Day 13, July 30th

Start: Rapid City, SD

Finish: Murdo, SD

Miles: 147

Elevation Gain: 3180'


Graham's Best Western

301 West 5th

Murdo, SD 57559


Click on an image to see a larger view

It's hard to believe we're now half we through the trip. Appropriately, we switched from mountain to central time when we arrived in Murdo this afternoon. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We had another early breakfast this morning, but not quite as early as yesterday. We rolled out of the motel starting at 6:30 and were treated to a nice

We rode through the Badlands today

tailwind for the first leg of day's route. The scenery was primarily flat prairie, but there were a few trees dotted here and there. The road was almost dead flat. By the time we got to lunch at mile 80, we had only climbed 500 feet.

The winds died down a bit after the first rest stop, but at least we didn't have a headwind and we all

The formations are very beautiful and every one is different

continued to make good time. I think more than half the group were at the second rest stop together and we had trouble finding room for all our bikes.

Prairie dogs abounded in this area - I must have seen at least a hundred of them from the road, and particularly near the second rest stop.

Our lunch stop today was at the Badlands visitor's center. We had a nice large tree providing shade and dramatic views as we ate our lunch. We were treated to spaghetti with meatballs (or meatball hogies) and carrot cake for lunch, and all of it was quite delicious.

After lunch, we made a short climb up Cedar Pass (why they call it that, I don't know - I doubt there's a cedar tree for at least 50 miles) and were rewarded with stunning vistas of the Badlands. Most of the photos I've included today were taken from this pass and just beyond.

As I was going through this pass, I startled two deer near the road. They were trapped between the road and the cliff face and I was a little worried that one would run into me as they tried to get away.

Once we were through the Badlands, we began a somewhat arduous journey over rolling hills to our motel in Murdo. The terrain here is pretty bleak, with not much to differentiate one mile from the next. Almost all the day's climbing was spread out over these 50 miles with long shallow climbs and descents. I guess we better get used to monotonous terrain since I suspect we'll see a lot of it as we cross the midwest.

We have a nice hotel in Murdo with a lovely swimming pool that several of the riders took advantage of. The restaurant down the street was pretty decent and made an excellent buffalo burger. Their shakes and pies were pretty good as well. They even have a high speed internet connection so I can upload my site without using a dial-up modem. This was fortuitous because the ISP I'm using doesn't have a local access number in Murdo.

One of the interesting things about Murdo is that it marks the boundary between the mountain time zone and the central time zone. The restaurant we ate at actually has two clocks - one in each time zone, with a line between them which says "you are here".

Breakfast in the parking lot Walt from OH Jonathan from Australia

Railroad trestle near our first rest stop Bouquet Table Allotment - whatever that means One of our first views of the Badlands

Doug and Susie from our able crew Another view near the entrance to the park I really liked the color of the pool surrounding this tree

Great location for lunch today Almost everyone was at lunch at the same time Len from AZ climbing Cedar Pass

Alan from NC A view from the Cedar Pass climb Another beautiful view of the Badlands

The road through the Badlands was great fun One more view Once we were out of the Badlands, the terrain was pretty desolate