up using the timer to take a pretty rad shot. Makes it look like I'm an astronaut exploring another planet.


The colors in the dirt here trump the Painted Desert handily.


Saw some road-side wildlife. I believe this was a ram. Some newbie in a RV slowly crept up on them and moved directly in my shot, so all I got was the rear-end. And of course, he scared them off as well.


I ended up staying in a neat cabin in Wall, SD. I had been itching to camp but the weather forecast shows more severe thunderstorms, so I chose a cheap cabin just south of the I-90 in Wall, SD. It was really nice and comfy. Had some great local food in town too. Lots of bikers are around now...the closer I get to Sturgis and bike week, the higher the Harley rider concentration. Here is my route from today:

View Larger Map

Tomorrow, the Black Hills and Western South Dakota.


Blogger stokes said...

You probably don't remember but I met you on the Badlands loop, you showed me your picture you took of yourself. Anyways just wanted to wish you good luck. This kind of trip is a dream of mine.

July 31, 2009 2:52 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home