At the end of October Jon and I took our honeymoon to South Dakota. We had previously planned to take an extended stay in the BWCAW of northern Minnesota, but many things went down in life and we had to reconfigure our getaway. Both of us have a soul connection with SD, so we thought it would be a great place to spend a few days. We visited Badlands National Park, Black Hills National Forest and one of my favorite places- and a new place for Jon -Devil's Tower National Park in Wyoming. We hiked, climbed, relaxed and ate peanut butter. This was our first extended van trip and we had so much fun. It's hard to get used to not setting up camp each night. And it's hard to get used to being able to bring so much stuff along- all kinds of food and so much water! We loved that aspect of it.
We woke up our first morning in the Badlands and were surrounded by buffalo. And not just any buffalo- it is rutting seasons. We saw bison fights, play and sex. It was really magical and a look at wildlife that was new to both of us. This was all during dawn. The sun rising over the vast and wild landscape. Just us and the herd. Quite amazing.
On our first full day in the Black Hills, we went on an early hike that ended up being over 20 miles long. It was on a closed trail that involved much elevation gain, endless tree crossings and a shit ton of bushwhacking. Black Elk Wilderness showed us its lovely forests and incredible peaks. It's very rad to have this treasure in the Midwest.
The next morning we drove to Devil's Tower in Wyoming. Like I mentioned before- to me this is a favorite place. The energy, views and vibes. The wildlife and the rock. It's all so alive and magnificent. It was a true pleasure to introduce Jon to it.
After our Wyoming adventure, we went back into South Dakota to a place called The Maze. We bouldered for a bit and were pretty impressed by the rock here. It was sticky and smooth with all kinds of climbing to be had. And yeah- it's called The Maze. But really, it's like a maze. I've never seen rock formations like this that are natural. Or unnatural. It was bizarre and fun. Just another big gem that South Dakota has to offer.
On our last night we return to Badlands National Park in time for a breathtaking sunset dinner over the pinnacles. Really. This is the place of romance. It is everything. When you are alone with the man you love here, surrounded by quiet and color, you are the only people in the world.
This trip was love. It was an exploration of heart, passion, trust and understanding. The perfect honeymoon and perfect way to start this new chapter :)