• Adventures,  SD/Devil's Tower

    Badlands National Park

    Tuesday. September 12, 2017. Bandlands National Park. We woke up this morning and hiked the Notch Trail, a 1.5 mile hike out and back to an overlook. It involved an old rickety ladder at one point, and is thus identified as a moderate to strenuous trail. That being the only taxing part of the trail, unless you are in the mood to climb on the steep and slippery rocks for a more exciting picture. The Bandlands are essentially a barren landscape that were formed by deposition and then erosion. You can see the different layers of the rocks, they are sharp and steep, and for the most part sturdy and…

  • Adventures,  SD/Devil's Tower

    Chips & Salsa on Black Elk Peak

    Monday. September 11, 2017. Badlands National Park. It stormed last night, so we woke up to a wet tent, wet stuff, and no desire to eat just muffins. So we went to Baker’s Bakery and Cafe in downtown Custer. They make all homemade bread, and Allyson gave a 10/10 to their gluten free toast (and even I did.) However, it ended up being a poor choice on my part to order a full meal; a very delicious breakfast burrito. Normally when eating out I take home half of my food as leftovers. However, living out of a cooler and a backpacking stove for a couple more days, it would have…

  • Adventures,  SD/Devil's Tower

    Bison, Begging Burros, & a Big Presidential Rock

    Sunday. September 10, 2017. Horse Thief Campground. Today was eventful, and a whirlwind of events essentially, constantly changing. We started off the day early this morning planning to hike Black Elk Peak with an elevation of >7000ft. We made it about 1/4 of the way up the 5 mile hike up from the north side, before accepting the fact we did not bring enough water or a packed lunch for the time required. So, we plan to go tomorrow with my pack fully, if not overly, prepared. It is a good thing we did turn back though. Because we went to Mt. Rushmore afterwards, and while leaving there, it began…

  • Adventures,  SD/Devil's Tower

    Caves & Crazy Horse

    Saturday. September 9, 2017. Horse Thief Campground. We did more than we originally anticipated today, always a good achievement, especially on a road trip. We started the day at Wind Cave, and did the natural entrance tour. It was a little over an hour and covered approximately 1/2 mile. We had a Puerto Rican as a guide, who used to give tours at one of the old Spanish castles in San Juan. He is very good at his job; being both comical and informative, and is great at storytelling. I got to lead the group down the first long set of stairs, which solidified my place at the beginning of…

  • Adventures,  SD/Devil's Tower

    Devil’s Tower

    Friday. September 8, 2017. Wind Cave. Today we woke up late, 1000 here. I basically drowned on snot in the middle of the night and had to walk a decent trek to the bathroom, so I did not sleep well at all. It was nice to get some sleep finally, even broken rough sleep, but we fully intended on getting an earlier start hiking. It did not end up being too big of a deal though. It was hot on our hike up to and around the base of Devil’s Tower, but not unbearably so. Maybe due to my experience with a heat wave in Cali in June I have…

  • Adventures,  SD/Devil's Tower

    On the Road Again

    Thursday. September 7, 2017. Devil’s Tower. Hey! Here I am on another trip, surprise! At the beginning of the summer, Sissy and I had discussed wanting to go on a road trip. I had suggested a couple places that were all within reasonable driving distance; the Virginia’s, Smokey Mtns, or South Dakota. She most liked the idea of going out west, so we planned a week we could both get off work; and here we are now, sitting at a picnic table in the eastern part of Wyoming. I worked Sunday, Monday, Tuesday this week; so I got off work yesterday morning, slept until around 3pm, and got up to…