It has been an absolutely exhilarating trip so far. I can’t get over how expansive the wilderness is out here. I have only travelled through two states, Minnesota and South Dakota, yet I feel like I’ve seen so much. I suppose I will have to return to the real world sometime, but for now, this is bliss.

Yossi is an amazing dog and a great travel companion. I really lucked out rescuing him. He is just as loyal and intelligent as you would expect from a German Shepherd.

Our first stop was Badlands National Park in South Dakota. It is one of the most stunning places I have ever seen.

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park

A storm passed through on the first night, making for some really unique lighting. I caught a colorful sunrise at night, followed by a great sunrise the next morning.

Catching the sunset over the Badlands

The way the sunlight shone through the clouds and reflected off the rocks was incredible.

Glorious sunrise the next morning. I had to squint while looking at the rocks, the yellows and oranges were so brilliant.

After Badlands National Park, we travelled further west, heading to Custer State Park. It’s a huge park, with a mixture of prairies and mountains. There’s wildlife everywhere here. So far we’ve seen bison, deer, mountain goats, and burros (wild transport donkeys..seriously).

Bison in Custer State Park

Some of the burros must be hand-feed by tourists. As I drove down a dirt road to our campsite, one especially pushy burro walked in front of my car and poked around the passenger side. I think he was expecting a handout, but must have been surprised to find Yossi. They snuffled each other for a little bit, before I drove off.

Surprised burro.

After exploring the park, we backpacked a section of the Centennial Trail, a trek running through the Black Hills. Our section ran along the French Creek, a clear stream with towering cliffs overhead.

Yossi swimming in the French Creek

While hiking in, we came upon a doe with her fawn. It was a beautiful scene…until Yossi tore off after them and disappeared for the next ten minutes.


So far this has been a even better trip than I had hoped. Tomorrow is my last day in South Dakota. I plan on visiting Mt. Rushmore on my way out, before heading west to Wyoming to met up with two college buddies, Caleb and Nathan, for more backpacking and trout fishing.

Backpacking in Black Hills National Forest

More updates to follow!

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