Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Badlands National Park

After touring through the Black Hills area, Erika and I spent the night in Deadwood. The town was overrun with bikers. Unknowingly, we had decided to visit South Dakota during one of the craziest times- the start of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Erika and I stopped by Sturgis on our way to the Badlands. Needless to say, there were more bikers than one could ever imagine. It was cool to see the spectacle, but it didn't take long before we were both itching to be back in open spaces again. We continued on our journey and spent the day touring and hiking through Badlands National Park.

Brightly colored mounds and rolling prairie define the Badlands. There's undeniable beauty in this stark landscape, as if the negative space helps to highlight the brilliance hidden within its subtlety. It doesn't wow you with soaring granite walls or broad canyons. It appears barren under the noon day sun's harsh rays. But, as the sun sinks in the sky and the shadows grow long, a transformation occurs. The landscape grows colorful-- pinks, purples and reds burst from rocky mounds, the prairie burns electric green, and the sunset stretches out against a sky already littered with twinkling stars. It is that image that stays with you- the technicolor grassland of our wildest imaginations.

Wind Cave National Park & Mt. Rushmore

Last weekend, Erika and I made a trip to South Dakota. I had never been to South Dakota and I was amazed by the beauty of the Black Hills area. Watching pronghorn and bison roam the endless prairie was an incredible experience that will stay with me for some time. I think some people, myself included, think of South Dakota as a flat expanse without much to see. This might be true for certain parts of the state, but the Black Hills area is truly special. I would highly recommend a visit! Anyhow, here are some pics from Wind Cave National Park and Mt. Rushmore National Monument.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rainy Day On Mt. Evans

Erika demonstrates the patented 'Crash Pad Umbrella'.

Erika and I made a trip to Mt. Evans on Sunday. We spent most of the day huddling under dripping boulders with several other climbers, waiting out a massive thunderstorm that brought severe hail, heavy rain, wind and lightning to the high country. Eventually, the rain became less torrential and we made a very wet, hour long hike back to the car. It was certainly not the most ideal climbing trip, but Erika and I found a way to laugh through most of the day. And that's really all that matters.