Anybody been to South Dakota?

7:28 p.m. on August 26, 2008 (EDT)
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I've been wondering what the hiking and backpacking is like in the western part of South Dakota. It may be a very good place for me to move to after retiring from the Coast Guard. Anybody have experience with hiking, cross country skiing, hunting, etc. out there?

Thanks,
Don

8:31 p.m. on August 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Just a bit of climbing in the Needles. But I would suggest that it will be a bit different from being a Coastie on the water (ya gots desert in SD and little water, except for the piles of frozen stuff in winter - then it's more like doing duty in Antarctica). No, I was never a Coastie, but I have friends who were (and in Antarctica, too).

8:59 p.m. on August 26, 2008 (EDT)
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What was your impression of SD? I happen to love the desert and snow so neither of those is bad! We got about 11 feet of snow here last winter and I thought I was in heaven.

12:18 a.m. on August 27, 2008 (EDT)
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I enjoy spending a day or two in Badlands NP. I usually camp in the primitive campsite and begin hiking there too (no water there so plan accordingly). There isn't any trails, so you just go wherever your heart desires. A buffalo herd is usually spotted sometime during the day and stumbling across a prairie dog town is a given. I have also seen a porcupine, owl, badger, eastern prairie rattlesnake, and black-footed ferret. Do you have any specific questions? I live in SD, so I may be able to help you out.

4:51 p.m. on August 27, 2008 (EDT)
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I spent about 14 days camping in South Dakota on the Rosebud Reservation with some Lakota Sicangu Indians and gotta say, the place is beautiful and well worth further exploration. I was out in July when the nights were cool and the days intolerable tent-wise but I'd go back in a second. In the two summers I camped there I was hit with only one bad windstorm/thunder fest and the crappy tent I had blew out a tentpole(cheap fiberglass), but who cares? I was outdoors and that's all that mattered.

September 20, 2014
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