Scott & Lorraine's California Trip Blog

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mitchell, SD to Custer, SD

We left Mitchell at 7:20 a.m. with the temperature an easy 76. It took about 5 miles for the topography to change from corn fields to grasslands/plains.

It also did not take long for the temperature to rise. By the time we reached the "Badlands Loop" 220 miles away, it was 104.

The "Badlands Loop" is a 30 mile twisty road right through the gut of the badlands for the entire stretch. It is by far the most awesome stretch of road we have hit yet. Unbelieveable. We may do it again.

Stopped about 4 miles in and did a hike - 1.5 mile round tripper up into the badlands to an opening that gave you an awesome view into the valley, and the cutout to the view was a wind tunnel to the tune of 40mph+. Felt good after the hike up into badland hills on sheer rock trail. Went through 1 liter+ of water each.

Notch trail was the one we went into, and I recommend it HIGHLY for anybody doing the loop. We got our "national park" passport stamped a couple miles later, then enjoyed the scenic ride for another 20 miles into a town called Wall.

Wall is famous for "Walls Drug Store". I don't think they sell many prescription drugs there anymore, perhaps none. But they do offer free water. That is what put them on the map back in 1931.

And my, my it was great water with lots of ice cubes. I think I had about 10 cups. By the time we left Wall, it was 108, soon to peak at 111.

It felt like a blast furnace. We stopped at a rest stop and soaked our "evaporation vests" and that helped tremendously. Really did. Also put wet towels around the neck. That worked great until we reached the exit off Interstate 80 to Custer at our 300 mile mark.

Big black clouds appeared overhead and we climbed into the black hills watching the temperature quickly drop to a beautiful 86. We welcomed the 5 minutes of raindrops, they felt good.

Anyway, Route 90W was a big interstate, but beautiful and an easy fun drive with lots to look at. It really is the only choice from the eastern cities and of course it takes you to the wonderful "Badlands Loop"

Custer seems awesome, it's in the middle of everything we want to do, especially Needles Highway, Sylvan Lake and Mount Rushmore. Can't wait.

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Part of Notch trail is this cool ladder

Heading in

Looking back from the notch at the trail along the ridge

The 'Notch'

Wall drugs water was GOOOOOOOOD

The badlands

More badlands

The bike on a prairie lookout

Yeah it looks different out here.

Little town on the prairie

Your Comments

7/30/06 Ladder....

you should have gotten a picture looking up the ladder......with someone at the bottom seemingly out of breath..... :)
Brian H.

7/30/06 Ladder....

you should have gotten a picture looking up the ladder......with someone at the bottom seemingly out of breath..... :)
Brian H.

7/30/06 test

test by scott

7/30/06 The Ride

Scott and Lorraine: Keep chugging that water.

I know you think the Badlands are awesome, but I think you will see even more beautiful and exciting natural terrain before you are though, so keep that camera battery charged up!

Thanks for your phone call.



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