July 12th, Day 24: Wall, SD to Kadoka, SD: 57 miles, 2,034 ft. ascent

Tomorrow’s 114 Mile ride is Alastair’s last century before I get fresh horses (aka James Owers) at Sioux Falls. Which makes it almost exactly as long as yesterday's ride and today put together.

So our 57 mile ride today was definitely another one billed as ‘active recovery'. We took the opportunity to enjoy it very much, spending more than half the ride in The Badlands National Park. This was a very special place to be while the air was still cool and fresh after last night’s rain and while there was no traffic to be seen or heard (hurrah, hurrah!).

The Badlands is such an unusual and striking landscape that we chose to dedicate this post to our serious minded reader. That is to say, the one who has persevered until now in the heretofor forlorn hope that this blog might not be entirely content free.

Having made the momentous decision to say something vaguely educational I have just spent 30 minutes on Wikipedia researching why badlands exist. Sadly I am none the wiser and my brain also now hurts. This is a sure sign that before my body becomes that elusive, hard-as-nails, lean, mean cycling machine, my brain will surely have rendered itself almost entirely vapid.

I did also ask Alastair to describe the unusual wild sheep, which I can now report look remarkably like ibex. If only I knew what ibex look like.

But anyway, here are some pics to prove we were there and some others to give you a flavour of the magnificently bizarre terrain.

Chris in Badlands national part, South Dakota

Badlands scenery

Badlands scenery

Bighorn sheep in the badlands