Sioux Falls to Rapid City - July 8, 2017
Today was determined to be a short day for us. With all the miles we will have logged, we wanted to ensure we afforded ourselves the opportunity to partake in the mysticism and majestic views the mid-west has to offer.
The Badlands have a majestic nature in their own right. The picturesque landscape holds within it a mystery formed by wind and water erosion forming canyons, ravines, gullies, mesas and other geological forms and are often difficult to navigate on foot. Home to Badlands National Park, it was formerly used by the US Air Force as a bombing and gunnery range before it was designated as a national park November 10, 1978. The National Park Service also administers the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site located nearby.
Each August, the area draws hundreds of thousands people who flock to nearby Sturgis for the annual motorcycle rally, which has been held every year since 1938, with the exception of 1942 due to gasoline rationing during WWII.
Our day ends in Rapid City, South Dakota. Named after Rapid Creek, the city is nestled amid the eastern slope of the Black Hills mountain range. Home to Ellsworth Air Force Base on the city's outskirts and Camp Rapid to the west the city's history dates back to as early as 1874 when the Black Hills Expedition, led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, set out to find a route to the southwest, a location for a fort and the possibility of gold mining brought with them an significant increase in settlers. In 1876, a group of disappointed miners that included John Richard Brennan and Samuel Scott laid out the town and dubbed it the "Gateway to the Black Hills". Nearby is the Old West historic town of Deadwood.