Thunder and Badlands

We boondocked on a high ridge overlooking Badlands National Park.  Fabulous 360 degree views of badlands cliffs, prairie grasses, sounds of larks and a gentle cooling breeze. Until. Soon after sunset the sudden layered clouds lit up with sheet lightening covering 180 degrees of our view, and the radio screaming thunderstorm warnings with 70 mile per hour gusts and tennis ball! hail. Claire does not like hail. Claire REALLY doesn’t like hail.


  1. Despite some rockin’ and rollin’ and heavy rain, and at least once to head Turtle into the wind, we survived a South Dakota storm for the second time. (Tornado story elsewhere on newbohemians)

The late, after midnight, bedtime and newly chip sealed  Badlands NP roads nixed the bike ride we’d planned, and suggested a 4.75 mile loop hike. Beautiful. Its much better to get out of your vehicle, or even a bike and dive into the sounds, smells and strange but gentle beauty of the prairie.

Where is Claire!



First Harvest Host

  • We joined Harvest Hosts, since we were going to be out for several months in the motorhome (Turtle from now on). Harvest Hosts are businesses like wineries and farms, farm stands, that will allow you to park for the night. Most are in beautiful places. Of course you end up buying what they have to sell, so its a win win situation, and often we find we have something in common, like we did with the owner of Bear Butte Gardens.



Riding the Bighorns

Our next boondock was at the base of the Bighorns where we rode to the scary sign about how many truckers who had died on the steep descent. That was a good enough top for us. Cold!

Halfway view.

Bighorn Mountains

Our first boondock gave us a hint of the Bighorns; beautiful and steep.

Time for bed.

The second day let us know that we came too early. Our goal was to drive to a trailhead for the Medicine Wheel, and then hike in to see it, and take a picture for Martha McCartney who missed it on trip West. Sorry Martha. We tried. A mud hole about a quarter mile stopped Turtle. We backed to the road. The option was a six mile round trip at 9,000 feet with snow and mud. Claire was up for it but I had my doubts. Off we went, Claire far ahead. After a mile I noticed I was catching up to her.

If the snow blower has been stopped , so have we been stopped.