Up until this point, the trip has been really good. This past weekend, it became GREAT. Our generator is FIXED. It only cost us about $200 all said and done. With that news hot off the presses, we have been dying to go boondocking. I mentioned boondocking before, but as refresher, it is when you camp on empty land that has no infrastructure on it – it is not in a campground. No water, electricity, or other services. Imagine going into the forest and just picking a clear spot and staying over night. Sounds illegal, right? Well it isn’t. A lot of land owner by the federal government is 100% legal for boondocking. There are a few restrictions, including most notably a 14-day stay limitation, and you must be only a certain distance from the road. Different land may have different limitations depending on which government entity owns it. There are many boondocking opportunities once you get towards this area of the country – there are lots of national forests, where it is typically allowed.
We are once again staying in the Black Hills, only this time in the Wyoming section. It looks a bit different from our previous location, but man is it pretty.
Our site is at the base of a big hill; if you climb to the top you can get a 360 panorama of the entire area for miles and miles – it is breathtaking, and it is in our backyard.
We are surrounded by fields of wildflowers everywhere you look. It’s like a fairytale campsite.
To me, this is fulfilling a big part of the dream that I had when we set out on this trip. To be totally alone in nature, 100% off the grid (however temporarily), surrounded by the beauty of a new and different landscape with miles to explore ahead of us.
We are also about an hour away from Devil’s Tower. Last week after work we went to check it out. From afar, Devil’s Tower seems like maybe it’s going to be sort of boring – just hear me out. It’s ONE neat looking rock formation, and we have seen a lot of neat looking rock formations. Sure, this one is ESPECIALLY cool but… really? YES REALLY. Devil’s Tower was spectacular and absolutely worth going to. It is oddly hypnotizing – once you are within a certain distance you simply can’t look away. You can walk around the whole thing in about an hour, staring up and trying not to trip over various walkway impediments you may encounter. Not to mention you can watch people climb the thing, which when you get a sense of the scale in person seems like a crazy and fantastical idea.
If you are in the area, I would tell you to GO.
In other news, we also had a lovely dinner and drinks outing with a couple of new friends from Spearfish, SD, Helene and Bill. Helene is an old friend of Kelly’s mom, and she and her husband BIll were nice enough to have us over for dinner one night last week, and then this week we went out for pizza and beers. Of course, as self-proclaimed pizza connisours (when you eat pizza a minimum of once a week I think it is fair to claim this title), we wanted “THE BEST PIZZA IN SPEARFISH” and we were told by more than one person that we should check out Dough Trader.
Definitely lived up to the (two-person) hype. Great pizza. Tragically no beers on tap, but we hit Crow Peak brewery, which is a local craft brewery in town, and got a sample of their beers. Excellent!
Helene and Bill were also shocked to find out we hadn’t been through Spearfish Canyon, which is apparently a must-see. After dinner we drove through, and I’m so glad we did!
Really impressive rock formations and a beautiful drive.
I’m having a hard time wanting to leave our current site – it feels like our own personal secluded mountain top paradise. But alas, the water tank is showing only 1/4 full, which means our days are numbered. Next up: Heading towards Big Horn National Forest and then on to Yellowstone.