NB > SD
Onto the land of the bad.
There’s a website we’ve been using called freecampsites.net that offers all the information you could want on campsites throughout the US. It has RV, tent camping, official campgrounds, dispersed campsites, pet-friendly, etc. People can also add comments and descriptions about the place there so you can learn about views, safety, noise…etc. It’s super handy!
Luke had used that to find us a spot and he learned that there was an area right along the ridge that actually looks into the Badlands, so that’s where we headed.
When we arrived there were a few RV’s and one other tent camper, and we were excited about having some company. Now, here’s the thing about the Badlands if you haven’t been … it’s barren. We cook over a campfire and we also like shade so after we set up camp we started to solve for both of those factors. Luckily, Luke had suggested earlier we grab a pack of wood from the local market so we could at least make dinner, and he had found a small firepit someone had made previously. As for the shade, we had a tarp in our car that Luke said we could attach from the car to the tent and have a great little canopy to sit under. This became a comical venture because the ground was too solid to put stakes in and we had no way to attach it onto our car so we had to get creative. And creativity is our specialty!
Here’s the result. Not too shabby eh?
To let the heat of the day pass, we set up to take a nap, but just as we started to lay down clouds rolled in and it started to drizzle. We got up and decided to take the dogs up the ridge and say hello to people on our way.
First, we met a couple who are part-time RVers for now with the hopes to go full-time when the wife retires. They had three cats, who Sox eagerly wanted to meet, but we didn’t introduce them.
Next, we met the Sinar family. They are full-time RVers and have a pretty awesome way of schooling their two kids while on the road. You can learn more about what they are doing here.
Luke started to get the fire going for our dinner after the rain passed and that’s when we met Matt and Justin who pulled up close to us. After we ate our steak and potato dinner they came over with a big box of wood they had collected from other places and asked to join us around the fire. We enjoyed a fun fire, game and conversation night with them. They are both in college and made us feel young again haha. As the wood diminished, all of us agreed we weren’t ready to call it a night yet, and Luke suggested we go on a firewood finding adventure. Now let me paint this picture for you. Look at the picture above… it is desolate. But, Luke swore he saw a tree earlier and was determined, so we all started following him. It was pitch black and we all had small flashlights but saw no sign of life except for one seemingly out of place toad (don’t worry we kept Sox far away). Matt, Justin and I were ready to throw in the towel and just burn dried grass for an extra fifteen minutes when off in the distance we hear what sounds like wood breaking. That’s when we realized Luke was nowhere to be seen, so we followed the noise and sure enough Luke found THE tree. If you know Luke at all you probably aren’t surprised by this story, if anyone could find firewood in a place with no trees, it’s him. Luke climbed on Justin’s back to pull off a pretty large dead branch and we made our way back to the campsite. We wound down our night around the fire, and as the winds began increasing, we went to sleep.
We woke up to some really dense fog surrounding the Badlands. We were thinking about staying and hiking down into the canyon some but seeing the clouds and feeling the brisk wind we decided to pack it in.
From here we headed to do something I wanted, see Mount Rushmore. After we visited the monument we went on a little walk in the Black Hills so the dogs could get out and stretch their legs too. Here’s a picture of me with my old friends.
We had decided this would be a good night for a motel and pizza night. Ah, hot showers and a bed. Until next time friends.
– the Beaucampers