Big Ride Update: Day 21
Today we rode 102 miles from Rapid City to Kadoka, South Dakota. We crossed the Cheyenne River and climbed into the Badlands at mile 43, getting our first brief introduction before leaving and biking another 30 miles until we formally entered the Badlands National Park at mile 73 and enjoyed 5 miles of great scenery with spectacular views of buttes, spires and pinnacles. We continued into the town of Kadoka where we are camping in the city park
A dinosaur at mile 28, on route 44 east. The Badlands and environs were once submerged under water and have been the source of major paleontological finds, drawing fossil hunters beginning in the 1840s, including O. C. Marsh who visited the White River Badlands in 1870.
Entering Badlands National Park which consists of 244,000 acres.
Spires and pinnacles from a distance.
A closer up view of the Badlands. “This land of sharp ridges, steep walled canyons, gullies, pyramids and knobs has been so ruthlessly ravaged by wind and water that it has become picturesque. The Badlands are a wonderland of bizarre, colorful spires and pinnacles, massive buttes and deep gorges. Erosion of the Badlands reveals sedimentary layers of different colors: purple and yellow (shale), tan and gray (sand and gravel), red and orange (iron oxides) and white (volcanic ash).”
Dazzled by their surroundings, the Big Riders snap photos of the Badlands at one of several vantage points.
Biking through the Badlands National Park.
The beautiful Badlands.
Touching the Badlands and trying not to fall backwards into the deep canyon.
A dog in a field as I was riding solo along the I-90 service road.
Entering Kadoka, established in 1906. Self-proclaimed “Gateway to the Badlands,” its name comes from the Lakota word for “hole in the wall.” Thirteen percent of its 700 member population is Native American.
A friendly native from Kadoka who epitomized the town’s hospitality, including great meals at H&H Restaurant