Three Days in the Black Hills, SD

Words and photography by Kayt Mathers

Seeking out road rides in Tuscon, AZ, where I spent a week this winter, sparked my fascination with our country’s National Parks. I began studying the list of and features of our 59 national parks, particularly those between New York City and Portland, Oregon, a cross-country relocation I had planned for this summer. The Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota fascinated me most of all. The extreme moonscape, the native grasslands dotted with buffalo, and the rich pine forest that spans over a million acres were all attractions to me. This corner of South Dakota, of course, is also home to another attraction, Mount Rushmore, which was sculpted to promote tourism in the region. Another, less controversial tourist-attraction scheme in the region: the Dinosaur Park in Rapid City built in the 1930’s, back when they believed dinosaurs were green and smiled. (Side note: the climb up to Dinosaur Park from Rapid City is a nice, short, steep one—with dinosaur sculptures as a reward!)

As with any visit in a high tourist area, I ride early in hopes of beating the crowds. …read more

From:: Pretty Damned Fast