Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Black Hills, Badlands, and Buffalo Gap

I am now in my final day here in Rapid City, I took my bike to the BMW dealer yesterday to get my new tires put on, wow what a difference!! I hadn't realized how much the others had worn to the point of making steering more difficult. I then headed out into the Black Hills for a bit of a tour, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed. There was a brief stretch of about 5 or 10 miles that was fun and twisty, but nothing to write home about(other than this of I then sat out the afternoon thunderstorm in the comfort of my hotel while doing a MUCH needed load of laundry :-)

This morning was one of the few days on the trip where I could get up when I liked, as I had no destination or mileage I needed to accomplish, so a leisurely breakfast and coffee at Starbucks was greatly appreciated. I then set out for Buffalo Gap Grasslands and The Badlands National Park. If you are picturing a post apocalyptic science fiction future where the burned out relics of cars block the way to the Badlands you would be mistaken. I know I was.... ;-) ok not really...

One of my first iterations of my journey had me doing my great big circle clockwise, going through the USA then up the coast, then across Canada. In this scenario The Badlands would have been the first of many scenic vistas I would have seen, instead of the last. In that case I probably would have taken many more pictures and been much more impressed with it. Unfortunately after 8000 miles of roads and MANY spectacular views, touring around Rapid City can't quite live up to some of the other areas of the two countries. If you have an opportunity to come here, The Badlands is definitely worth it though.

On a final note for today, not wanting to toot my own horn(but if I don't no-one else will) I have discovered that trying to pick just one or two photos to adorn my dissertation can sometimes be difficult. I have to admit I am pretty impressed with the improvement in my photography skills over the last 4 weeks. I have now taken 1140 photos, for me a monumental increase in my usual lackluster vacation snapshots. So the best of my days photos I have been uploading to webshots:

I have been wanting to have some of my own photos to use as a gallery in my house, and now I am sure I have a few shots that I would be happy to display.

Tomorrow morning I set out for home. I am both happy and sad about this; I am definitely looking forward to getting back to my life, and work,( I know I'm weird) but I am sure it won't be very long after I get back that I will pine for the open road, breathable air, and an unencumbered vista to the horizon....

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