After a nice peaceful night tenting in the alfalfa, I rose just before sunrise to pack up and head out. Headed south and then east to the start of the Badlands Loop. Very nice at about 5 am with no one around yet
Except for these guys running around
Saw this old relic on the way
Made it into the Badlands probably before 7 am, so again no one really around yet which was nice. All the tourist campers were crowded into their little spots all right next to each other and I can say I did not miss that. Driving the Loop was great without the crowds-I was able to stop anywhere to take pics with no problems
Some different colors depending upon the age of the old lake bottom/forest deposits
So I gradually made my way thru the many miles of this and exited back out the north end just as others were starting to arrive. Next on my list was Sturgis as it's the place to be in about a month, but better now than never.
Stopped at the Harley Dealer with my Beemer to check out souvenirs for my brother-in-law, then had a nice ham & cheese tortilla (already a day old in the side cases...) picnic with a luke cold Rolling Rock at the Lions Park in town. Had to see Full Throttle-a big place and you can tell it's just like on TV when it fills up
Headed back into the Black Hills for a nice scenic ride to Deadwood, then the Spearfish Canyon and then north and west to Wyoming and the back way to Devils Tower. Quite the site, even with the crowds of people there, and hail...
Got back on the road late afternoon and needed to find some Public Land to spend the night on. There is some National Forest right by Devils Tower, but it seemed too close so I headed west across the State, past the big Coal mines, and over to Buffalo and gassed up and headed into the Bighorn Mountains just before sunset. Took the first forest road dual track which headed steeply up the mountain, curved a little, and came upon a pickup truck just off the tracks with two guys standing beside it-one with a handgun and one with a rifle. Well, I was already committed, so I just kept on by and nodded to them as I passed-no response from the Friday night target shooters... Headed up over a pass which opened up into a beautiful valley with absolutely no one around, so I rode to the next ridge and found a site that overlooked a side valley and the town of Buffalo.
It started to rain again, so my trusty REI campchair fit nicely under my moto cover as I had a no-longer luke cold Rolling Rock and appreciated the view. It soon let up so it was pretty much time to eat, but not 2 day old ham on tortillas-Beef Jerky and Almonds did just fine
That pretty much summed up Day 2 from the Badlands to Black Hills to Devils Tower to the Bighorns. It was dropping into the 40's, so into the cozy tent it was.