Yesterday we decided to tackle part of the longest marked trail in the Badlands. We set out about 8:30 to some clouds and a moderate breeze. We planned on going out about 4 miles and looping back on another trail. After the 4 miles, with stunning scenery at every turn, we decided to go straight through and then return using the added loop. On the way out, we stopped often to snap pictures and take small excursions off the beaten path. It was beautiful. We enjoyed every bit of it and took a small break at the end before heading back. Two miles into our return trek, we realized that it was, how should I phrase this, F*&^ING HOT! The sky was cloudless and the wind had died. It was now about 1:00 and it struck me that this is what you see in the old westerns when the good guy is robbed and left out in the sun to die. We looked for shade to try to cool ourselves, but there was none. Literally no shade for a couple of hours. So the trip back was very different from the trip out. Heads were down and the scenery passed with little notice. Our goal? Get back to the bike and get home. And after 6 hours and over 12 miles we hopped on the bike, went to the campground, drank a lot more water and jumped in the small but very cold pool. Whew. No real harm done and lessons learned. We will start out earlier and carry even more water. I will say that my new hat helped although the number 45 sunscreen was outmatched by the sun on this day as we both got a little red.
The new hat did wonders.
If the pool of water had been bigger, we may have joined this frog.
We felt as baked as the ground in this picture about 8 miles into the hike.
A scene from the way out.
For Kathie and her love of animals. This one seemed content to rest in the sun.