Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Fond Farewell to South Dakota

Saturday we toss the tour packs on the bikes, and with the Black Hills State University to our backs point our fenders eastward. Our destination this day is the Badlands National Park. It will be our last day as the fearsome foursome. Before we enter the park, we stop at Wall Drug to see what all the fuss is about. It turns out to be the perfect place to get a few more antics under our belts. Enjoy a few of the photos below, and don’t forget to ask Lee to post a particular video from this location.

On to the Badlands we go. This area does not disappoint, and in fact reminds me a lot of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. The view goes on to the horizon, and appears so inhospitable that only a geologist could love the place. Yet we discover later in the day at the visitor center, that wildlife does exist in this harsh area. If one could sit and watch as the sun rises and falls, we would witness even more wonders than a day’s ride can offer. In this place I feel my smallness in the world. At the same time meditative qualities begin to affect the mind. We need to sit a moment and let the place wash over us. If feels holy somehow, and reverence is due to the spiritual aura that has enveloped each of us.

We enjoy one last meal together, and in honor of South Dakota, make it a meal of Buffalo Burgers. We wave goodbye and set our sights eastward, each at our own pace. Andy and I take refuge for the night in Mitchell. I feel a pull at my heart here and am reluctant to put South Dakota behind me. Yet I know that this segment is only the second or our three part vacation journey. Ahead now is our leisurely ride home. Our plan is to drop a bit south, avoid as much interstate highway as possible and really take time to feel this great country of ours. One cannot do that dodging trucks on the interstate system.

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