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The Badlands Kicked My Ass

Oh geez, I don't even know where to start. Let me start where I left off last time. After leaving Garvin Park Thursday morning, it was a rather windy ride and we just rode West all day and ended up in Lake Louise South Dakota. We thought it was hot when we got in, I think it was maybe around 90°? So we actually waited for it to cool off a bit to set up camp. We had checked the weather before getting to Lake Louise and there was no weather in the forecast, nothing on the radar and only a 2% chance of rain so we opted to leave the rain fly off of the tent to keep it cooler.

Well, let me tell you, here comes 1:30 a.m. and there's suddenly rain on us. I don't know if that's Yozef's luck or mine LOL So we scrambled to get the rain fly on. Needless to say, we didn't sleep much after that!

Friday morning's wake-up was brutal. The wind was insane! We couldn't even set up to make coffee. So we broke down camp and decided to hit the road early to try and get to our next stop before 108° was in full force.

The rides our first several days were pretty uneventful, but we knew Friday was going to be a struggle. The winds were blowing sooo bad and on top of that was the extreme heat expected, we just didn't know when it would hit us. Until it did.

About 10ish after riding about two hours, the wind suddenly stopped and we felt the heat. After an hour we stopped at a gas station with a Subway and we're able to cool off for a bit. By then it was about 102° and it was only noon. I was already feeling a little ill, but we had to keep going to get to camp in the Badlands.

By the time we got just outside of the Badlands, I felt like I was going to pass out and fall off the bike. Yep, heat exhaustion got me! And I was mad. My first time in the Badlands and instead of enjoying the scenery, I'm gonna die here. By the time we made it to camp everything was hurting. I'm trying to drink my water but my stomach instantly cramped, my muscles stopped working, my brain fogged. By then it's 108°. I barely made it to the shower and then could only stand in it briefly to let the water drench me.

I really thought that this was it. Luckily, it wasn't, but I don't know how I survived that. But let me tell you, it gets better. Again, no rain on the forecast but the skies said otherwise.

The winds picked up again so much so that the rain fly would be useless. We made the best of it and moved the tent and anchored it in the covered picnic pad to wait it out. It stormed for real. Several times. And it got cold! It made for a miserable, wet, loud, sleepless night. We were both up just after dawn and everything was calm. What a relief! We were able to make some coffee. I was still a bit weak, but feeling much better. It was much cooler so we were able to pack up and tour the Badlands and I was able to finally enjoy this spectacular place.

Yes, the Badlands kicked my ass, but I lived to tell the story.

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