C2C Day 24 – Wall to Murdo SD

A memorable 100 mile day. A morning ride through the other-worldly Badlands National Park. And an afternoon celebration and photo-op at the halfway point on this coast-to-coast trip.

Pictures capture only a slight sense of magnitude of Badlands Park. An otherwise open grass prairie suddenly has it’s underbelly exposed in layers of geologic rock strata and spires. A windy road magically weaves a path over awesome vistas, then descends through rocky canyons that you can almost reach out and touch. One of the best bike rides I’ve ever experienced, and certainly a highlight of the tour.

Even some bighorn sheep were enjoying the morning views.

Reluctantly bidding adieu to the Badlands, the second half of today’s ride was a straight easterly shot over rolling South Dakota hills. Rollers after rollers. And then more rollers. Until suddenly, between two hills, I triumphantly came upon the halfway point of this cycling journey from Oregon to New Hampshire. Time for a little celebration:

A strong crosswind from the south eventually turned somewhat favorable for the final 20 miles into the metropolis of Murdo (population 452). A friendly hearty dinner at the Murdo Drive-in, and it’s back in the saddle tomorrow. Oh, and we lost an hour crossing into the Central time zone today. I better get some rest!

~Dan

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