A motorcycle ride through South Dakota’s Black Hills takes you through verdant pine forests and past cascading mountain streams. A motorcycle ride through the Badlands takes you to another world entirely.
The land is stunning in its starkness. The sun pours down out of a brilliant blue sky. It lights up the rocky surfaces and highlights bands of pink and yellow and gray. And when you switch off the motorcycle’s engine, you’re greeted by complete silence.
There’s wildlife in the Badlands. Friends have shown me photos of bighorn sheep. But on the day my husband and I visited, not even a fly buzzed. We were completely alone in a strange, silent world where ancient fossils lay hidden in the rocky spires, gullies, and buttes. The blacktop pavement was our only connection to modern life.
The Lakota called this area “mako sica.” French explorerers called it “les mauvais terres pour traverse“. It translates to “bad lands” in both languages. It’s beautiful, and it’s lonely. It’s worth a visit.