Monday, August 31, 2015

Back From South Dakota!

As you can probably tell by the resumption of updates here at The Adventure Blog today that I have returned from my trip to South Dakota. It was a brief visit, but a very good one, as the state is filled with the kind of natural resources that outdoor loves enjoy so much. Case in point, we were told that there are more than 400 miles (643 km) of single track mountain biking trails within a half-hour drive of Rapid City alone. That's an impressive number when you think about how hard it can be to find a good trail sometimes. 

Of course, while there I paid a visit to the amazing Badlands National Park, and dropped by Mt. Rushmore to pay homage to the four presidents on display there. We also traveled to Custer State Park as well, a place that is so strikingly beautiful that it could easily be a national park itself. We even spent one morning hiking to the summit of Harney Peak, South Dakota's high point at 7242 feet (2207 meters). 

This was not my first visit to South Dakota, so I had a bit of an idea of what to expect for arrived. But the state always finds ways to surprise you, and this time it was with its diversity of wildlife. Over the course of the five days I was there we came across bison, elk, deer, mountain goats, marmots, rabbits, prairie dogs, countless wild turkeys, and a variety of other creatures. The rugged forests and mountains of the western part of the state make a perfect home for these animals, and it was a lot of fun to see them while hiking or driving through the region.

One thing that did not surprise me was the warm welcome that visitors receive while in South Dakota. The people that live in the state are incredibly friendly and accommodating, often greeting travelers with a smile and a greeting. Everyone I met along the way was happy to talk about the wonderful opportunities their state affords to visitors, and offer suggestions of more things to see and do while there.

You'll hear a lot more about this trip in the days ahead. For now, I'm happy to be home, even if it is for a short while. In two days I'll depart on my honeymoon in Bora Bora, so updates will be interrupted once again. That will be an adventure of a completely different kind of course, but one that I am looking forward to greatly. 

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