South Dakota, Part II

Sunrise at my campsite at the Bear Butte State Park, SD, 5:45 a.m., 7-29-10

I’ve been camping in the Bear Butte State Park outside of Sturgis, SD for the past two days. I woke up at 5:45 a.m. this morning (mother nature was calling) and saw the sky and trees lit up by the rising sun and started taking pictures. I then turned around and to the west was a hill. Behind the hill a storm was moving in and there was lightning. Now I haven’t been camping in about 20 years and the artsy-fartsy moron in me was thinking, “Cool, lightning behind that hill, I’ve got to get some pictures of that.” I started to set up my camera on a tripod when a few raindrops began to fall. That’s when it dawned on me: that storm, and lightning, is coming straight at me! I quickly put my camera away and got into the Sweet Machine II / Mobile Living Unit. For the next hour it poured and the wind probably hit 25 mph in the gusts. The lightning was seriously bad and at one point it seemed as if a bolt landed between my car and tent. And through the windshield I watched as my tent swayed and rocked back and forth in the wind. I was petrified and thought my tent would blow away! I kept thinking about the stakes I pounded into the ground and hoped they would hold and fortunately they did. But in my haste to get into my car I didn’t fully zip shut the window on my tent and my sleeping bags and crash pad got wet so when the sun came out I spread out everything on picnic tables and it all dried. Then I hiked to the top of Bear Butte Mountain, a sacred site to several different Indian tribes.

There’s a reason for signs like this…

just look at how big they are!

Bear Butte Mountain

I camped at the edge of this lake.

You don’t want to go down this way! Although if it was covered in snow…!

Chow’s up!

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