Here are site entries I did on the road:
It is 5:17pm MDT adn I”m in a 15 passenger Ford van about 20 miles east of Rapid City, SD. We just got out of Wall Drug and let me tell you, if you haven’t dug Wall Drug, you haven’t lived. The Black Hills/Badlands area ranks alongside of the Wisconsin Dells and Niagra Falls as one of the all-time great tourist traps in the World.
I did manage to pick up an $8 rock hammer in Wall Drug. The ones I was looking at online cost about $30. For all I know its a piece of crap, but I’ll be able to test it this weekend.
Its been raining all day and it looks like we will have to set up tents in the rain. That sucks. Its also cold and I didn’t bring a heavy jacket. I did buy a stocking hat at Wall Drug.
I really enjoy using the GPS and my laptop during trips. If I ever get another new car, I’m going to get a GPS system built in. Its handy as all hell.
Its 9:39am CDT. My neck is red. As in I have redneck. My neck is so red, I’m thinking about going to buy a pickup truck and start wearing a Dale Earnhart jacket. Lesson learned from this weekend #1: bring a hat. I think i’m going to get a hat with the flaps in the back that cover your neck ala the French Foreign Legion….and sunscreen.
All my new camping gear worked fine, but my old camping gear did not. At least my sleeping bag. My sleepin bag is a nice down bag I got to go backbacking back in 1984 in New Mexico. I haven’t used it much since. Needless to say, I’m a little big bigger now (and I’m not just talking fat big either). Its a mummy bag and I couldn’t keep it zipped up because my shoulders were way too wide. Lesson learned from this weekend #2: get a new sleeping bag.
We got to see a bunch of very cool rock formations. If its not up already, You should see a Flickr section devoted to the trip. Most of the photos are of rocks which you probably wont find very interesting. You will see many photos of a pen or a book on a rock. The object is just there for scale, so you can get an idea of the size of a crystal or rock. Sometimes you use a person for scale because the formation is so big.
I have a decent collection of rocks from this trip. I got a bunch of nice muscovite samples, some biotite, some samples of garnet and staurolite, a hunk of rose quarts, and some turmolene.
The mornings were cold every day we were in Custer state park. There was frost inside of my tent all three days. Its more a factor of altitude than anything else and I think I’ll have to have at least one set of wintery clothes with me to camp this summer.
I had a good time and it was a good dry run for the field camps this summer. I’ll be putting up more photos on Flickr with some explainations soon.