Feed on

We began our morning with a very short walk to get some coffee and scones for breakfast. We then headed to the entrance to the NP, about a quarter mile from the Baldands Motel. The South Unit of the park basically has a 36-mile, two-way ring road that runs through it. From there you can branch off to camp or hike. We did two short but “moderate” hikes (due to change in elevation) on the Ridgeline and Wind Canyon trails. 

Here’s s sense of what the trails are like:

This is a view from the Ridgeline Trail:

And, this one is from Wind Canyon Trail:

TRNP is less “spectacular” than that of Yellowstone or Grand Teton. But, it’s much less crowded and feels more intimate — thereby more easily allowing you to become part of nature and the environment. 

Here’s a good vista of the park that I took from an overlook off of I-94:

We’d happily return for a longer visit…

After TRNP, we returned to Medora for lunch and then drove about 3.5 hours to Deadwood, SD. This should be a better jumping off point for our plans tomorrow, including Mt. Rushmore.

Deadwood itself is kind of like a Wild West-themed version of Gatlinburg, TN for bikers. The architecture in the historic district (and the history itself) is interesting. But, it’s basically a tourist trap for bikers and gamblers. We ate dinner at the best place in town (according to Yelp), and it was fairly pedestrian (though Emerson really liked her Mac and Cheese, which I think may have been Kraft). So, unlike Medora, I wouldn’t put Deadwood on my “must return” list. But, we’re glad to have seen it. 

Today’s box score: +1 state (South Dakota)

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